The Photo Angel

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Have you heard about the woman they call the Photo Angel? She haunts antique stores and flea markets looking for old photographs and through exhaustive genealogical research, reunites them with their families. I think she’s fabulous!

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If you’ve never climbed your family tree? I highly recommend it. Genealogy is a completely fascinating, sometimes frustrating, but totally addicting hobby. They say you can’t know who you are, until you know those who came before … and a more delightfully quirky way to waste time you’re not apt to find.

Along with some sons of the revolution and a disturbing number of pious reverends ( how did that happen!) I discovered a few characters as well.

The Honorable Jabez Bunting Snowball.

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Yes, I’m related to a Snowball, which somehow seems fitting. He was the husband of my great grand aunt and The 11th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, Canada from 1902-1907. “Snowball and his wife (called “Lady Snowball” by the locals) maintained a splendid residence in Chatham called “Wellington Villa” at the town’s most important intersection, and lived in great style, often entertaining with many servants and fine furniture.”

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He died a wealthy man but his good for nothing children squandered the fortune in one generation. Shame, that. I wouldn’t have minded a servant or two.

Next up is my 8th great grandfather, Sir Adrian Scrope.

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Yo, Adrian! My great, great, great, etc grampa’s claim to fame was this –

“Historically speaking, Sir Adrian Scrope (1601-1660), was one of the 59 signatories who signed King Charles I’s death warrant in 1649. Charles I was accused of being tyrannical and too Catholic by England’s Parliament, and he was ultimately executed for high treason. The monarchy was abolished with Charles I’s death; however, the monarchy was reinstated after the Restoration of 1660, and Sir Adrian Scrope was found guilty of regicide and was hanged, drawn, and quartered.

Not the most peaceful way to go I’m sure. But he does have a nice memorial tomb to show for it….

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Grandpa Adrian had a nice house as well.

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Wormsley Estate. Can’t say I like the name, but the garden is sweet.

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And I dare say I could fit my books in his library.

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2,700 rolling acres in Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire… it’s currently owned by Mark Getty. Yes, that Getty. If I ever visit England, maybe I’ll drop by.

It’s through this line that I can trace my family back to the year 1134. I can’t take the credit, when you have someone famous (or infamous as the case may be) most of the work has been done for you.

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No picture of dear old grandpappy Le Scrope I’m afraid. Back then an Apple was just an apple… no camera included.

Of course when you’re shaking a family tree, sometimes rotten fruit falls out. Like Franz… father in law of my first cousin twice removed.

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When your mother’s parents were born in Austria, this isn’t out of the realm of possibility… but still disturbing to find.

I’d like to say he was the only one. I really would.

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32 thoughts on “The Photo Angel”

  1. I come from peasants, all over the place. The only famous name on my tree, a side branch at that, is Louis Riel, who was hung for treason, but later exonerated. The exoneration did not help him much. Because many of our Metis records were burned in the Tache Hall fire in Winnipeg in the 60s, a lot of our past relied on family stories and word of mouth. On the European side, our biggest claim to fame is a guy who came over to Canada before it was Canada. He sailed with Jaques Cartier. He had two kids by native women before he sailed back to Paris. His family name meant “People of the Marshes.” Strangely enough, on my mother’s side was a Ukrainian fellow whose name meant something like “soldiers from the marshes.” Like attracts like, I guess.
    So, Ms almost-royalty, what is on your hubby’s side?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Family Search (https://www.familysearch.org/en/) run by LDS (Church of the Latter Day Saints aka Mormon’s). It gives you access to most of the databases that other sites make you pay for. If your family has been in the US for a long time you might find it really useful. (My family are recent immigrants for Italy so most of the genealogy sites are useless.)

      Like

  2. I have some stuff that my dad was working on before he died. It goes from 1735, with my earliest immigrant ancestor, to the present. My mom did the 23 and me thing, but I don’t know what she got out of it. Except, that is, that she is 2% Nigerian. She was amused, her sister was appalled.
    Oh Franz Franz Franz. I don’t see any SS insignia or badges of rank, so he looks to me like an ordinary soldier who made an unfortunate choice of facial hair.
    This is a really impressive thing. Yo Adrian! You’re killin’ me over here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As tempted as I am to do the DNA thing, I don’t like the idea of anyone having access to it. And they do use it, believe me. As for Franz, he probably thought the facial hair would help with promotions. 🥴

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have done some ancestry hunting myself. I’ve found some very interesting facts about booth sides of my family. My great uncle was a bootlegger who would bring alcohol in from Mexico during prohibition. He (apparently) was so successful at it he had so much money he had the very first car in the dusty little town my grandparents lived in. He also always carried his side arms with him, you know for protection, lol. But sadly haven’t found a picture of him. I’ve also found a couple of nuts in my family tree…lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oddly enough, I have a genealogy report sitting on my desk as I’m leaving you this comment. Lots of Russian (ugh), Czechoslovakian, Polish, Hungarian potato farmers in my ancestry. There is some debate as to whether we might be Ukrainian, too. The family name says yes but the historical records contradict that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. So very interesting; I love that you’ve been able to get that far back in the tree. (thanks to your infamous people)
    Ewww. Just seeing that last photo gave me the creeps.

    I love how the Photo Angel is connecting long lost photos to the correct family; she truly is an angel.

    Like

  5. Fun stuff (except the Nazi)! When I was in college, running for student body office and putting out signs with my name on them, I was approached by another Wallick, also attending school there but from Ohio. Even at that young age he was into genealogy. He wondered where my family fit into the tree he was already constructing (on blueprint paper; this was the mid-1970s). We shared our family bible with birth/marriage/death records with him, and he found and added our branch. Since then, he has continued his research, visiting the place where our ancestors emigrated from (a village in Germany) in the mid-1700s, and traced most of them west across the US over the decades. He wrote a book of the family history, with lots of photos. It really is fascinating to see where you come from and I’m grateful for all the work he’s done.

    Liked by 1 person

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