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)
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: https://main.lib.umanitoba.ca/carberry-plains-archives
Joseph Paynter Obituary, The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, 22 September, 1931, p. 22.
North Vancouver Heritage Register, 2013: https://www.cnv.org/-/media/city-of-north-vancouver/documents/heritage/2013-heritage-register.PDF