This one’s a mystery, an old photo that had been so obscured by mold that you could barely even see that it was of people until I had a retoucher friend do some digital enhancement.
Based on the condition of the photo and the technique, I’m guessing it’s 1870s, if not earlier.
Sadly, there is no identifying information, although it was in a frame at my grandparents’ house in Brunswick, which signifies that it was an ancestor worth preserving.
Does anyone happen to know who it might be? The baby doesn’t quite have that classic Winsor forehead…
The blog has already connected us with another long lost cousin: Polly Winsor (born Mary Pickard Winsor), daughter of Paul Winsor Jr! She wrote me: “Hello cousin, I just came across the notebook of Robert Winsor, Jr. you put on Tumblr four years ago. Fascinating to me, that my father Paul Winsor Jr and his brother Felix, age 16 and 14 I think, with their father (mother Jessie is not mentioned and probably did not go with them) were in Bonita, CA in 1916. I was born in 1943 and never heard that my father had travelled anywhere. Are you still running the family blog? I have the photographs my grandmother Jessie Baldwin Winsor took and a few others from 19th and early 20th century. I hope you are well and still pursuing these matters.”
I guess that means I should post more from that train trip!
Now time for a couple of old photos of moms and their babies…
Above, a very sweet shot of Susan Revere (Baker) Winsor and…I assume Bobby? But maybe it’s one of his sisters? I can’t be entirely sure, but the baby certainly looks more boyish than girlish. (This is about as close as Susan ever comes to smiling in photos, by the way.)
Pammy responded: “I suppose the only real argument for that baby being Bobby is that it is a photo of Susan holding him alone, with no other children nearby. If it were of, say. Edie, one would expect Bobby standing by her side while she held baby Edie. Otherwise, the baby is so very young, who can tell?”
Lydia also chimed in: “How beautiful was our grandmother, Susan! Wow. I never knew her, though maybe my sisters did. I believe she died in 1961, when I was 6. I agree that the baby looks like a little boy.”
This one is over on the Coxe side of the family, but I recently came across an obituary and photo of my great-great-great-grandfather Charles Hutchins Doolittle, judge and mayor of Utica, New York (and briefly political opponent of his future in-law relative, Roscoe Conkling), who was lost at sea when he went overboard on the Abyssinia on his way from New York to England. It’s cool to see the similar appearance of the two men (beard and hairstyle, obviously popular in the Civil War era). May we all be so lucky as to be publicly remembered and praised for having “little patience for stupidity.”
Obituary of Charles Hutchins Doolittle:
Birth: Feb. 19, 1816
Death: May 21, 1874
To-day, while busy hands were preparing floral offerings for the graves of our fallen heroes, a painful rumor spread swiftly through the streets to the effect that Judge DOOLITTLE was dead. The rumor was too soon resolved into knowledge of the terrible fact. Nine days ago, shortly after the Abyssinia left New York on his way to England, via Queenstown, Ireland, for a vacation, bearing Judge DOOLITTLE as a passenger, he was lost overboard and drowned. In the meantime a loving family and countless friends were congratulating themselves on having induced him to take some needed rest, and were waiting in hopeful expectancy of a dispatch announcing his safe arrival at Queenstown. A cable telegram came to-day. But it bore no good news. It was signed by a friend who had accompanied the Judge, and it carried the awful tidings which we have already recorded.
In the immediate presence of a grief which the whole community shares, we turn sadly to the duty of sketching the life that is lost to us forever. CHARLES H. DOOLITTLE was born in Herkimer in 1816. He came of a family known and honored in the earlier annals of New England. The rudiments of his education were obtained at the Fairfield Seminary. He subsequently entered Amherst College, where he graduated with distinction. He immediately entered upon the study of his chosen profession, the law. He passed his preparatory years first, in the office of Mr. FORD at Little Falls, and afterward with DENIO & HUNT in this city. He was admitted to practice in 1839, and rose by slow but satisfactory degrees to the highest rank in a calling where legitimate distinction is gained only by the severest exercise of the best faculties of the mind.
In 1869, after thirty years of active duty as a practitioner at the bar, CHARLES H. DOOLITTLE was chosen to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of our State. Many who thought they knew him well questioned the wisdom of his choice. He possessed a nervous, active temperament which made him vigorous in his new office. But from the day that he took his seat upon the bench he proved himself an excellent Judge. If he was not always considerate towards stupidity, he was at least careful and cautious in his judgments. His sense of justice was keen, his learning was so liberal and his impulses were so pure that he seldom erred in his decisions. The rapid movements of his mind spurred slow counselors to exertion and accelerated the business of the Courts. Idleness was so foreign to his nature that it was impossible for him to rest unless he tore himself away from the duties surrounding him.
In politics Judge DOOLITTLE was educated to the Democratic faith. He left the party on the issue of slavery, and was always after counted among the Republicans. But in his last years, when time had ripened his wisdom, the political faith of his earlier life reasserted itself and brought him into substantial sympathy with those from whom he had separated himself so long ago. His fine sense of the requirements of his judicial position kept him aloof from any participation in partisan strife, however, and perhaps it ought to be added that he was too good a lawyer to be much of a politician at any time.
He was an active and practical Christian. His religion possessed his soul and was not paraded for the admiration of men. He was discriminating in his charities, kindly in all the relations of life, loyal in his friendships, and passionately devoted to the family that mourns his untimely death.
It is not many months ago that we were called upon to record the death, by an accident at sea, of RUFUS W. PECKHAM, a Judge of the Court of Appeals. He and DOOLITTLE were friends and comrades in other years. Both had won their way to judicial eminence, and now both slumber together in the great winding sheet of waters, in unmarked graves, whose place none shall know till the sea gives up its dead.
We cannot describe the heavy sorrow which has fallen upon our city to-day. The shadow of this grief shuts out the sunshine of May and brings tears to the eyes of men unaccustomed to weep. The community loses a man whose life seemed necessary to its welfare. In this hour the sympathy of all will flow freely out to the sorely afflicted family, who have parted with all that was most dear to them on earth. May He who holds the sea in the hollow of His hand calm the tempest of sorrow in these wounded hearts.
[On December 1, 1847, in Rochester, New York, Charles married Julia Tyler Shearman, daughter of William Pitt and Maryette (Andrews) Shearman. Julia Tyler Shearman was born in Rochester, New York, April 7, 1823. They had five children: 1. Charles Andrews 2. Maryette Andrews [married Alfred Conkling Coxe; mother of Charles Shearman Coxe] 3. William Shearman 4. Julius Tyler Andrews and 5. Mary Isabel.]
A great discovery by cousin Peter Winsor Pruyn of a biography and image of Henry Winsor (older brother of Frederick Winsor), founder of the Winsor Steamship line (although, as this article shows, it really grew out of the holdings of Phineas Sprague & Co. – also a family business).
It’s especially interesting to me to see him engaged in shipping from Philadelphia, where on the Coxe side the Eyre family built the nation’s first naval shipyard and the first ships for the U.S. Navy during the Revolutionary War.
I know several relatives have mentioned old Winsor Line posters or brochures — does anyone happen to have an image of one they could share with the group?
This is one I ran past my Dad and his siblings a good six years ago, but we had no luck identifying the people featured. But my Dad did say then: “The only thought I have is that the girl on the left in the chair looks a little like Bitsy, which would suggest Winsor lineage. Beyond that, I’m stumped.” So now, to a broader group: Do either of these gals ring any bells?
I unfortunately can’t even hazard a guess at the year, as the photo I have is a modern copy of an older pic. But their attire certainly suggests it’s quite a long time ago.
This great shot of Frederick Winsor and his family in 1875 comes from cousin Peter Winsor Pruyn’s blog, which kindly carries the following key to ID people in the shot: “Top row, left to right: Frederick Winsor, Jr., Dr. Frederick Winsor, Ann Bent Ware Winsor, Robert Winsor. Front row, left to right: Annie Ware Winsor, Mary Pickard Winsor, Paul Winsor, Jane Loring Winsor, Elizabeth Ware Winsor.” [note: that’s a different Elizabeth Ware Winsor than Diddy — two generations older.]
Lydia responds: “Cool pictures! Thanks to you and Peter for those. Our mum’s maiden name was Elizabeth Ware Winsor before she got hitched to T. Leaming Smith, so it’s fun to see her predecessor. These folks are relatives, so I can say without sounding snotty that they look like they just jumped off the wagon train, don’t they? Not like the bunch of intellectuals they were.”
And Peter added a question for the group: “Thank you, Charles, and everyone else. I’m delighted to know others for whom such artifacts have meaning. One of my current hobbies is going through a collection of letters that were written to Dr. Fred Winsor between 1829 and 1868, mostly by his eldest brother, Henry Winsor (1803-1889). Henry moved from Duxbury, MA to Philadelphia to run a steamship company. What I’d love to find are any of his descendants in Philly. There is a Henry Winsor in Philly on LinkedIn, but he has not responded. If anyone has any leads to Winsors in that neck of the woods, please let me know. The ultimate goal would be to see if they have any of Fred’s letters that he would have written in reply to the letters I have from Henry.”
A warm welcome is in order to cousin Peter Winsor Pruyn, who is now included on this sporadic email list of family history. Thank you Peter for all the great research on Frederick Winsor! If you haven’t checked out his Ware Winsor blog yet (http://warewinsor.blog.com), you should — there’s lots of great
family info there from generations before most of the people we discuss here.
Peter was kind enough to send along a scan of a map of the cemetery in Weston where many Winsors are buried, a cemetery I had been looking for for several years: “Six of the seven Winsor children are buried very near each other in the Weston Linwood Cemetery,” Peter says. “Only Annie and Joseph Allen had their ashes spread near Seal Harbor and plaques put by their driveway to their house there, Grayrock. The main plot is Lot No. 3, Plot C, which is in Henry Greenleaf Pearson’s name.”</p>
<p>”Robert and family are right next to it, including his infant sons. I
found it very moving.”</p>
More shots courtesy of Lydia from the wedding of Elizabeth Ware “Diddy” Winsor and T. Leaming Smith. Lydia shares: “Here are a couple of cute ones of [in the top photo] Aunt Faith and Grandma/Aunt Edie (who’s being groped by a lifelong friend, John Pickering from Salem) and [in the bottom photo] Phil Baker’s sisters Tot and Dude (Barbara and Lucy to the rest of us).”
Phil remarks on the second shot: “This is great. That’s a good shot of my sisters — Lucy and Barbara (Tot). They must have been around 16.”
I’m sharing a few of batches of images from Lydia, who offered these scanned photos from her parents’ (Elizabeth Ware “Diddy” Winsor and Thomas Leaming Smith) wedding album.
"Diddy and Leaming were married at the Leslie Lindsay Chapel of the Old South Church on Newbury(?) Street in Boston. I believe that Gaggy and her husband Roland Baker, and Diddy/Faith/Edie’s mother Susan Baker Winsor are in some of the pictures, as well as T. Leaming Sr. and Natalie Smith. Hope these come through!"
Phil responds: “These are great pictures, Diddy sure was a great looking bride and it was fun to see my Mother, who seems to appear very seldom in family pics. What year was the wedding and where was it? I don’t think I was there but I am guessing that it was 1946 or 1947. In that case Mother was 46 or 47. Her beauty sure does come across in that picture although it makes her look fatter than she was and she did not have thick legs like that. Thanks to Lydia for providing the memories.”
Susie has more info: “If you all are talking about Mum and Dad’s wedding, I am pretty sure it was in November 1945 - that’s why Daddy is wearing his uniform. They did the whole shebang quickly, from what Mum said - no months and months of preparation like today’s brides. The war had changed a lot of expectations. Daddy insisted on paying for Mummy’s bridal bouquet, all stephanotis and such; I think it was over $100 which was a princely sum, but that’s what they wanted…Mum saved her dress, which unfortunately for her I discovered one day and cut up for material (I was sewing doll’s clothes!); I doubt any of us would have fit into it anyway! I also love love love the picture of Phil’s mother (who we called “Aunt Babooshines” and adored….so did Mum…aunts are like that).”
A shot taken by the Kimball Studio (you can find hundreds more online), but with a different logo. And this one was kept in a frame at my grandparents’ old house in Brunswick, which suggests that this was a relative. Does anyone happen to see anything familiar in this pic to suggest who it might be?
My Dad doesn’t know the gent in the photo, but did have this to share: “I think it was the Kimball Studio that took our yearbook photos at St. Paul’s back in the 60’s, and probably for many years before.”
The top image is the logo for the Kimball photo studio in Concord, NH when it was run by Willis (or William, depending on the source) Gaylord Clark Kimball, Edith/Diddy/Faith/Bobby’s great-grandfather (and Gaggy’s father). W. G. C. Kimball was a particularly prolific member of a line of photographers who ran the famous Kimball studio at 15 Main St. in Concord, NH for at least 70 years.
The second image is a more modern logo for the Kimball Studio that I found on the back of a frame from the 1920s. Does anyone happen to know any stories about the studio or the line of photographers?
I recently happened across this interesting article about him and his hard-to-decipher initials on Andrew Morris’s ClassyArts blog (you can also read it here):
1600 Citations to a Non-Existent Photographer
If you go to an internet search engine, and type in “M C G Kimball,” you will get results similar to those I have just checked— over 1600 results, almost all of them to the photographer in Concord New Hampshire. But wait a minute… there never was a photographer named M C G Kimball in Concord.
Many members of the Kimball clan became photographers. The first, it would appear, was William Hazen Kimball, who learned the trade in 1844. By 1850 he was joined by Joseph L Kimball, probably his brother, who was a year or two older than William according the census records. Joseph named one of his sons William H Kimball. It was William Hazen Kimball, however, who started the photographic dynasty, as his three eldest sons all took up the business, Richard H. (the eldest), Willis G, and Howard A. Howard, born about 1845, was the only one whose birthplace is listed as Pennsylvania, the rest were born in New Hampshire. William may have taken his family to Philadelphia when he decided to learn the daguerrian arts.
All records from 1860 on (when he was 17 year old music student) list Willis with two middle initials, Willis G C Kimball. In that year, the William Hazen Kimball family was living in Franklin New Hampshire, and William was listed as a Photographist. The eldest son, Richard, had stayed behind in Concord, where he is listed as an Ambrotypist, and living in a residential hotel. William’s brother Joseph was living in Nashua New Hampshire, and listed a Daguerreian.
During the Civil War Willis joined up, and by 1865 held the post of Captain in the 18th New Hampshire. He married Ella Lois Gove probably just before entering the army.
By 1870, William and family were back in Concord, and operating a photo gallery. Son Howard is listed as a photographer, and living with his parents. Willis, now in his mid-20s, is a photographer in Concord too, probably in his father’s studio. His second son is named Richard, after his brother who is no longer listed anywhere nearby, and may have been deceased. Joseph Kimball has given up photography, and is a farmer in Zeandale, Kansas.
Sometime before 1880, Willis took over the photo studio, and his father went to work as a librarian in the state library. Howard continued working as a photographer in Concord, specializing in stereo views. He may have had an arrangement with Willis to print the stereos in his darkroom.
It was in the late 1870s or very early 1880s that our problem with the alleged M G C Kimball began, as Willis used this imprint on the back of his photographs:
That poorly chosen font design is doubtless the cause of all subsequent confusion. It does look like M G C Kimball, does it not? Unless you look very closely, and even then there is room for doubt. But wait, that imprint has a monogram!
People often ignore monograms, but they are in important clue to photographer identity. A great many imprints have just the photographers surname. When a monogram is present, it is usually possible to distinguish between photographers of the same surname, based on the initials. If the monogram is well formed, it is even possible to get the initials in the correct order, though sometimes they are poorly done, and misleading regarding initial order. Let’s decipher this monogram and see what we get:
Well that clears that up. No doubt about it, you could put them in a different order, but those are the letters there. W G backward-C K.
Reversing a letter is not unknown, but it is fairly unusual — probably due to the similarity with the G and the fact that this monogram had to accommodate four initials instead of the typical three.
There was no M G C Kimball. Myron H is the only M Kimball I found who was a photographer, and there is no evidence he worked in New Hampshire, let alone Concord. The monogram proves that this imprint, which resembles M G C Kimball, belonged to Willis G C Kimball.
Willis continued to be listed as a photographer in Concord through the 1910 census. Howard is still listed as a photographer in 1920 — when he would have been 75, though he is only shown as 70 on that census. And M G C Kimball? Well, he never existed. I’m sure of it.
Random bit of info: Ann Bent (Ware) Winsor lived at 21 Marlborough St. in Boston (next to the Public Garden — Jenn and the kids and I walked by it last weekend when we were staying in Boston, after visiting Emmanuel Church, where my grandparents were married) with her daughters Elizabeth Ware Winsor and Mary Pickard Winsor (who would found the Winsor School).
The property stayed in the family, becoming a Boston home for Robert Winsor and his wife Eleanor May (Magee), and eventually apparently becoming a property that they rented out as a boarding house, until they sold it in about 1919. You can see more info here.
Cousin Pammy had more info to share: “Debby had an apartment on Marlborough Street on the same block, which I sublet one summer. The Katherine Gibbs School (“Katy Gibbs”) where young women went to learn how to be a good secretary (white gloves were involved at one time, I believe) was at 21-23 Marlborough Street after it was a boarding house. Faith went to Katy Gibbs, didn’t she? If so, I wonder if she was aware of the house’s history. Ann Ware Winsor and Mary Pickard Winsor weren’t that far back—grandmother and aunt?”
Close — she did have an aunt named Mary Pickard Winsor, but we’re talking about her great aunt by the same name, sister of Robert Winsor Sr. And Anne Ware Winsor was her great-grandmother. But I didn’t know that Faith might have gone to Katy Gibbs. I had always assumed she went to Winsor School. Does anyone know?
Susie responds: “I know Faith went to Brimmer & May (day school) and to St. Mary’s in the Mountains (“St Mag’s in the Crags”) for boarding school. I think all the kids ended up in boarding schools in addition to Winsor School - Mummy (Diddy) went to Sandia School in Albuquerque NM, Uncle Bobby to Fountain Valley School (Flagstaff Arizona?), but I don’t know about Edie. Maybe boarding school had something to do with the parents’ divorce? Getting the kids out of the way? Hmmm…”
And Phil adds: “I seem to remember Faith as an outstanding 1st Baseman for Meadowbrook School in Weston. I played against her for Charles River School.”