Sunday, March 24, 2019

My Stray Photographs - Re-examined

Why Stray Photographs?

From time to time, I publish images from my collection of  'stray' photographs. These I've picked up at sales or in charity shops. They have no known connection to my families. Often I use these in my workshops on researching photographs.

I also collect postcards, mostly from British Columbia, Canada, or from places my families lived so these may be listed here too.

A few of these are family photographs of friends and neighbours.

Sometimes I've been able to include a few details about the people shown or the photographer; others are still unknown.

I've started this list on-line as I hope that will make it easier for readers to find a loved one. I have posted photos to other websites, like DeadFred (one of my favourite places) and when I can, I'll post links to those too.

Follow the links to see the photographs and learn what I do know about them. 

Please do let me know if you can identify anyone here or if you see new clues. 

I'd love to hear their stories!

My Stray Photographs - listed alphabetically by surname, if known

Grace Adams - Shopping in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Ted Bowton - London to Saskatchewan, Canada? Wife Emily.

Bernice Chamberland and Merse Ferley - engagement, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Emile Cheramy - not a photograph, but an artifact from his store, Cheramy's Shoe Store & Repairs, Maillardville, Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Polly and Walter Cooper, Mike Cooper, Betty Cooper [Mrs. Lorents Widing]. - Seattle, Washington, USA, 1949.

L. Doull - Garvin, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1911. Postcard mailed to: Miss Gertrude Walker, Earl Grey, Saskatchewan.

Audrey Downes - Honly, West Yorkshire, 1932. Photograph is at

Yvonne Durnell and Alexander Soppet - married Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 24 August, 1940.

Sally Herbert - in Weston Super Mare, Somerset. Photographer, Sydney Smyth (or possibly Henry Smyth, his son).

Klaseus, Klucas family photographs - names include Myrtle Klaseus from Viscount, Saskatchewan, Canada. And Alfred, Richard and Minnie Klucas. Arthur ANDERSIN of Viscount. And Margaret Anderson of Hillsboro [Kansas, U.S.A.?]. See also this Klucas Update for more information.

Joyce? Shand, Mrs James Shand, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, August 1940. (see Durnell & Soppet)

Marjorie Taylor, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, August 1940. (see Durnell & Soppet)

Ethel Yates - Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Photograph is at

Miss M. Young - Kinloch Cottage, Lochranza, Arran, Scotland

My Stray Photographs - no surnames known (yet)

Billie - Clear Lake, Manitoba, Canada, possibly 1919?

Family Portrait with the dog - sadly, almost no information.

Boys at the Marchmont home, Belleville, Ontario, Canada - from Miss MacPherson's home, April 1922. Canadian Home Children.

Unknown woman - photograph by Le Rue Lemer (LeRue Studio), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.

Don't forget to contact me if you have new information about any of these.

Sunday Strays & Surnames - Bowton (Bouton, Bawton ?), Dennis & Gibbens?

Uncle Ted and Aunt Emily, London, England to Saskatchewan, Canada? 

A Stray Photograph

An unusual mounted photograph, showing a well dressed gentleman, taken in front of printing equipment, somewhere in London, England. This is from my 'Stray Photograph Collection'.  I bought this partly because it is unusual and partly as I'm interested in printers and printing. 

On the back is written, with a ballpoint pen and possibly in two different hands:

Uncle Ted Bowton
beside printing press

Uncle Ted was a machinist and looked after these printing presses in London. When Dad sent the fare for mother to come to Canada to be married he also paid Aunt Emily's return fare so mother would have company. This gave them the idea money came easy in Canada. So they came to Canada to farm. A poor move because he was no farmer. 

Well, Uncle Ted was certainly not alone! 

Canada's farmland was often unforgiving. And so very different from life on the outskirts of London, England. He must have been well thought of at his company in England as this seems to be a very professional looking photograph. 

I think this may be Edward Bowton, who married Emily Dennis in 1897 in Essex, England. In 1901, it appears they were living at Wanstead Slip (Cann Hall), Essex, England. He is listed on the census as a "mechanical engineer fitter". I believe that later they both came to Canada headed for Abernathy, Saskatchewan and settled in the Saltcoats area. Perhaps they were related to Dennis and Gibbens families.

Please let me know if you recognize Uncle Ted in a comment or by e-mail.

My Stray Photograph Collection

I've created a list of stray photos I've posted about over the last while. Please take a look. 

I would like to see them all identified and copies of the photos in family hands again. Please comment or contact me if you know one of these people or families.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Anna and Muriel Stewart, the 'aunties' that were cousins

Why were my Stewart Cousins, my Aunties? 

Anna and Muriel Stewart; embossed signature of photographer J. Paynter (Joseph).

Muriel Scott Stewart (1899-1978) and her sister, Catherine Anna Steele Stewart (1896-1986)

They were the children of Benjamin Stewart, a jeweller, and Mary (Marie) Scott. The sisters were born in Carberry, Manitoba, as was their brother, John Haliburton Stewart. Aunt Muriel and Aunt Anna never married; they came to British Columbia and lived in North Vancouver from 1920 in the home Benjamin bought for the family. I remember our visiting with them many times at our home and in North Vancouver.

Yes, I did call them "Aunt", and my mum referred to them so, although they were my second cousins, once removed. This was a courtesy title extended in my day to my mother's closer friends and older relatives. Likely Mum didn't want to explain it all to me, the child with far too many questions. But their grandfather, John Scott, and my great grandfather, Walter Scott, were brothers.

Now, of course, I'm sorry I didn't listen more closely to their conversations. I could have saved quite a bit of time with my Scottish research! And known about the oft married relative sooner. But now I wonder if perhaps Mum thought the family divorce (bigamy) might as well stay buried. (She did tell me but long, long after.)

I liked both Muriel and Anna - they got on well with children. And I thought them artistic.  Muriel was a music teacher; Anna, a North Vancouver School teacher. I'm glad to have this charming photograph of them as girls.

The family house in North Vancouver (245-248 Fifth St. E.) was moved in 2015 to the Port Hammond area of Maple Ridge as a heritage find. The house their brother, John, and his wife, Doris Garling, lived in later is also seen as a heritage house, and is still there, I believe. (455 20th St. E.)


Joseph Paynter, photographer, born in Owen Sound, Ontario, died in Winnipeg in 1931. He was active in Carberrry, Manitoba, Canada, from 1899-1918, according to Glen C. Phillips' book, The Western Canada Photographer's List (Global, 2002). The Carberry Plains Archives has more of his Carberry photographs: 
Joseph Paynter Obituary, The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, 22 September, 1931, p. 22. 

"North Vancouver Heritage Homes Bought for $1"...., by Maria Spitale-Leisk, August 10, 2015  REW Blog:

North Vancouver Heritage Register, 2013: