The Visitor

blog CARR Lysander and Julia GRAVESITE

I have a fondness for photographs of graveside visitors.  Why?  My mother died in an auto accident when I was seven months old and I was raised by my maternal grandmother.  Cemetery visits were a regular event during my childhood, and I sat for many graveside photographs, such as this one.

blog Sherri_graveside


This particular photograph, of a young woman sitting at the foot of her loved one’s headstone, is identified on the back as “May 30 1922 Melrose cemetary [sic]”.  Look at her hat!  It’s amazing!  Using a magnifying glass, I was able to make out the name Lysander Carr.  I could also see another Carr listed below Lysander, with the death year of 1904.  I searched the Find A Grave website and found the memorials for Lysander and Julia Carr in Melrose cemetery, Brockton, Massachusetts.  Find A Grave is a wonderful, free resource for anyone working on their family genealogy.  It has been an invaluable tool in many of my searches, providing a death record for family members who otherwise would have none.  I highly recommend checking it out.
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To Them She Gave Her Best

I came across this cabinet card and having no photographer’s location, combined with the common surname of Hicks, I wasn’t sure I would be able to identify the sitter. However, I thought the middle name of Albin was unique enough to tip the odds in my favor and I brought the photo home.

A quick search revealed an Ida Albin Hicks and a Hugh Hicks buried in the Stilesville cemetery in Hendricks county, Indiana. Another search pulled up a marriage record for Ida M. Albin to Hughey H. Hicks. Tada! The middle name wasn’t a middle name after all, it was a maiden name. A bit more research, making sure the age and dates matched, and I could say with certainty that I had found my gal.

Ida May Albin was born April 22, 1864 on a farm near Cloverdale, Indiana. Her parents, Thornton P. Albin and Mary Layne Albin were married for thirteen years and had four children: Nevada Alice, Lemuel Calvin, Luella Bell and Ida, the youngest. Ida’s mother died March 22, 1866, when Ida was just two years of age. The family resided in Plymouth county, Indiana, where her father made a living farming. In December of 1866 her father remarried Lucy Bourne with whom he had three additional children: Lizzie, Thomas Paul, and Fred.
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The Music Teacher

I recently found this photo among a slew of others in an antique shop in Indiana. It is a carte de visite, often referred to as a CDV. It is a photographic print that is mounted on a stiff card, and the term describes the size of the photo, which is about 2 ½” x 4”. The size made it perfectly suited for people to send by mail and carry with them to hand out to friends and family. Although the girl’s blank stare is what drew my attention to this image, I was happy to find the identifying writing on the back, “Ava B. Hamilton Hudson Indiana (Steuben Co).” Read on to discover more about Ava’s life in Hudson, Indiana!

Miss Ava Blanch Hamilton was born in 1872 in Walkerton, Indiana. She was the daughter of Dr. Frank C. and Katherine Rebecca (nee Reamer) Hamilton. She moved to Hudson, Steuben county, Indiana as a young girl, with her parents and brother, Lloyd Elton Hamilton, where she spent the majority of her life. Her father, a well-known doctor, also owned a Drug Store in Hudson and her brother owned the General Store in Hudson for more than thirty years.

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