So who was Aunt Mary Diplock?🤔

We had a wander around the Crewkerne Antique Bazaar during the week and I found two cabinet cards, both together and one is named. But there the puzzle is because I have two options for Aunt Mary Diplock!

What a lovely lady.

The photo of the lady itself was taken around 1863-1866 I think, maybe to celebrate her 21st Birthday? This old photo is a reprint on a cabinet card by the photographer D. Blagrove & Sons and is typical of the design of their cards about 1897.

Lots more information about the Daniel Blagrove of Lewes photographer’s studios you can see here from the amazing website Photo History Sussex: https://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/LewesBlagrove.htm

Aunt Mary Diplock written on the back.

So looking at the name and results on Ancestry I had two possible ladies that stood out, the first one was born Mary Ann Diplock, this is her brief family history and the small tree I have put together for her, screenshot below, link here: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/181574376/family?cfpid=382361082662

Mary Ann Diplock was born in 1844 in Chiltington, Sussex, England, her father, David, was 40, and her mother, Henrietta (Reynolds) was 31. She married William Hillman on 12 August 1871 in Hamsey, Sussex. William was an Ag Lab (Agricultural Labourer) They had four children in 13 years. She died in October 1932 in Lewes, Sussex, at the age of 88. Her husband William had been previously married to Elizabeth Reeds and they also had had four children. When I looked at the 1871 census for William I was surprised to see that Mary Ann Diplock was his Housekeeper. His wife Elizabeth had died in the last quarter of 1869. Their last child Mary Ann Hillman was born in that quarter too so it could be likely that she died in childbirth. Their son Robert was with his Reed grandparents, his wife’s family and William looked after the remaining three children obviously with the help of a Housekeeper who on 12 August 1871 became his wife.

When I was looking at records for this lady I also found that someone had a photo attributed to her on their Ancestry Public tree. But as a much older lady.

Side by side photos here below. I was thrilled when I had a very quick response to my message to him, he is sure it’s one and the same lady, what do you think? It’s definitely looking more likely for me too.

I noticed on this chaps tree he also had a photo of one of her daughters in later life with her husband at the Wedding of their daughter in 1939 and there is definitely a family likeness in Clara I think.

Mary Ann’s daughter Clara Ada Hillman and husband Arthur George Lipscombe

These other two photos below I bought with the photo of Aunt Mary Diplock, unfortunately, no names, one is stuck on the back of the other! The same area of Sussex too, does anyone recognise them? Are they Diplock family? Do you have a similar image among your family photos?

Below is the brief family history of the second lady Mary Painter who married Stephen Diplock and became Mary Diplock.

Mary Painter was born in 1845 in Isfield, Sussex, her father, Thomas, was 43, and her mother, Ann (King), was 39. She married Stephen Diplock in January 1866 in Lewes, Sussex. They had two girls and five boys during their marriage. She died in October 1918 in Lewes, Sussex, at the age of 73.

This is a screenshot of their family tree above that I have compiled, direct link here:https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/181577229/family?cfpid=352367622923

of course, there is a possibility that the two family trees are connected by the Diplock family but I haven’t found the connection, not yet! I also haven’t been lucky enough to find any photos at all on Ancestry of this family, if you are part of either of these two families or have any photos that may help for comparisons please do get in touch!

When I put the comparison photos on Twitter yesterday and asked for opinions on whether they were the same lady, I had some who thought yes and some thought no, I had lots of really helpful suggestions, so thanks to everyone who commented!

My thoughts? I feel 90% sure it’s the same lady now I’ve seen the photo of Clara.

Till next time then…….

4 comments

    • I agree Lesley & too similar to not be thsame I think. If I look at photos of me at 20 & now I do see quite a few changes. I think also that some people change more than others. Lynn

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