Over the Easter weekend I visited an Antiques Fair in Ingatestone in Essex and found several old family photographs for sale – sadly they usually have no family details written on the back and remain lost to the family history forever.
However I was intrigued by one group family photo with the photographer’s details of Crippin & Co – Spring Bank Pemberton and I was also delighted to find that someone had written George Thomas TAYLOR & family on the back.
I was hooked and after speaking to the stall holder about family history and genealogy she very kindly sold me the photo for a £1, so I could take it way to investigate and hopefully reunite it with a family member.
The mention of Spring Bank Pemberton at first led me to believe that maybe this was an overseas photograph, possibly from Australia or America- however on searching Google I found mention of such place near Wigan in Lancashire.
Using this information I looked at the census records on Ancestry for any George Thomas TAYLOR’s from Lancashire and found a 1901 census record for a George Thomas TAYLOR aged 44, a Widower, working as a Colliery Cashier with children Edwin 21, Fanny 20, Herbert 17, Beatrice Annie 16, Mabel Alice 14. Ellen 12, George 10 and Gertrude Mary 7.
Source: Ancestry – 1901 Census Class: RG13; Piece: 3561; Folio: 9; Page: 10
My photograph shows a gentleman with eight children, so it all seemed to fit with this information. George Thomas TAYLOR had been born about 1857 in Golborne in Lancashire and using the ages on the census record it dated the photograph around 1895.
Researching further I found that George Thomas TAYLOR married Annie PITT in the April quarter of 1879 in the Leigh, Lancashire Registration District.
I then found the 1891 census with George Thomas aged 34 and Annie TAYLOR aged 33, which shows she died after 1891 and dates my photograph around 1895 as I suspected.
Source: Ancestry 1891 Census Class: RG12; Piece: 3058; Folio: 5; Page: 3; GSU roll: 6098168
My task now was to try and find an online family tree that mentioned this family and quite quickly I found a few trees that did include this George Thomas TAYLOR, including one that had a photocopied image of my actual photograph – I quickly dispatched massages to the owners of these family trees and have already received back two replies from family connections in Ontario in Canada and Queensland in Australia.
Hopefully once I have received some further information from them I will be able to establish the closest family connection to the TAYLOR family and I will be able to post off and reunite this amazing old photograph with a living relative.
This is why I enjoy genealogy so much – the unexpected finds and connections you can make right across the world!!