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June 14, 2011

Lost Faces: The John H. McKim Photo Album Rescued!

Recently I spotted a forlorn little photo album in an antique store in Ontario. The album had seen better days and was in shambles. A faded turquoise cover was torn from the interior pages which had slots for 30 cabinet cards.

Many of my readers know that I rescue Civil War Era CDVs (Cartes de Visite) and tintypes but rarely do I buy cabinet cards. There are just too many of them! But this album cried out for some loving attention.

Many of the slots for cabinet cards were missing. There were a few names scribbled here and there. It's normally the type of album I'd walk by without giving it too much thought. But for some reason I felt compelled to purchase it.

Album Cover
My first step when I save an old album is to photograph the album and its interior photos exactly as they are. This documents my find and the order of the photos.

Then I remove the photos and carefully record all information on the photos themselves and on the album pages.

A page with ID

Lastly I do some research to see if I can figure out who the family is and what the family groups are.

This album was a challenge but inside the front cover was the inscription "John H. McKim, Londonderry Station, Colchester County Nova Scotia" I assumed (incorrectly as it turned out!) that the photos inside would be Nova Scotia photographers. But when I removed the surviving 13 cabinet cards, all but one were Ontario photographers.

However the only IDs in the photo album were

Ethel Willis
May Emery, Grandma's daughter (photo missing)
Ann and John and Libbie
Erie and Elmo
View the McKim Photo Album Pictures on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel

The photographers were from Hamilton Ontario, Aylmer Ontario, Tilsonburg Ontario, St. Thomas Ontario and one from Seattle Washington

Not much to go on! After I removed the cabinet cards the only extra inscription found on the verso (back) of one of the photos was "Mrs. Jas McKim, Byron Ontario" with "Jas." crossed out.  Under that, in the same handwriting as on the inside first page of the album was written "Mrs. J. H. McKim"

One photo was of a creek and on the verso was a note signed "J. H. McKim" The note gave an explanation of the creek but wasn't much help in figuring out the family groups.

Please see my next blog post on Finding John H. McKim.


The Grandmother Here said...

Arrgghhh. Don't keep us in suspense!

Wendy Grant Walter said...

I have Betts ancestors from Londonderry, Colchester County but I don't recognize any of those names. Can't wait to see what you find!