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Friday, 6 November 2015

Spirits of our past

No double exposures or ghostly images from me, but I have interpreted the above photographs as showing people from the past watching over others. I like to think that our ancestors do that in some unknown way, and so here is a collage showing my daughters, granddaughter and myself surrounded by some of our female ancestors. Although they are gone they are always with us, in the sense that there's a little bit of all of them in all of us.

Top row: Jane Young nee Patterson, Mary Anne Hays Byles nee Bills
Middle: Mona Morrison nee Forbes, Jean Cruickshank nee Morrison, Jo Featherston nee Cruickshank, Laura D nee Featherston, Claire K nee Featherston, Isabelle K, Charlotte Cruickshank nee Joss, Elin Cruickshank nee Hickey
Bottom row: Jane Isabella Forbes nee Young, Myrtle Cruickshank nee Byles

Jane Young and Charlotte Cruickshank were just two of Isabelle's thirty-two 4x great grandmothers. 

For more interpretations of this week's prompt photographs, click here and you'll be spirited away to Sepia Saturday #304.


Here's a re-do of my collage, including 3 more ancestors. Bottom right is Janet Cruickshank nee Mackie, 5x GGM to Isabelle, at top right is Mary Forbes/Paterson nee Anderson, 4x GGM and in the middle row at far right is Mary Bridget Morrison/Morrissey nee McNamara, 3x GGM. I've also replaced the older photograph of Jane Isabella Forbes with a beautiful photograph of her as a young woman, at top left.


  1. Stellar collage! And a powerful one too. There is something very comforting knowing that all these women are with you in some way.

  2. Indeed, a lovely collage. I'm a firm believer in genetic memory...meaning our memories, along with physical attributes, are passed down from generation to generation through genetic transfer. It's where instinctive behavior comes from, certainly. And so much more!

  3. I agree! And a very nice collage.

  4. Oh, I love all the women together -- you can see the relationships in eyes and mouths. Great idea for a collage, Jo - I must try it myself!

  5. Thanks for the idea! I need to make a collage like this. I have had some fine women ancestors and descendants!

  6. Agree with all the above and the way the current generation is encircled by your mothers before you.

  7. My friend Mary has used a similar collage to create a sepia-coloured patchwork wallhanging (embellished with laces and beads). It's a lovely idea to create the 'headshots' of your female generations.

    1. Hmmm, that sounds hard to me, but then I'm not into patchwork.

  8. Yes that it my belief too! Very provocative :)

  9. That was a very interesting idea. It made me sit and visualize what mine would look like. You don't have to go far back before you strike the women who were only photgraphed in old age.

  10. Great idea that works really well, and I like your take on the prompt image too.