Saturday, January 9, 2010

ancestors: sepia saturday

I've long admired and been inspired by alan's sepia saturdays. this week, I decided I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and play along. what better way to share some among my most treasured possessions, the small collection of old photographs I've rescued from complete obliteration when elders have passed on.

today's photograph is of my beloved grandpap, stephen, and his younger sister sue. stephen was the oldest child in a family of 6 children - three boys and three girls. grandpap's parents immigrated to the united states in the 1880s and settled and lived in lofty, which is in the anthracite coal region of northeastern pennsylvania. however, this side of my family was not directly involved in the coal industry - rather they were farmers and involved in transportation and communication. my grandpap stephen was born in 1888 to stephen and mary; sue was the second child, all of the children of stephen and mary, were born at the family home in lofty.

there is no date on the photographs. but based on other dated photos in my treasure box I believe the photograph of stephen and sue was taken around 1914 or 1915. this photograph is in one of those cardboard frames that photographic studios provide, in the corner of the frame is a seal which reads "Thomas MacCollin Hazleton Pa" - a google search of thomas maccollin turns up nothing, so we are to assume that the studio never survived into an era of being remembered by digital history keeping

I am happy to report that the yanoshik family house still stands and is still in the family - my uncle george lives in the house. uncle george and his twin brother, john recently celebrated their 80th birthday!

again there is no date on the photo of george and john, the photo was probably taken when they were in their mid teens - both of the twins are wearing a tee-shirts that were given to them by their older brothers who were serving in the military. the naval aviation shirt was undoubtedly given by my father who was a naval aviator for most of his twenty-eight years in the navy; the other shirt was probably given by uncle joe who served in the army during ww II. I expect this photo was taken around 1944.

for more sepia saturday players go nowhere

coincidentally, on january 9th 1839 the french academy of sciences announced the daguerreotype photographic process. later that same year, william fox talbot announced that he invented the calotype process. together these inventions are considered to mark 1839 as the year photography was invented.

the photo directly above is of a statue which celebrates daguerre's invention and stands near the national portrait gallery in washington d.c.

edith frost's lovely, haunting and poetic song ancestors. edith is a singer-songwriter currently based in san francisco.

the lyrics:

When we go to glory
When our time is over
Will we stand unspoken for
When the light becomes too blinding

When my ancestors come to meet me
They'll have questions about my drugging
They may look on my enemies kindly
When my life becomes a memory
Will my ancestors meet me up there

They may look upon me
They may take it badly
All the men I used to love
All the things they won't approve of

When my ancestors come to meet me
Well I hope that they welcome me there
They'll forgive me forgetting their names
When the place becomes too frightening
Will my ancestors meet me up there

below is the original photo I posted- some mouse readers may have seen earlier today. lucky for me to have a friend who is master at digital editing. he emailed me that he liked it So much that I couldn't leave it alone. I occasionally get the urge to exercise my digital
editing skills, and this one got to me.
and attached the new, improved old snap. like I said lucky me!

addendum: I spoke with my folks and learned from my dad that I misidentified the sister in the photograph with grandpap. that's the problem with old photos that lack documentation. this morning I wrote that it was emma with grandpap. I corrected the text above to reflect who is really sitting with grandpap! whoops! now I just have to find the paper which lists aunt sue's birth year. maybe it is time to start organizing some of the family history hat I have laying about the nest! you know us mice we aren't the most orderly critters but we do love details....


Tess Kincaid said...

Stephen and Emma have that wonderful, familiar, brother and sisterly expression on their faces. I love it. And Edith Frost's song is just perfect with this post. Welcome to SS, Ms. Mouse!

Reya Mellicker said...

Fantastic! I love the pic of your grandfather and grand aunt. They look so spirited which would explain a lot about you.

Gary said...

haha - go nowhere. I did, I get it.

Sepia Saturday, Theme Thursday. How exciting!

These pictures always remind me of the photos I used to look at when I was young and reading the Little House books. There was Laura, Pa and the rest of the family looking so serious it was hard to imagine him playing the fiddle and dancing.

Wonderful photos. But as a twin I am especially taken with George and John. 80 years old now. I hope to share that history/longevity with my twin
as well.

Finally, this is a haunting little ditty. I quite like it.

Alan Burnett said...

What a fantastic addition to Sepia Saturday. Thanks so much for joining us and sharing your family treasures.

Poetry24 said...

I can only echo what Alan has said. Fantastic!

Roy said...

An interesting shot, and an interesting bit of family history. I don't have any of those kinds of family photos. I think the really old ones from that era my Uncle Charles has - he's the eldest son in my Dad's family. And what photos my Dad may have had I think my brother now has because my SIL Teri is the family genealogist, so she's the one most likely to make good use of them.

Leah said...

Thank you, this was lovely! Loving textiles and needle arts as I do, I'm completely fascinated by the lace on Emma's dress...

Baino said...

So beautiful. Just look at the serene expression on Emma's face. And the digital photo hasn't suffered at all for the editing. I really must dig out some old pics and join in the fun.

Betsy Brock said...

I'm so glad you are joining in! How fun. This is a wonderful their clothes and their sweet faces. With other siblings, it makes me wonder why the photo is of just these two. Some things we will never know! ha. Welcome to SS!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

ah gentle readers - my first sepia saturday post was not without a bit of personal drama in that I misidentified the sister with grandpap stephen. it turns out it is sue (2nd in birth order, and not emma!) that was sitting with grandpap.

it has been great to contribute to the sepia stream. I reckon based on the paucity of info on most of the photos today's mis-identification probably won't be an anomaly.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Thanks for sharing these. You inspired me to post my own sepia shots. I love little details in such photos. I'm curious about Stephen's four button jacket and why the top two buttons are left open. Was that custom or his personal style? Also, it's interesting that the handkerchief is turned down not up. Maybe he passed down the against the grain gene to you. :)

Erin Wallace said...

What a beautiful, beautiful picture. I've posted some pictures of my grandparents on my blog, though they are black and white. I so love old photos. They show us where we came from. Yours are amazing.

lettuce said...

its a beautiful calm photo - and they both look as though they are almost smiling


Stephanie said...

I think Sue has the classic "Wasp waist" or the era. Lovely.

Kat Mortensen said...

That is a lovely photograph and nice contribution to Sepia Saturday.
I did some digging and came up with this:

You might find more info on MacCollin at this site.