There is one random act of genealogical kindness I really enjoy doing – that is finding descendants of ancestors of orphaned photos that end up on eBay with names of the photo subjects clearly identified on them.
Some professional sellers seem to have a set price of $17.50, which I’m not willing to pay. However, when I find photos listed for under $10.00, I get to work.
First, I try to determine whether or not the photographed subjects can be identified in U.S. census records with great certainty. Unless the family surname is quite unusual, metropolitan areas like New York and Chicago are places I avoid. My focus is always on families whose photos were taken in smaller cities or, better yet, in towns.
Next, I trace the family to discover whether or not there are living descendants today. Sadly, I often find that the family had but one or two surviving children who left no children of their own so the family line has ended. Those surviving photos were probably found in estates of collateral relatives or friends.
When I find the photo of a man, woman or child who appears to have descendants, I quickly put in a bid for the photograph. None of these subjects was famous so I’ve never been outbid.
Lydia Ann Price, born in 1839, is my latest lady going home to her 2X great grandchild! This photo was taken at the Haswell Studio at 214 1/2 Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts.
Based on Lydia’s high tight collar and, from what can be seen, very loose dress sleeves, I’d say that this picture was taken in the early 1890s. By the turn of the 20th century, ladies’ sleeves became much more tightly fitted.
Lydia Ann Prince was born 18 June 1839 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, the daughter of Isaac Prince and Abigail Larcom. She married George A. Standley on 16 September 1856 in Beverly.
George was born 17 September 1831, also in Beverly, the son of Wells Standley and Rebecca Lovett.
George and Lydia were the parents of three children, but faced much heartache as two of them died in infancy.
Children, all born in Beverly:
1. Lilian (Lillie) Prince, born 29 January 1857; died 16 October 1857, Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. It appears that not only was baby Lillie’s name not recorded, either the town register or her gravestone has the wrong death date, as the death record states a female, aged 3 months and the daughter of George & ( ) Standley died on 5 October 1857. She died of lung fever. Source: American Ancestors.
2. Arthur, born 4 June 1859; died 1943 and is buried with his family at Central Cemetery in Beverly; married Harriet Darling Burgess.
3. Frederic Brackenbury, born 4 August 1867; died 28 October 1867, Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts. Frederic is also listed as 3 months old at death and he died of congestion of the brain. Source: American Ancestors.
George’s and Lydia’s only surviving child, Arthur, grew up to become a teacher. Arthur married another teacher, Harriet Darling Burgess, on 13 August 1887 in Hampton Falls, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Harriet was born in Calais, Washington, Maine on 12 December 1860. She died in Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts on 14 April 1934.
Arthur and Harriet were also the parents of three children, but each other them grew to adulthood.
1. Arthur Burgess, born 5 June 1888, Cohasset, Norfolk, Massachusetts; died 11 October 1981, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts; married Ruth Preston. She was born 20 September 1891, Wakefield, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 1961. They had two children.
2. Howard Prince, born December 1891; died 8 June 1959, Newport, Newport, Rhode Island; married Helen M. It appears that Howard and Helen had no children.
3. Kara Larcom, born January 1895; died 2 October 1951, Wareham, Plymouth, Massachusetts; married Roger Wolcott Weeks, 1918, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. They had two children.
From the descendants of Arthur Burgess and Kara Larcom Stanley (the family seems to have dropped the D in Standley), a 2X great grandchild of Lydia Prince Standley has been found.
Lydia Prince Standley, 106 years after her death, is going home to family.