Sunday, 1 February 2009

Updating Family History

Today I decided to revamp my family history website as it has become a real dogs dinner of a site - very user unfriendly.

The intention is to generate a page with say - four generations on one screen - with links to printable pages with details about each family individual. In doing the groundwork I have come across a number of photographs which defy judgement.

This is an example of a Victorian "Carte-de-Visite" of a type which was popular in the 1880's. The dress style is similar to that of 1890-93 fashions. The lady in question has similar features to my great grand mother, Hannah Pursglove and the carte was part of a collection of family photographs. Hannah would have been in her 30's at about the time of this photograph, which is highly probable. However, there is no real evidence to say that this is the lady in question. In 1901, Hannah was living in Shirland, Derbyshire and it seems improbable that she would have had a photograph taken in a Nottingham studio at that time. However, by 1910 she is living at Mansfield Woodhouse in Nottinghamshire, close to the A60 road to Nottingham. How frustrating it is to be unable to say for definite one way or the other.
Of course the next spanner in the works is the fact that Andrew and George Taylor traded at Derby Road, Nottingham from 1879 to 1881 before moving to new premises at 107 Parliament Street. The photograph is at the oldest 1881.
Two even older photographs came to light. I have been puzzling over these ones for years. The prints are of the same type, on the same paper, showing the same degree of fading. They were found together in a collection of Pursglove memorabilia, so they are assumed to be family photographs of a couple. The subjects seem to be in their 50's and the dress is compatible with the styles of 1850-60 provincial dress, or perhaps a little later. The beard style is typically 1860's. This fits well with Thomas Pursglove and his wife Elizabeth. However, I have a picture of Thomas taken as a studio print a few years before he died and there is no resemblance with this man. I wonder if these are the Parents of Hannah Pursglove, Alice and Richard Whitehead? Whatever the truth, I suspect that they were introduced to the family archive from a marriage, which begs the question "which marriage"?

The moral of this blog - for heavens sake, write who they are on the back...!

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