Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another More Embarrassing Mystery Solved!

The above picture solved a mystery that up until now, I didn't know existed and unfortunately, caught me making assumptions that now are going to make an ass out of me. Above is a picture of my 3rd great grandmother Frances Ann Bolton and her second husband Thomas Heppenstall whom she married after my 3rd great grandfather Joseph Baker died suddenly at age of 35 for reasons that are still a mystery to me. In the back row from left to right is my 2nd great grandfather John Henry Baker, his sister Frances Ellen Baker whose future in-laws were the subject of my previous post and the Chicken brothers Robert and Charlie. Robert and Charlie are full blood brothers to John and Frances but for some reason got adopted out to a family with the last name of Chicken. Charles would later change his name back to Baker but Robert kept the last name of Chicken until he died.

In the front row from left to right sits Lena Heppenstall which was the only child my 3rd great grandmother Frances had with her second husband Thomas Heppenstall. Tragically, Lena would die at the early age of 30 leaving her two sons in Frances's care. Next are Frances who went by Fanny and Thomas Heppenstall. Thomas lived in Colchester up until my 3rd great grandfather died suddenly and then suddenly moved to Cedar Falls where the now widow Fanny lived and they were soon married. Since Fanny and Joseph spent several years in Colchester, I'm guessing that Fanny and Thomas knew of each other as prior acquaintances and thus why he didn't waste any time seizing the opportunity to marry her. Probably another good story in there somewhere. Last but not least at the far right of the front row is Mary Baker, the youngest of the five children born to Fanny and Joseph Baker.

But what about the mystery you ask. Take a gander at the picture below which I posted several times previously on this website saying it was obviously a wedding picture and thus I was having a hard time believing it was actually my 2nd great grandfather since he was obviously younger than 45 when he was married for the second time. Um *gulp*, it now is obviously him just dressing up to get his picture taken with his mother, step-father, brothers and sisters. I am suddenly reminded the hard way about the old saying of what assume does to a person.
Which brings me to the second oval picture that has been floating around on this blog quite often of recent times. The one whom I just knew couldn't be John Henry Baker's second wife because she didn't look like her other pictures later in life. At one point I theorized that it might have been his first wife and my 2nd great grandmother Blanche Jessie McKee until I recently proved that wrong.
Now that I have realized my mistake with John's picture, I went back and started comparing this to other pictures of Katie again. I still couldn't get over the fact that all her pictures though similar had strikingly different skin tones than the picture above. Then in the recent trickle of photos, I got another one of Katie with lighter skin tones. Now I have convinced myself that the woman below and the woman above are the same people. Sometime after they got married, the took pictures of themselves previously taken, perhaps one of only a few of themselves that they had since pictures at that time were big luxury items, and cropped them to put them into the oval frames and thus cause great confusion to their 2nd great grandson many years in the future. I think I can sleep better at night now.


R. Sherman said...

We tend to forget with digital cameras that photos used to be very special occasions, and therefore, people put on their Sunday best. Not so much with camera phones these days.


sage said...

I'm glad you can sleep well at night now! lol Randall point about digital cameras is true and who is going to want to go through the 10,000s of photos I've taken?

Ed said...

R. Sherman - Worse, someone pointed that out on a previous post of a different picture and I still didn't make the connection. I'm working to expand my imagination.

Sage - Funny but when I get to mulling about these things, I can and have spent nights dreaming about them.

Eutychus2 said...

I really am enjoying your family journey, and when you're wrong you only affirm me, that when I am wrong in my family research, the truth can lead to greater stories! Keep on truckin Ed.

Beau said...

Confusing to say the least. I'm glad you've got it figured out, at least for the time being :)