Great Grandfather James

The box of old photos, which I found the other day, is not exactly overflowing with treasures, but I did look again, and I did find another. This was of my Great Grandfather in my paternal line.

His name was James, and I had virtually no information about him until now. Indeed, I didn’t even know his first name until recently. It was a fellow teacher who specialized in genealogy who dug up that information for me.

Here is the photo, still in very good shape. According to a note on the back, it was taken on September 09 in 1902. The name of the photographer, Tom Mack, and his location, Cromer, are located on the frame at the bottom. The photo is simply glued into a cardboard frame, but it’s still in very good shape despite its lack of care.

Great Grandfather James

It’s a tiny, almost wallet-size photo, but there is fine detail if you zoom in — as I did below. I find it quite amazing, really.

I see no resemblance, but I know that some of my DNA comes from this guy, and we share the exact same Y-chromosome, a notion that kind of boggles my mind.

Great Grandfather James

Of course, I scurried to Google and Google Maps to find what I could about Cromer and its location. You can see it marked by the A on the right side of the map, below. I have drawn an arrow approximately from Cromer to Cambridge where I know the family lived prior to moving to Norfolk. A move of some 120 kilometres must have been major at the time. Actually, they didn’t live in Cambridge per se but in Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire, but that’s not terribly relevant right now.

Cambridge to Cromer

I can hardly tell you how pleased I was to make this discovery and the be able to find out lots of information about Cromer. I even found the photographer, Tom Mack, listed in a site about Early Photographers in the UK, and I corresponded briefly with author of the site. He drew my attention to how Tom Mack had already distanced himself from ornate Victorian practices. He also mentioned that the vignetting effect was quite popular at the time.

I will spare you the details and photos of Cromer that I grabbed while researching travelling from my computer chair, but I did enjoy my tour.

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8 Responses to Great Grandfather James

  1. Mara says:

    Well, he has a beard doesn’t he? So, there is some likeness there.

    Isn’t it fantastic to find things about your ancestors, be it photos or stories? I was so excited when I found out about my Mum’s family. I just need to unearth some photos.

  2. KGMom says:

    I will refrain from hirsute comments.
    I do enjoy that you have gone tripping down memory and family history lane. It’s a well-travelled path for me.
    I know it doesn’t change things–but knowing where my ancestors came from is oddly comforting for me, even though I am in a different time and place than they.

  3. I Love family history! Keep digging…and you DO favor him the tiniest bit around the eyes…
    hughugs

  4. Bernie says:

    You know AC if his beard was trimmed I bet you would see a resemblance!…Hugs

  5. Hilary says:

    Very cool. I guess you already knew he was your great grandfather but didn’t know his name? I have a couple of boxes of photos from way back. Unfortunately, I have no idea who most of the people are.

  6. Ac, it’s interesting how one bit of information can lead to a search for even more information, especially when the search involves family.

  7. Lorna says:

    You and great grandfather J have matching right sides of the face.

  8. Robin Witting says:

    My great grandparents came from Cromer and I have copies of a number of photo’s taken by Thomas Mack. The Early Photographers website mentions some photo of two women looking into his window around 1900, which might be interesting if traceable..

    Cheers,
    Robin Witting, Scunthorpe, England

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