Friday, 31 October 2008

Transport contraption or tourist trap in St Malo?

Sometimes one comes across items in photograph collections that leave one rather puzzled. This rather battered carte de visite in my aunt's collection is one such example.

The photograph shows what appears to be some sort of viewing platform, occupied by a number of people, mounted on a tower standing in water, apparently in a bay, as a shoreline with buildings is vaguely visible in the background. However, ripples in the water suggest some movement, either of the water, or of the contraption itself, and this appears to be supported by the inscriptions handwritten in purple ink. On the front, it states, "Passes between St Malo(?) & ...(?)" - unfortunately the last part of the inscription has vanished along with torn corner of the cdv.

On the reverse, also in purple handwriting, "It goes by Machinery - I passed over it last year & again this year twice Aug 1882 It takes about 3 minutes to cross its only 1 sous." I believe the handwriting is that of my gg-grandfather Henry Payne (1842-1907). This suggests that it is the contraption which moves, rather than the ripples being produced by a water current.

I knew that he travelled to the United States in February-March 1880 and had returned to England with his family by November, as described in this article. However, I wasn't aware of any trips to the continent, as suggested by the reference to St Malo. A quick look at maps for northern France suggest that the destination of the contraption could have been Dinard, situated on the other side of the bay from St Malo. I used Google Maps' very handy Street View facility to check out the geography of the bay, and it seems quite possible that contraption was travelling from St Malo to Dinard.

I wonder if any other readers have come across anything like this extraordinary contraption, and can enlighten us further. I assume it was a tourist attraction of some sort.

The gravestone of Charles Robinson of Derby, Nottingham Road Cemetery

Occasionally in old photo albums and other family photograph collections, you may come across photographs of old gravestones. Presumably intended originally as another form of memorial for a loved family member, they may now provide clues to who else is pictured in other unannotated photographs in the album.

Image © and collection of C.B. Payne

I have one such image scanned from a photograph in my father's collection. Unfortunately I don't currently have access to the original, and I was rather short-sighted in that I only scanned the photograph, not the mount. However, from the dimensions of the original - determined as 96.6 x 143.8 mm, using Adobe Photoshop's "Image Size" query on the scanned image - it must have been a cabinet card.

Charles Robinson was a younger brother of my great-grandmother Amy Payne née Robinson (1867-1932). He was born on 21 September 1872, the third child of Daniel Robinson (1837-1910) and Emma née Bacon (1842-1900) of 9 New Forester Street, St Werburgh's parish, Derby. His father Daniel was a Derby Borough police constable, promoted to the rank of sergeant in the late 1870s, when they also moved to 74 Fleet Street. The inscription on the headstone states:
In Loving Memory of Charles, son of Daniel and Emma Robinson, Born Sept. 21st 1872. Died Sept. 21st 1889. "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord."
From information provided by my father, Charles Robinson was buried in the Nottingham Road Cemetery. I suspect that the photograph was taken at least a year or two after Charles Robinson's death, as the grass has already grown up in front of the headstone.

View Larger Map

A quick Google search of "Nottingham Road Cemetery Derby" brings up several useful hits on the first page, including:

- A Google map and satellite image showing the address, location of, and directions to the Nottingham Road Cemeteries.

- The web site of the Derby City Council, which administers the cemetery - this provides cemetery details and facilities, as well as contact details and opening times for the Cemeteries Office.

- An article by Peter Seddon on the Bygone Derbyshire web site entitled Nottingham Road Cemetery - Derbeians at Rest - this gives some brief historical notes, describing it as having opened in 1855 as Derby's first municipal cemetery, and extended several times - it is still in use.

Image © and courtesy of GoogleMaps

- Mike Smith's Pictures of Derby web site has a page with several images of the cemetery, including the grand main entrance and lodges, and one of the two mortuary chapels, designed by acclaimed Derby architect H.I. Stevens in the gothic style, and which are shown in the portion of satellite image above.

Image © and collection of C.B. Payne

These buildings have a particularly characteristic shape, and it is possible to recognise one of the chapels in the background of the Charles Robinson headstone photograph, as shown in the enlarged image above.

Image © and courtesy of GoogleMaps

Examination of the angle of the roofs, and the position of the chapel in relation to the main entrance - mostly hidden behind the tree - suggests that Charles Robinson's headstone is either to the WNW of the western chapel, or to the ESE of the eastern chapel, as shown approximately in the image above.

Image © and courtesy of GoogleMaps

A closer examination shows that the graves in the western area are facing in the wrong direction in relation to the photographer's view - actually at an oblique angle - but that those in the eastern area would face towards the photographer, roughly as shown in the photograph. It's difficult to estimate the distance away from the chapel, but least with an approximate direction, a search can be made in the graveyard for the headstone. It is likely that the cemetery office will also have a record of the position of this grave.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to alert readers to my new blog, The South Derbyshire Graveyard Rabbit, which will feature graves and graveyards from South Derbyshire. This particular photograph hasn't made it there, because it doesn't fit into my fairly strict definition of "South Derbyshire."

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Moorhay Farm, Old Brampton & J.H. Gaunt of Chesterfield

Bill Addy recently sent me an interesting photograph of a farmyard scene, with some questions about the date it might have been taken, and who the photographer might have been.

Image © and courtesy of Bill Addy

The photo, as we have been told, is of Moorhay Farm near Old Brampton showing my paternal great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Edward and Emma (Hardwick) Addy. They leased the farm from the Sitwell family and were the last of the Addys to farm there. Edward died in 1882 and Emma in 1885, both at Moorhay Farm. Both sons, John & Edward (my grandfather), as I understood it, were considered too young to continue farming there ... My grandfather emigrated a few years later to Canada & USA. The photo then must be in or prior to 1882.

Image © and courtesy of Bill Addy

I am attaching the matted photo and reverse side (the writing I believe to be my father's notation).

Image © and courtesy of Bill Addy

Also as the name JH Gaunt, Chesterfield is almost invisible on the photo I did a rubbing of the name and have also added that to the attachments. I have an interest in the photo but also in the Gaunt name as that was my grandmother Addy's maiden name (Mary Louisa Gaunt). But the only JH Gaunt is a John Henry Gaunt born 1857-8 , a 1st cousin of my grandmother. I can not find him in any directory I have. He was listed in the census as a musician, organist and owned a music store, and was married to Mennette Ball.

My original thinking was that this was a photographer, but having looked around, including your list of Derbyshire photographers, now am of the opinion he probably was in the picture framing business. Might you have any knowledge of this JH Gaunt. Was he the photographer or simply a framer? Also can you give me an approximate date for the photo?
I tried to digitally enhance the blindstamp from the original scanned image, but couldn't get a much better result than Bill's pencil rubbing. However, it's enough to show that it must have been a professionally produced embossing stamp.

Image © and courtesy of Bill Addy

My take is that it would be very unusual for a person merely mounting the photograph on the card to have "signed" their name using a blind stamp on the front of the card mount in this manner. If anything, the framer or picture mounter would use a label on the reverse. However, it was very common for photographers to use this method, particularly if they had a small output, were just starting out, or perhaps took photographs as a sideline. It meant that the photographer could put his mark on a photo in a fairly professional manner, without going to the significant expense and committment of ordering several hundred mounts printed with his or her name.

The photograph itself is a rather difficult one to date. The working clothes worn by the elderly man and woman would have changed little over the decades, and I suppose it is conveivable that from this alone, it could have been taken any time from the 1880s through to the early 1900s. The mount looks to me somewhat later, and I wonder if J.H. Gaunt has mounted an old print at a later date, or perhaps copied the print and mounted it later. If you had not mentioned anything about the date, I would probably have estimated that it was taken in the 1890s or early 1900s.

Then there is the matter of exposure times - the fact that most of the chickens, ducks and perhaps the odd goose are fairly sharp makes me think that a relatively short exposure time was used. This would have been possible by around 1880, provided that there was plenty of sunlight, such as in this outdoor setting. However, I think it's unlikely to have been much earlier. According to Brian Coe's The Birth of Photography (Spring Books, London, 1989, IBSN 0 600 56296 4), the invention of dry-plate photography by Charles Bennett in London in 1878, and the resulting swift introduction of "faster" emulsions, meant that much shorter exposure times were achievable - up to a tenth of what had been the norm.

John Henry Gaunt was born c. 1858 at Brampton, the only son of Henry Gaunt (1830-1908) and Esther Doe (1830-1878), and as a young man he followed his father into the butcher's trade. Both are listed as butchers in the 1881 Census and in the 1887 edition of Kelly's trade directory. By 1891, however, JHG was describing himself as a teacher of music, living at 64/66 Chatsworth Road, New Brampton. He was married in 1892 to Mennette Ellen Ball, and by 1895 (Kelly) he was a "teacher of music & musical instrument dealer" at 77 Chatsworth road, Chesterfield. The 1899 edition of Kelly's shows him as a "musical instrument dealer" of West bars, Chesterfield, and the 1901 census as a "Musical Inst. Dealer & Teacher of Music" working from home on his own account at 2 Clarence Rd, Chesterfield. Kelly (1912) shows him again as a "musical instrument dlr." at 39 West bars, Chesterfield. I found not a single reference to him working as a photographer.

Extract from Letter by Mr S.E. Hudson of Matlock Road, Chesterfield in an unidentified newspaper article, dated ...uary 18, 1975 (courtesy of Bill Addy)
Mr J.H. Gaunt was for many years organist at the Soresby Street Congregational Church, until the early '30s. He had a musical instruments shop at the foot of Clarence Road, and was a teacher of music. He was a very gallant man inasmuch as being virtually crippled by arthritis he could only get about with great difficulty, nut none-the-less pursued his organist position ... The shop that Mr. Gaunt had was subsequently used by the late Dr. Reginald Cooper, the organist, as a music teaching studio, and at the present time is the antiques shop belonging to Mr. John Madin.
I suspect that he was either an amateur who had an embossing stamp made with which to "sign" his work, or more likely that he tried his hand at commercial photography, perhaps starting off by canvassing his extended family for potential clients. This excursion or sideline from his main profession as a music teacher and musical instrument dealer would not have been particularly unusual.

However, I am not at all certain about the date of the photograph, and would welcome opinions from readers, please.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Dale Cottage, Ingleby, Derbyshire

Many of the discussions of photographs featured on Photo-Sleuth have focussed on the people who were the subjects. However, in family history research it may sometimes be as instructive to examine and research the surroundings, such as a house, garden, or occasionally even a studio setting. I have previously written about houses built in Normanton, Derby by my gg-grandfather Henry Payne (link), and houses in Weston Underwood made from bricks made by my ggg-grandfather James Miller (link). In this article I will discuss a house which was occupied by my great-great-uncle Charles Hallam Payne (1870-1960) and his wife Sarah Emma née Parker (1870-1946) for over four decades.

Image © and collection of C.B. Payne
Ethel, Charles Bernard "Bud" & Charles Leslie Lionel "Les" Payne
taken on the lawn at Dale Cottage, Ingleby in late 1928 or early 1929
80 x 51 mm print, Collection of C.B. Payne

This photograph from my father's collection is possibly the earliest one of him which survives. My Dad Charles Bernard "Bud" Payne (1928-2006) was born at Allenton, near Derby, on 6 March 1928. He was the first child of Charles Leslie Lionel Payne (1892-1975) and Ethel née Brown (1894-1978), who had been married at St Augustine's Church, Normanton, Derby on 22 September 1926. My father, who looks as if he is eight to ten months old, is seated on his mother's lap, who in turn is seated next to her husband on a bench. My grandfather sits with his legs crossed, leaning forwards slightly, with his right arm around Ethel, and a cigarette in his left. The caption states that it was taken in 1939 - presumably early that year, given my father's apparent age - at Dale Cottage. Part of a white garden urn is visible in the left foreground.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison
Fred Payne, Charles Hallam Payne & Clarence Benfield "Benjy" Payne
taken on the lawn at Dale Cottage, Ingleby in August 1933
216 x 165 mm print, Collection of Barbara Ellison

Dale Cottage was, in fact, the residence of Bud's great-uncle Charles Hallam Payne (1870-1960), and the garden at Dale Cottage featured in another photograph, shown above, featured in a recent article on Photo-Sleuth. This showed "Uncle Hallam" with his younger brother Fred Payne and nephew Clarence Benfield Payne in the garden at Dale Cottage in August 1933. Also visible in the right middle ground is a similar white garden urn.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison
Dale Cottage, Ingleby, with Charles Hallam Payne in the doorway
Probably taken by C.B. Payne on 12 January 1952
Mounted print 151 x 106 mm on embossed white card 254 x 202 mm
Collection of Barbara Ellison

This mounted print from my aunt Barbara Ellison's collection shows Uncle Hallam in the doorway of Dale Cottage, the view showing an ivy-covered front facade of a two-storey house. It is unfortunately not dated. However, I think it likely that it was taken by my father, a keen photographer, on the same occasion as several other pictures in his collection.

Image © and collection of C.B. Payne
Dale Cottage, Ingleby, 12 January 1952
Probably taken by C.B. Payne
41 x 42 mm print, Collection of C.B. Payne

This more general view is dated, "12 January 1952," as is the portrait of Uncle Hallam standing in the doorway, shown below.

Image © and collection of C.B. Payne
Charles Hallam Payne at Dale Cottage, Ingleby, 12 January 1952
Probably taken by C.B. Payne
81 x 105 mm print, Collection of C.B. Payne

Image © and collection of Bud Payne
Charles Hallam Payne at Dale Cottage, Ingleby, 12 January 1952
Probably taken by C.B. Payne
60 x 84 mm print, Collection of C.B. Payne

My father also took several photographs of Uncle Hallam inside the front room at Dale Cottage, one of which is included above. According to my Dad and aunt, there were piles of books, newspapers and other papers absolutely everywhere - so much accumulated stuff that it was difficult to get around. In notes made by my father in 1996, he wrote:
There were half-crowns semi-secreted all over the house I believe; I remember these on the sideboard, to the left of which one squeezed past en route to the kitchen. It was necessary to squeeze because occupying the centre of the room ... was a Morrison shelter, with a double bed arrangement on top. The walls were covered with pictures including a number of Gresleys - grandfather and father, but not, I fancy, Harold and Cuthbert .... To the right of the little vestibule was a spare room, crammed with pictures on the wall, piled bound volumes of "The Connoisseur," etc.; and between the two main rooms was the staircase leading up to wardrobes, chests of drawers etc. which I can’t recall ever seeing. At the back was the kitchen, I think rather noisome after Auntie died but probably quite clean and wholesome during her reign.
One of those piles of books is visible in the background.

Image © and collection of Barbara Ellison
Charles Hallam Payne at Dale Cottage, Ingleby, 12 January 1952
100 x 128 mm print, taken by C.B. Payne and probably reprinted by Winter
Collection of Barbara Ellison

Another two portraits from this group most likely taken by my father exist in my aunt's collection. Both appear to have been reproduced, perhaps from the original negative, but more likely via a photographic reproduction, by Winter Ltd of Derby. The print has "260-18 Matt" inscribed in pencil on the reverse, whoich appear to be printing directions. A negative number (244185), the name "Payne" and more printing directions (3¼ Fol) are inscribed in pencil on the reverse of the mounted photo, shown below.

Image © and collection of Barbara Ellison
Charles Hallam Payne at Dale Cottage, Ingleby
3¼ Folio (83 x 109 mm) print mounted on 111 x 164 mm white card
Printed "Winter Ltd. Derby," and with decorated edge
Collection of Barbara Ellison

Hallam and Sarah moved to Ingleby after retiring shortly before the Great War from the grocery/off licence business in St James' Road, Normanton, Derby, which was taken over by Hallam's younger brother Fred. They were both still fairly young for retirement, being in their late forties, but leased Dale Cottage from the Foremark Estate with effect from 24 June 1914, initially for an annual rent of £16, rising to £24 by 1934.
Apart from rent collecting in Derby (for himself and sisters living in ‘the south’), shopping in Leicester and holidaying at places like Bournemouth and Great Yarmouth, what did he do in his retirement? Well, he read a lot, listened to the radio and watched television at least as early as 1952, walked around Ingleby, and probably talked with a lot of people.
My father recalled visiting them on his bike in late 1940 ...
Some time between then and the end of the year when Dad joined the army, I rang him at his office (R. Clayborn Ltd, builder, Shelton Lock) from Uncle Hallam’s house. I remember the call well, because Dad told me to take it easy going down ‘the Dale’, as I expect this must have been my first bike ride to Ingleby. (The Dale is steep: it drops from 232’ at the crossroads by the Cottage to 157’ near where the footpath to Anchor Church starts, a distance of under 400 yards.) I mention this incident to show that Hallam and Sarah were in telephonic touch with the outside world at least as early as 1940 and probably much earlier. So the doctor and motor mechanic could be called in when necessary!
Image © Brett Payne

These two photographs of Dale Cottage, taken on a visit that I made to South Derbyshire in June 1997, show the cross-roads, with the steep road leading down the Dale to Ingleby on the left.

Image © Brett Payne

He also remembered Uncle Hallam's interest, perhaps merely in passing, in the Danish barrow mounds then being excavated in nearby Heath Wood.
I suppose Hallam spoke on the phone to William Fraser of Stapenhill, Burton-upon-Trent ... Camden Clarke and William Fraser say that [in Vol LXVI, Journal of the Derbyshire Archaeological & Natural History Society, 1946] work at Heath Wood began ‘towards the close of 1941’, and it seems quite possible that Uncle Hallam began talking about the excavation around the time of my first bike ride to Ingleby. As I recall it, it was he who alerted WF to the existence of the cemetery, having heard about it from old Granny Cliffe (sp?) who lived in the village, and remembered hearing in her youth about Thomas Bateman’s 1855 excavation at the same site ... It’s unlikely that Granny Cliffe, if she talked to Uncle Hallam around 1940, would have seen Bateman at work in Heath Wood (then called ‘The Ferns’), but she may have discussed the excavation many years earlier ... The 1946 account of Heath Wood excavations doesn’t acknowledge any help from CHP, and not surprisingly, three reports of work carried out in 1949 and 1955 fail to mention him. I think it’s rather sad, but on the other hand, his role may be mythical ... But I don’t think Uncle Hallam really had any archaeological expertise.
Further reminiscences about Uncle Hallam's hoarding propensity included the following:
It’s most unfortunate that he and I never corresponded - all that seems to have happened in the year I left England is that I sent him a Christmas card and a few photographs, which I don’t believe he acknowledged. But he was busy! In describing a recent visit to Dale Cottage in 1954, Dad wrote, "He really is very wonderful; he is almost eighty three [actually almost 84] and doesn’t seem to alter a little bit in his ways. Nowadays, when I first arrive, he appears to be rather aged, but after an hour or so’s talking, mostly done by him, he seems to liven up and looks, as they say, 'as young again.' Incidentally he still does all his own work and cooking of course and he certainly gets proper meals." And he presumably read a lot - earlier the same year my Mother wrote, "I slipped over to see Uncle Hallam on Friday, only for a few minutes while the bus [weekly Trent service to Ingleby] waits there [at the crossroads] … My goodness - the clutter there in that room and what a job for somebody one day, why he saves newspapers by the hundred baffles me." A couple of years later: "I wonder if [he] still collects paper backs as he used to." In the summer of 1959 Uncle was in hospital for a couple of days, so my father and his cousin Harry (then living in Ambergate) took the opportunity to clean up the house a bit and burned masses of stuff in the field at the back. I went along for the ride. There wouldn’t have been time, I suppose, to sift through all of it, to identify and keep historically interesting papers: Anyway, I didn’t. Not having any old clothes I wasn’t allowed to help with this (?two day) job ....
Charles Hallam Payne died at the Home of Rest in Derby on 10th July 1960, two days after having been taken there for what he expected might be a lengthy stay.

About a year later, he died, and towards the end of 1960 my father wrote explaining how busy he had been: "Uncle Hallam’s estate, and particularly getting the house clear has been a terrific headache. I thought I knew the house and contents fairly well, but when it came to clearing the place I found how greatly I had underestimated the amount of rubbish he had collected. After all the furniture, pictures etc had been removed and piles of rubbish burned, we still had three large refuse wagon loads to take to the refuse tip and it took five men about seven hours to do this." Astounding. It is remarkable that the family papers which Uncle Hallam had shown me, and wanted me to have, survived. But how much else of value was lost? Though I know this happens every time someone dies, it seems particularly sad in this case because he had preserved so much.
Thus ended the Payne family's physical connection with Dale Cottage.

View Larger Map

Dale Cottage is shown on a satellite image on Google Maps (shown above), and in a rather nice recent photograph by Phil Myott (below) on the Geograph web site, which reveals that it has regained the external plastering apparently shed prior to the 1997 photographs included above.

Image © and courtesy of Phil Myott
Dale Cottage & Cross Roads near Ingleby, Derbyshire, 16 September 2006
© Copyright Phil Myott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Whitehead brothers of Derby

Fellow family historians will sympathize with my frustration at the number of old photographs in the family collections that are not annotated, and for which there is now nobody left alive to identify the subjects. In some of my articles I have been sharing ideas, tips and techniques by which such photographs may be researched, and for which there is a possibility of making tentative identifications. In one such article posted recently - Portrait of a young man in Derby, by Milton ... or perhaps Frost? - I made some progress with two turn-of-the-century portraits belonging to my aunt.

In this article, I present a photograph of a rather different nature, which can be equally as perplexing. The subjects are clearly identified by name ... the question is, "Who were they, and what connection did they have to my family?" To some, these photographs are peripheral to their ancestral research, and may be largely ignored. To me, however, they form an important part of the overall jigsaw puzzle that outlines the life of a particular ancestor or family group. To carry the analogy a little further, these photographs can add significantly to the background of the main character, in a puzzle without edges that won't ever be complete, but will be far more interesting than a series of dates and a simple outline of a life.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

This mounted large format print (72.5 x 98.5 mm on a pale beige and brown embossed card mount 140 x 165 mm) is typical of the little projects that I let myself get sidetracked on from time to time ... okay, quite a lot of the time. It shows three young men seated and standing in formal triangular arrangement in a garden setting. Two of them are dressed in suits, one wearing a trilby, the other a flat cap, while the third (seated at right) is in a military uniform and is holding a peaked forage cap on his right knee.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The uniform looks to me to be from the pre-Great War era. The cap badge is fairly clear - a passant lion with three words beneath it (the first word could be "THE" - but it's not clear which regiment it was from. It looks very much like this one which, according to Bernard Renshaw's web site, Military Regimental Cap Badges UK, is from the King's Own (Royal Lancashire Regiment).

Image © Bernard Renshaw and courtesy of Military Regimental Cap Badges UK

The front two men are seated on what looks like a slatted wooden garden seat, in front of which is a herbaceous border, and behind the group is the trellised front to a garden shed or similar structure. At the base of the card mount, hand written in black pencil or pen, are the names of the three men, Vincent, Cecil and Maurice.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The reverse of the card mount reveals, in the same handwritten black ink, "Vincent, Cecil and Maurice Whitehead." Subsequently, my aunt has printed below this, also in black ink, "CHARLES VINCENT PAYNE (STANDING)." However, I had some doubts about the identification of the Vincent in the photograph as my great-grandfather Charles Vincent Payne (1868-1941). The original caption suggested to me that the name of the man standing was Vincent Whitehead, not Payne, even though his face does have some superficial resemblance to CVP, as shown in the images below.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara EllisonImage © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison
"Vincent" in a fedora (left), and Charles Vincent Payne in a top hat (right)

I'm not aware of any genealogical connections to a family named Whitehead, so the next step was to find out who they were. The mount gives no indication of photographic studio or location. However, as my initial estimate of date was around 1910, and most of my aunt's family were living in and around Derby at that time, Derby was naturally the first place to look.

Image © the National Archives and courtesy of
Extract from 1891 Census: WHITEHEAD family,
53 Silverhill Rd, Litchurch, Derby, Derbyshire
National Archives Ref. RG12/2735/106/46/308
Image © the National Archives and courtesy of Ancestry

A search of the 1901 and 1891 Censuses (using indexed images from and various trade directories quickly turned up a Whitehead family in Derby with sons named Vincent, Cecil and Maurice, living first at 53 Silverhill Road, Litchurch (1891), then at 118 Richmond Road (1895) and 68 Normanton Road, Derby St Peter's (1899-1901). They were sons of Richard David Whitehead and Elizabeth Ann Barnett, who were originally from Manchester, but moved to Derby in early 1890, when Vincent Whitehead was eight and Cecil Barnett Whitehead was six. Maurice Whitehead was born in December 1890, shortly after their arrival. There were also four sisters, Annie, Minnie, Dorothy and Ethel. Richard D. Whitehead was employed as a science teacher (mechanical & civil engineering) at the Derby Technical College. Their mother died in early 1898, at the age of 37, and a paternal aunt Martha Ann Whitehead came to live with the family as a housekeeper, before their father remarried in late 1901.

Image © the National Archives and courtesy of

By this time, Cecil was a soldier, and the census of 31 March 1901 shows him in the infantry at Chatham Barracks in Kent. Vincent married in 1904 and Cecil did likewise in 1909. However it is Maurice who is shown in uniform, not Cecil, and I found a First World War medal card for Maurice, showing that he was a Sergeant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Regimental Number 33905).

Image © and courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The web site and database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show that Maurice Whitehead died on 26 September 1917, while serving with the 10th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and his name is commemmorated on Panels 63-65 of the Tyne Cot War Memorial (Certificate), 9 kilomteres to the north-east of Ieper (Ypres). It is obvious that he was killed or went missing during the Third Battle of Ypres, an offensive mounted by Imperial and Commonwealth forces to distract German attention from weakened French positions in the south, and culminated in the Battle of Passchendaele in November 1917.

Chris McCarthy has the following account of the actions on the V Corps front, covered by the 3rd Division and the 76th Brigade, during the Battle of Polygon Wood from 26 September to 3 October, in his book, "The Third Ypres - Passchendaele: The Day-by-Day Account" (Arms & Armour Press, London, 1995, ISBN 1 85409 217 0).
76th Brigade: On the right of the railway, the 2nd Suffolks and the 10th Royal Welsh Fusiliers advanced. Whilst encountering little resistance, they were briefly held up as they sought a crossing point over the Steenbeek, but they carried on to the Green Line. Aftre the railway had been crossed the attack lost momentum under heavy machine-gun fire from the station. The centre of Zonnebeke was entered by parties of the RWF and the Suffolks but the station held out and they could only get to within 200 yards of it. At 2.30 p.m. the first counter-attack was launched but this was easily repulsed. A more determined attack was made at 6.30 p.m. but was stopped with rifle and machine-gun fire ... the 10th RWF held 150 yards of the road running north-west from the church.
While I've discovered a fair amount about the Whitehead brothers, I'm really no nearer to discovering what the connection was to my Payne family. There are, however, several possibilities. Vincent (born 1881) and Cecil (born 1884) were of a similar age to my great-grandfather's youngest brother Fred Payne (1879-1946) and sisters Lucy Mary Payne (1876-1953), Lily Payne (1882-1968) and Helen Payne (1883-1933). Maurice (born 1890) was more a contemporary of my grandfather Charles Lesley Lionel Payne (1892-1975). I'm hoping that one day, either I will come across further clues to add to the picture, or that someone researching the Whitehead family will stumble across this article.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Mary Ann Parker née Lunn (1852-1885) of Midway, Derbyshire

This is one of the earliest positively identified portraits in the family collection, courtesy once again of my aunt Barbara Ellison.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

It is a standard carte de visite with square corners and a simple square blue line frame around the photograph, which is a full length portrait of a woman seated on a chair, holding a sleeping baby. There is no photographer's name or mark on the card mount. The setting is also very simple with a plain, light coloured canvas backdrop resting directly on the bare ground, evidenced by what appear to be small stones in the foreground. There is no carpet or other floor covering, and the chair is obscured by the sitter. It may be because the portrait has been taken outdoors, in bright sunlight, that it is perhaps a little over-exposed, and the woman's clothing is not easy to make out. From what can be seen, however, and the card design, I estimate that it was probably taken by a travelling photographer in the late 1860s or early 1870s.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The woman, who looks to be in her twenties, or early thirties at the latest, is facing the photographer full on, and holds the baby in what appears to be a rather awkward position, slightly away from her body. She doesn't have a very happy or comfortable expression on her face. The baby is amply clothed, with a shawl which has a triple-line edge design; its head is lolling forwards, and one can just see a tiny hand poking out of the clothes, firmly grasping the mother's thumb.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The reverse of the card mount has two inscriptions, as shown in the enlarged image above (click on the image for a full version showing its position on the card). The upper one is handwritten in pencil or black pen, "My dear Mother." The lower one, in blue ink, capitals, and in a different hand, states, "AUNT SARAH'S MOTHER."

I recognise the latter handwriting as that of my aunt - her "Aunt Sarah" was more exactly her great-aunt (and in turn my great-great-aunt) Sarah Emma Payne née Parker (1870-1946). Many of the photographs in my aunt's collection were inherited by her father from his uncle, and Sarah's husband, Charles Hallam Payne (1870-1960) when he died in 1960, and no doubt this was among them. Even though Sarah was not a direct ancestor of mine, I have researched her family in some detail, since the relationships were rather complicated. Uncle Hallam, as he was known, had married his second cousin - in fact, Sarah was a cousin twice over, as both his father Henry Payne (1842-1907) and his mother Henrietta Christina Benfield (1843-1914) were cousins of Sarah's mother Mary Ann Parker née Lunn (1852-1885), as shown in the simplified chart below.

Image created with SmartDraw 2009

Mary Ann Lunn was born at Midway, near Swadlincote, on 24 January 1852, the seventh child of a labourer William Lunn (1814-1887) and his wife Dorothy née Benfield (1814-1895). Her father William had worked as an agricultural labourer and a waggoner, but by 1861 was a colliery labourer. Mary Ann was only seventeen when she married a coal miner, William Parker (1850-1923) from nearby Newhall, on Christmas Day 1869 at Swadlincote.

Image © National Archives & courtesy of

She was obviously pregnant, as a daughter Sarah Emma Parker was born less than six months later on 7 June 1870. The 1871 Census, enumerated on 2 April, shows James, Mary Ann and Sarah Emma (aged 9 months) living next door to her parents, William & Dorothy Lunn, at Midway. They had a second daughter, also named Mary Ann Parker, who was born on 12 August 1871 and baptised at Swadlincote a few weeks later on 1 October. Sadly, she lived only six months and was buried at Swadlincote on 15 February 1872.

Image © National Archives & courtesy of

A son William Parker was born on 21 October 1877 at Newhall, but by census night on 3 April 1881 they were back living in Midway. Mary Ann Parker died four years later, and was buried at Newhall on 10 July 1885.

If the portrait was taken in the early 1870s, as I have estimated, then the baby must be either Sarah Emma or her sister Mary Ann, who died in infancy. However, Aunt Sarah wrote on the back, "My dear Mother," not "My dear Mother and sister," so I believe the baby is mostly likely to be Sarah herself.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara EllisonImage © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

This carte de visite shows Sarah Emma Parker when she was aged about nineteen or twenty. It was taken at the studio of George Renwick of Burton-upon-Trent, probably in 1889 or 1890, and has a negative number 10084. A portrait by this photographer with a similar card mount and a negative number 12510, dated 1892, is included in my portfolio of this photographer.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Portrait of a young man in Derby, by Milton ... or perhaps Frost?

This carte de visite comes from the collection of my aunt, Barbara Ellison, and was scanned by my brother and I during the course of several visits there in October last year.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The photograph, a vignetted head-and-shoulders portrait, appears from the gilt printing on the glossy dark green card mount to have been taken by William Milton at the Victoria Studio, St Peter's Street, Derby. Adamson (1997) shows Milton to have worked from these premises from 1898 until 1900, although as discussed in a previous article on this blog, I have shown that Thomas Frost was already occupying the studio by February 1900. Certainly, by April 1901 Milton appears to have abandoned the photographic profession and was working as a railway clerk in Peterborough.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

However, the carte de visite appears to have been supplied in the pre-printed semi-transparent envelope shown above, which has the name of Thomas Frost, who succeeded Milton at the Victoria Studio, 26½ St. Peter's Street, Derby in late 1899 or early 1900. This suggests the possibility that the portrait may have been taken shortly after Frost took over, and that he used a card mount from Milton's old stock, disguising it with a far cheaper envelope printed with his own name. The cdvs shown below are two examples of the card mounts used by Frost when he did get his own printed (courtesy of Marilyn McMillan), and they are fairly similar in design to the one used by Milton.

Image © & courtesy of Marilyn McMillanImage © & courtesy of Marilyn McMillan

This seems to have happened fairly often, and is understandable. When a photographer took over a studio, he would not only be investing in the location, but would often inherit the collection of glass negatives built up by the previous proprietor and, if his predecessor had been any good, a certain amount of goodwill. Another example is shown by the case of the Victoria Chambers, owned by Clement Rogers and then taken over by J.W. Price who used identical card mounts (see previous article). It is interesting to note that Rogers took his remnant stock of Derby card mounts with him, and had them overprinted with the address of his new premises in St Leonards on Sea.

Back to the portrait in question, which was therefore probably taken in late 1899 or early 1900. It shows an unidentified young man in a smart white shirt with stiff collar, jacket and tie. Unfortunately, he was not recognised by my aunt. He appears to have the shadow of a nascent moustache on his upper lip, and I suspect that he is in his late teens. The most obvious candidate would be my great-grandfather Charles Vincent Payne's youngest brother, Fred Payne (1879-1946), who was still living with his parents at 139 St James Road, Normanton (Derby) at this time, even though he is shown as a "grocer and shopkeeper" operating on his "own account" in the 1901 Census.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The cabinet card portrait shown above, also from my aunt's collection, has a glossy dark brown card mount with no studio name or any identifying marks whatsoever. However, the subject looks so similar to that of the Milton/Frost portrait that I think it must be the same person, albeit a couple of years later, by which time his hair has grown somewhat.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

The earliest positively identified photograph that I have of Fred Payne was taken three deacdes later, and is displayed above, showing him with a hat, possibly taking notes, at left, on the lawn at Dale Cottage (near Ingleby) in August 1933. Dale Cottage was for many years the home of his older brother Charles Hallam Payne (1870-1960), who is shown in the middle, and the latter's wife Sarah Emma Parker (1870-1946). Fred's second son, Clarence Benfield Payne (1907-1982) is standing at the right. An enlarged view of Fred (below) suggests, at least to me, that it could well be the same person as the young man shown in the earlier portraits discussed above.

Image © and courtesy of Barbara Ellison

Unfortunately Fred's grandson, who I met in Derby last year, has no pictures of his grandfather and, as he was only four when Fred died, is unlikely to have many memories of what he looked like. However, it may be worthwhile sending him some copies of these photographs to see if they ring any bells.


Indexed images of the 1841-1901 Census from Ancestry and the National Archives
Adamson, Keith I.P. (1997) Professional Photographers in Derbyshire 1843 - 1914, The PhotoHistorian, No. 118 Supplement, September 1997, ISSN 0957-0209.
Kelly's Trade Directories for Derbyshire, University of Leicester's Historical Directories
Craven, Maxwell (ed.) (1993) Derby Photographers 1852-1952, in Keene's Derby, Breedon Books, Derby, pp. 200-202, ISBN 1-873626-60-6

Monday, 20 October 2008

7th Edition of Smile for the Camera - Oh Baby!

7th Edition of Smile for the Camera - A Carnival of Images - Oh! Baby

Here is my entry for the 7th Edition of Smile for the Camera - A Carnival of Images, with the theme Oh! Baby, which will be hosted by FootnoteMaven on Shades of the Departed.

Image © and collection of Brett Payne

There's not really much to sleuth in this photograph, although there is an easily spotted clue there to my Dutch heritage. That's me on the left - none to pleased about something - with my friend Tapua Mushunje and his mum, Christina, on the verandah of our house in Nyanga (Zimbabwe). It must have been taken in late 1961 or early 1962. I have no idea what happened to Tapua.

Furs from Canada?

Image © and courtesy of Lynne Tedder

A couple of months ago, I featured this portrait of my gg-grandmother Eliza Sheales Miller née Newman (1844-1919) in an article about the Millers of Weston Underwood. She is adorned with furs which, according to my cousin Lynne Tedder from St John, Alberta, Canada, were sent back from Saskatchewan by her emigrant sons, Frederick Newman Miller (1885-1958) and Bertram Archibald Miller (1886-1979).

Image © and collection of Charles Bernard Payne

The other day, while browsing some scans of unidentified photographs from my own family collection, I came across the image shown above, was reminded of the Miller-Canadian furs connection, and wondered whether the furs being worn by this younger woman might also have emanated from the Miller branch in Canada.

When I scanned it, about ten years ago, I wasn't genealogically or historically savvy enough to either scan the full extent of the card mount or to make notes as to the photographer and/or location. Nor do I currently have access to the original photograph from which this image was scanned, so I can't even be sure of the size, although I believe from the dimensions that it was probably a carte de visite. As a very rough estimate, height/width ratios of the photographic prints on cabinets cards (not the card mounts themselves!) are around 1.38-1.45, while those for cartes de visite are usually a little higher at 1.52-1.64.

Image © and collection of Charles Bernard Payne

The woman has posed in a studio setting, with a backdrop depicting a rural scene, two pillars, presumably made of plaster (and, I might add, rather battered in appearance and not very well placed), and a rather poorly disguised carpet edge. From her clothes I estimate that it was probably taken in the early 1900s, and she appears to be in her mid- to late thirties or early forties.

I haven't been able to identify this woman in any other family photographs, so it is something of a mystery as to who she might be. If I am correct in my estimation of the date of the photograph and her age, then she was possibly born in the 1860s or early 1870s. John and ELiza Miller's children were born between 1870 and 1888, the oldest four being the daughters Minnie Daykin (1870-1956), Edith Brown (1872-1956) (my great-grandmother), Florrie Buxton (1874-?) and Gertie Shimmin (1876-1941). I have photographs of both Edith Brown and Gertie Shimmin, and don't believe this woman could be either of them. It is also possible that it may be one of John & Eliza's daughters-in-law, although I think this less likely. Wilfred Miller was born in 1878 and married in 1904; presumably his wife Eliza was of a similar age. The other sons were even younger.

Fortunately, I am in touch with grand-daughters of both Minnie Daykin and Florrie Buxton, and so my next step will be to send copies of the photograph to them, and see if they are able to help with the identification.

Image © and collection of Charles Bernard Payne

One other potential clue is the jewellery worn by the woman. Although it is not very clear in the original scan, I have tried to enhance the relevant portion in the scan above, revealing what appear to be a star-shaped brooch at her neck, and possibly a pendant locket, hanging on a fairly thick chain. It is possible that this jewellery has survives, and may be recognised by some family member.
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