Another unexpected breakthrough! Who was Ada of Framlingham – a photo mystery?

Following my recent breakthrough on my Great Grandmother’s research, after several years of looking, I have unexpectedly knocked down a brick wall on another of my family photo mysteries this week – whilst looking for something completely different!

In February 2015 I wrote a blog post about a mystery family photo that my parents had that had Ada written on the back and also showed my Grandmother Doris with her mother Edith CRISP outside the Mills Almshouses in Framlingham

Who was Ada – photo mystery?

Mills Almhouses

I had searched all records I could think of using the surnames SINCLAIR, CRISP, LAST or DIX to see if I could find a family connection to an Ada – I even contacted the Archivist of the Mills Almshouses Trust to see if they could shine any light on previous residents’ that might help, but although they were very helpful we had no success!

Imagine my surprise when yesterday whilst I was searching the old Framlingham Weekly News newspapers on the British Newspaper Archive website for some information for a monthly article I write for the Framlingham town magazine Framfare, when something caught my eye!

From the Framlingham Weekly News dated Saturday 13th February 1937 a headline read Miss L HARPER – Funeral of Well-Known Framlingham Octogenarian – intrigued to find out who she was I read on….


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 13th February 1937

The first line reads .. The funeral of Miss Leona HARPER of Mills’ Almshouses, Framlingham took place on Wednesday…. and goes on to give information about her life and work in Framlingham and then gives a list of chief mourners including….Mr W CRISP (nephew)

Walter Ernest CRISP was my Grandmother Doris’s father and married to Edith Rosa who are shown in the photograph – are they visiting her husband’s Aunt Leona at the Almshouses.


Diss Express – Friday 12th February 1937


Framlingham Weekly News – Saturday 13th February 1937

I quickly referred back to my family tree online and yes indeed Walter’s mother Elizabeth CRISP’s maiden name was HARPER and she had several siblings including a sister called Leona born in 1848 – was Leona known as Ada, the name on the back of the photo? Was the name written incorrectly at a later date by someone who thought they knew who she was – I guess we will never know now!

Checking some other family papers and information that I have I found that Leona HARPER was actually the witness at the marriage of Walter’s parents Samuel CRISP and Elizabeth HARPER when they married at St Michael’s Church in Framlingham on 27th December 1881, which indicates a strong family bond.

leona-harper-witnessFrom this newspaper article I have found that says Leona died in 1937 also fits date wise, as my Grandmother Doris was born in 1914 and would have been aged 23 when Leona died and looks to be in her early 20’s in the photo.

It is amazing how I have stumbled across this information and made the connections on a day when I wasn’t even looking at this research – never give up the answer may be out there somewhere!

A fantastic start to 2017 with two confirmed brick wall knock downs so far – lets hope there is a third!!

Simon LAST   

This entry was posted in CRISP, Framlingham, HARPER, Mills Almshouses, Old Photographs, SINCLAIR, Suffolk. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Another unexpected breakthrough! Who was Ada of Framlingham – a photo mystery?

  1. Suzie Morley says:

    Brilliant, Simon. So pleased for you 😉

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