Since the weekend before Christmas, I’ve been sharing some of the old photos that I’ve not researched, from my collection, for my followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to try and solve.
These are the results so far…can you add more? Are any of these connected to your family?
I asked: A small picture Christmas card. It has the sender’s address. First, of my little puzzles, I’ve not researched at all & nothing else is written on the card. Is there anything that can be found out about this?
So I had a couple of people discover who Horace was.
Then Gina on Facebook went a bit further with her research: ‘Albert Horace Beck & Phyllis Mary Beck were living at that address in 1937/1938. By 1939 they had moved to 3 “White House” Cricklade Road, Highworth, Wiltshire. Albert was a publicity manager for the cinema. 2 girls on the 1939 Register but definitely had another girl pre-1939. The picture looks like it is Phyllis (images of her on a published tree) Phyllis was Albert’s second wife, who divorced in 1934 (article in the newspaper)’. ‘He had been married before. The divorce is in the papers. Phyllis was quite a bit younger than Albert and was cited in the divorce‘.
My second puzzle: Today we have a lovely Mum & Daughter Old Photo & photographer took this in Dorchester, Dorset, someone, not me, has written ’not sure’ I think that’s for the name of the daughter?
Gina from my Facebook Page: ‘Frederick George Bull married Mary Elizabeth Barber Dorchester in 1899. Daughter, Eva Bull b Mar 1911 Dorchester Mothers Maiden Name Barber. Frederick was a bricklayer, working for Messrs Cooper and Sons, Builders. Living Litton Cheney, Dorset in 1921. With Mary E, sons Frederick G b 1903 Charminster, Dorset. Arthur H b 1906 and Eva b 1911 Charminster, Dorset.
Daughter Eva married Tom Mentern, in 1936, in Dorchester. The couple were living with their son John (Frederick J) at Rose Cottage, Lower Rew, Dorchester in 1939. Tom competed in the Dorchester Agricultural Society’s annual ploughing and hedging competition held at Cokers Frome in 1932 apparently the competition was fierce. Eva passed away, in Weymouth, in 1986. Tom passed away a year earlier n 1985. Son Frederick J married but can’t find any issue.‘
Linda on Twitter had the same results: “Mary Elizabeth BARBER married on 23 Dec 1899 at St George Fordington, Dorset to Frederick George BULL, 7 children all born Dorchester, Reginald 1900, Gertrude 1901, Frederick 1903, Arthur 1906, twins Alice and Rachel 1908, and Eva 1911 “
My third Puzzle: This one is I think probably going to be a bit harder. For a start, I have no area and Father and son both have the same name and it’s not an uncommon one.
A few people on Twitter and my Facebook page thought that this could be Grandfather and Grandson, which doesn’t make it any easier to solve though, do you have any John Robinson’s in your Family Tree? As yet this one is unsolved.
Next Puzzle: A young baby girl in December 1915🤔
What happened to her after 1915 I wonder. Can you find her story 🤔🧩
Gina from Facebook excelled on this puzzle! A huge amount of information and a photo too: Muriel Aileen Legge. Father Frederick S G, a shipwright, working for the Admiralty Naval Construction Co., Her Majesties Dockyard, Portsmouth, Mother Alice (MMN Watton). Living 37 Heyshott Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire (1921). She was educated at Portsmouth High School for Girls. She attained her London General School Examination Certificate with Honours, gaining a distinction in English, Latin & French (Hampshire Telegraph 3 June 1932). In 1935 Muriel gained her BA with Honours, passing her London University Degree exam at Portsmouth Municipal College (Hampshire Telegraph 16 Aug 1935)
In 1937 she was an attendant at her friend Marjorie Hind’s wedding at St Mark’s Church, North End. She wore a dress of rose pink taffeta with a knee-length coat of flowered mauve ninon with a cap to match. Her sheaf bouquet was of pink carnations tied with deep mauve taffeta ribbon (Hampshire Telegraph 10 Sept 1937). Her friend was a teacher at Portsdown Hill Infant School. In 1939 Muriel was an Elementary School Teacher in Winchester, living in Oban? House.
Aileen married Edwin J Gurd, in 1941, in Bath. Edwin was a proficient footballer (goalkeeper) having played for Portsmouth Football Club and Newport Isle of Wight. At the time of their marriage, he was serving with the Bristol Police Constabulary, having joined in May 1939. A full report of the wedding with some lovely details in the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 13 Sept 1941. They had 3 children, a son in Bristol and a son and daughter in Portsmouth. Edwin passed away in 1987 and Muriel in 2002.
Dana on Twitter said: Muriel travelled to New York City in 1936 with her mother Alice. She was not yet working as a teacher, though her mother was. Muriel was 5 ft 6, with brown hair and brown eyes. (I also found her wedding announcements.)
Susan from Twitter found her too: Born July 1915 in Portsmouth. Living in Winchester in 1939. Married a Gurd in 1941
Glyn from Twitter said: Looks like they had three children. One sadly passed away as a young man, but the other two are still around. I have a ‘last known address’ for one of them, and the property hasn’t been on the market since then, so they’re quite possibly still there (in Portsmouth)
Judith from Twitter shared this and the beautiful Wedding Photo below: She was a B A from London University. Died in 2002. Noted as an elementary school teacher and has the best newspaper wedding headline I have seen “Teacher weds Footballer” with a beautiful wedding photo as well. All from Find My Past.
Super information on that Puzzle! This next Postcard photo is fabulous!
Gina from Facebook said: Mrs Laura Rosina Stevens, nee Wookey b 1873, Langford, Somerset. Married Walter John Stevens 1895, Barton Regis.1911 Census living Ivanhoe, Kensington Hill, Brislington. Walter was not at that address in 1911 or with the family in 1901 when they were living 37 West Street, Bristol. 6 children 4 alive in 1911, William John Wookey b 1897, Cissie (Matilda Elizabeth) b 1899, Ethel b 1901 and 2 deceased. Francis Rowland b 1903 & Rowland Albert b 1902.
I wonder where the pet name Cissie came from, when she is Matilda Elizabeth. My gran was Christina Maud, yet had “Cissie” on her gravestone, and my mum was named Cecilia Jessie.
Paul on Facebook wrote: Walter John Stevens joined the Gloucestershire Regt. in 1892 which probably accounts for his not being around at census time. Odds on that he was abroad in S. Africa – Boer Wartime. He died in 1929 in Bristol.
I wrote on this next Puzzle: The next Puzzle was actually two in one. First, who were the lovely Grandma & Grandad in this photo? Secondly, who were Reg & Vi? If all are related it would be very helpful I should think dated 1937.
Gina once again found some great information from her research: Albert Ernest Cowan and his wife Maria Westlake. Confirmed as there is the same photo on a Cowan Ancestry tree. Reginald Gordon Cowan b 14 Mar 1899 2nd marriage to Violet Beatrice Standlake b 30 June 1896 Sept Q 1937, Plymouth. His 1st wife Frances Elizabeth Selina Smith passed away in late 1936, Plymouth
Reginald and Frances married in 1920 in Plymouth and had 5 children. The youngest, the Pauline noted on the back of the card? Was born in 1931, in Plymouth. Children:- Francis G b 1921, Plymouth William H K b 1923, Plymouth. Albert J S b 1925, Plymouth. David D W b 1927, Plymouth. Pauline E M b 1931, Plymouth. Pauline noted on the card. Reginald’s 1st wife Frances passed away aged just 42 in 1936 Plymouth. Reginald’s parents “Grandma & Grandad Cowan” are Albert Ernest Cowan, b 9 June 1873, Stonehouse, Devon. D 14 Oct 1956, Stratton, Cornwall and Maria Westlake b 24 Apr 1872, Walkhampton, Devon. D 17 July 1955. Albert was a Post Office Sorting Clerk (1911) his son Reginald followed in his footsteps also working for the Post Office as a Postman (1939).
Dave Annal on Twitter (Lifelines Research also found the marriage record:
This photo & discoveries resulted in a chat about marriages on Twitter after Dave of Lifelines Research found the same photo on Ancestry on a Public Tree, he clarified: The details have changed over the years but originally (i.e. from 1 July 1837) births were to be registered within 42 days of the event and deaths within 5 days. Yes, all English and Welsh marriages are registered on the day of the event. The registration of the marriage is part of the ceremony and I wrote the book. And here it is if you want to treat yourself over Christmas or in the New Year, an excellent book. You can contact Dave Annal here: https://lifelinesresearch.co.uk/
Gina on Facebook found this extra information on Albert. From the Western Morning News 21 May 1932:
This next Puzzle was another tough ask. Mrs James. Bolton House. Not much to go on really.
Gina says this is A POSSIBLE? Trying to work out the connection between the James brothers? and the deceased Frederick Wyatt of Bolton House.” Probate Court (England and Wales), Calendar of Grants of Probate and Administration, Wills and Admins — 1890. WYATT Frederick Esq . 31 July. Personal Estate £280 4s 11d Resworn: £28,546 11s 1d
The Will of Frederick Wyatt formerly of 6 Hyde-Park-square but late of Bolton House Bolton gardens Chiswick both in the County of Middlesex Esquire who died 18 September 1889 at Bolton House was proved at the Principal Registry by Daniel Thomas James of Scarborough in the County of York Postmaster and William John James of Plymouth in the County of Devon and Spencer James of Exeter in the County of Devon Post Office Superintendents the Executors.” http://www.green.gen.name/james/Sources.htm
5 possible Mrs James’, their mother Rebecca James nee Hunt and the wives of the brothers.
Daniel Thomas James married Jane Beazley 1864. William John James married Sarah Whales
Spencer James married Mary Jane Spencer 1864. There appears to be another brother John b 1860 mum Rebecca would have been 49. John married Harriet Jane Tutton in 1904. The James boys father was according to census records a bricklayer and later brickmaker, living in Hampshire. Although on his son William John James marriage to Sarah Whale his occupation is given as stonemason.
Completely different background to Frederick Wyatt who was the son of Sir Matthew Wyatt, an architect of 6 Hyde Park Square. “Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt (1820-1877) was a prominent member of the Wyatt dynasty of architects. He was Secretary of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and collaborated with Isambard Kingdom Brunel on Paddington Station (1852-54), where his scheme “introduced a Moresque note” (Curl 210). As Surveyor of the East India Company, he also collaborated with Sir George Gilbert Scott on the India Office, advising his climb-down in the Battle of the Styles (see Turnor 84-85), and designing, for example, its magnificent Durbar courtyard there (1867). This is seen as his masterpiece, “a tour de force of Italian Renaissance architecture and Minton’s majolica” (Waterhouse and Robinson, “Wyatt, Sir Matthew Digby”). It is perfectly clear from this exotic space that he was much influenced by Owen Jones, with whom he was closely associated (see Stuart Durant’s commentary on the station, last paragraph).
Amongst other works, he designed the impressive Rothschild Mausoleum of 1866 in the Jewish Cemetery at West Ham. He won the RIBA Gold Medal in 1866 (Allinson 10), and in 1869 was appointed the first Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge. He also served as Vice-President of the RIBA. Having long had ties with Monmouthshire in Wales through his uncle Arthur, a land agent there, Wyatt had married into a Welsh family, and was buried in the churchyard of the Priory Church of St Mary, Usk” https://victorianweb.org/art/architecture/wyattmd/index.html
Gina ends……Hmmmmm. Curiouser and curiouser!!!!
The date of the card I was not sure about but was thinking 1910s mainly because of the type of card the photo is on, but it’s difficult to pin it down really, so Gina said this would rule out Rebecca, Jane, Mary Jane & Sarah, all died pre 1900.
Spencer Theodore James, son of Spencer James married Edith in 1888 and Spencer senior married wife number 2, Laura Darby (Laura Frances Rebecca Darby) in 1903. Laura was 27 years younger than Spencer, not passing away until 1956, Spencer senior passed away in 1908.
Christmas Eve Puzzle was an easier one. A lovely Mum & her two children. Thelma & Eric. What happened to them I wonder.
Linda on Twitter was first with this one: Thelma R Truscott born in 1940 Bodmin, her brother Eric J Truscott born in 1943 St Austell, both in Cornwall, children of Eric Oswald Truscott and Muriel Irene Harris who married 1939 St Austell, Thelma married 1969 to Robert Hawkey had one daughter, Eric married 1979 to Susan Knapman no children
Steve on Facebook said: Looks to me like Thelma Mabel Truscott (b.1906) and her younger brother Lionel Eric Truscott (b.1908), both US America Resident but British Subjects by Parentage. Mother was Rose Eliza Truscott, a teacher in Devon according to the 1911 Census. She is listed as Head although her status says Married. She died 1956 at the age of 77. He is matching Judith’s finds below.
Judith also on Twitter thought it was this family: I think it’s Thelma Mabel Truscott 21 Nov 1905 and Lionel Eric Truscott 5 July 1907, in the 1911 census in Kilmington Devon as US citizens with their mother a teacher Rose Eliza Truscott b 1879 Hampshire. Then a school record for them both in Clyffe Pypard, Wiltshire in 1913. 1913 in Clyffe Pypard gives their exact birth dates and the fact that their mother was the teacher there. 1921 Lionel Eric is with parents in Catley school in Marlborough, Thelma Mabel is in Swindon as a student. Both states born Utah, USA but with British parents. Thelma marries Hampshire in 1930 to Hubert R Young, and dies in 1993. Both are in the 1939 register. Lionel may have gone to Australia?
What a coincidence for two families to match these details but it looks like Judith and Steve have it as the dates of the children’s births match and it is the correct era for this postcard photo.
This next Puzzle for Christmas Day I said: Old Postcard from Minnie & Alf? Xmas 1916. Showing a beautiful photo of Donald aged 4 months oldIs this an impossible Puzzle photo? Or can someone find out who this little family were? Photographers from Leeds, Yorkshire. I was surprised that 2 people found them! Well done!
Gina said: Cracked it. Found them in 1921 visiting the Robinsons. Leven, Yorkshire (East Riding), England. Alfred Mitchell b1887, woollen warehouse manager for Fearnside Bros, Russell Street, Leeds, his wife Minnie b1891, home duties and their son Donald Mitchell b1916. Minnies MMN was Robinson (Robertson on FreeBMD marriage)
Donald married Madge Verity, Tadcaster, 1938. According to the 1939 Register his birthday was 27 July 1916, He was a commercial motor bodybuilder. Madge was born on the 4th August 1916. In 1939 the young couple were living at 36 Penda’s Walk, Leeds, Leeds C.B., Yorkshire (West Riding), England.
In 1939 Alfred and Minnie are living at Main Street, Garforth, Garforth U.D., Yorkshire (West Riding), England. Alfred’s birthday is 13th April 1887 and he’s now a retail dealer. Minnie was born on 11 Sept 1891. Also living at that address was Sara A Mitchell (his mother?) b 1866. Sarah was incapacitated. Children Dorothy b 7 Aug 1921, Roy born 26 Aug 1923 and another redacted.
Dave Annal from Lifelines Research also found them! I think I’ve got them! Alf & Minnie MITCHELL, visiting family in Leven, nr. Hull in 1921 with their son, Donald, aged 4 years 11 months (therefore born July/August 1916). The age and names fit but the key is the handwriting for the MITCHELL family! An exact match with the photo!
Dave Says: They were staying with Minnie’s family and we can presume that her parents asked her to fill in the details for her own family – which are clearly written in a different hand to the rest of the schedule. Note that Alf worked in Leeds, where the photograph was taken…
My Boxing Day Puzzle: This looks to be an interesting Old Photos with a few clues in the writing of this Old Postcard Dated 1 July 1918. Can you find out who Grace & her family were?
Gina on Facebook found this: Dr Jowett could be Dr J H Jowett b 1864 Halifax. He was a Congregationalist Minister and spent some time in the USA. In May 1918 he took up a post at Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate. Could this be his safe arrival (from Carr’s Lane, Birmingham)? Any thoughts? Nothing to actually link him to anyone mentioned on card. Wonder which College Choir Grace belonged to?
Today’s Puzzle below is one for all Vintage Car lovers. Here is Arthur Ryner with his 1929 Ford Model AF. I wonder who he was?
I will update results for any of these Photo Puzzles in a few days if there is any more information from anyone.
Thank you so much to everyone for joining in, I have a few more days of Photo Puzzles still to come, sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Sincere apologies if I have missed anyone’s research out, I hope I haven’t! But let me know if I have.
Till next time then…