A reunion of the McAllister sisters

I recently found two copies of a photo that I’d like to share with you. This photo captures the reunion of the McAllister sisters in their later years. These sisters are among the thirteen children born in Ontario, Canada, to George McAllister, a frontiersman who immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland, and Mary Gordon, from Donegal, Ireland. The McAllister girls grew up as poor, hard-working women, and difficulty of their lives comes across in this photo, despite their brave comportment.

One of these sisters (second from the right in the back row), Margret (McAllister) Scott (1872–1910), is my great-great-grandmother, the first wife of Frank Scott (1869–1937). Margret died a month before her eldest daughter (my great-grandmother, Gertrude (Scott) Askew) turned 13, so memories of her in my family are very faint. These photos of her and her sisters are two of only three photos I’ve so far seen of her.

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Victor and James Yapp: Easy Riders

This photo is just too good not to share. My step-great-grandfather, Frank Black (1878–1958), had a sister, Ida May Black (1865–1942), who married James J. Yapp (1852–1917). James and Ida had a son named Victor Everett Yapp (1885–1976). In today’s photo, Victor and his father James can be seen posing on an early vintage motorcycle.

The photo itself is a glossy paper print measuring 5.1 inches by 7.1 inches. The print is mounted on a decorative bluish-gray matte. The matte measures 7.9 inches by 10.0 inches. The darker blue lines on the matte are lightly impressed into the matte.

There is no indication of the photographer or his studio.

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Lewis Black’s Civil War discharge paper, part 2

Today’s post continues my earlier post on the rediscovery of Lewis Black’s Civil War honorable discharge certificate. The discharge document dates to 1864, and was fairly frequently used by Lewis (to collect the final bounty and a supplemental bounty for his service, to secure travel back to his home town, and presumably to aid in getting himself the medical assistance he required for his war injury), and then by his widow, Ruth, in securing her widow’s pension.

When I presented this yesterday, I did so quickly and didn’t present any details or analysis of the document. In today’s post, I’ll take a close look at the discharge document to see what I can learn from it.
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Lewis Black, armed and ready

Today has been a very good day for me, in no small part because I’ve found the second of two items that I’ve been looking for over the course of the last several weeks. As I’ve been inventorying, scanning and rehousing our family history collections, I’ve noticed that two of my most cherished items had gone missing. I wasn’t too worried, because I realized that the reason I could not find them was probably related to the fact that they had been carefully packed away to keep them from harm. But where?

As I was writing today’s earlier post, about the first item I found, I had a vague recollection of where this other lost item was packed away. I went to look in the few places that matched this memory, and there it was—a tintype of a mid-19th century teenager (probably my step great-great-grandfather, Lewis Black) with a pistol stuffed under his belt.
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Lewis Black’s Civil War discharge paper, part 1

Today’s post will be a short one, mainly to celebrate having located one of my most cherished historical documents—Lewis Black’s 1864 honorable discharge from service in the Civil War.

As one of my most cherished documents, I gave it special attention and protection when my grandparents gave it to me nearly two decades ago. Because it was segregated from the rest of my family history collection, I lost track of where it got packed in our last move. My wife and I made a concerted effort yesterday to go through every place it could be yesterday, and we found it in the penultimate container we searched. We were sore after eight hours of searching, but elated!
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Mystery photo #3: Loggers with peaveys

Today’s post will be a short one, as this photo is for the most part a mystery to me. If you think you can add anything to what I know about this photo, please let me know in the comments section!

This photo comes to me from my mother, who in turn got it from my grandmother, Harriet Eva (Askew) Prettyman. It’s a photo of two men with peavey hooks on a wooden bridge over a river with floating timber. They appear to be taking a break from their job of guiding the logs down the river. My guess is that the photo is from Minnesota, that it dates to the 1890s, and that it pictures someone from either the Askew or Scott families.
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Civil War era photo album, part 2

In part 1 of this post, I introduced a Civil War photo album that had been owned and put together by Lewis and Ruth Black, sometime around the Civil War or just afterwards. The album has spaces for 24 photos, and 23 of these spaces are filled with cartes de visite photos.

In order to determine when, where, and why the album was put together, I carefully removed each of the contained photos and scanned each of them, both front and back sides, to look for clues. In this post, I’ll present the resulting scans and will try to determine who these people are, and when and where the photos were made. Continue reading