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April 16, 2012

Rescued - the Hooper & Squires Photograph Archive

Pile of photos from Musty Box
When my husband's Aunt Florence died, no one wanted a dilapidated cardboard box full of photos. The box was stored in a damp basement and was musty and dirty. Many of the photos inside were damaged and water stained.

But my husband rescued the photos and brought them home. He threw the box out and went through the photos, noting on the back who the people were that his Aunt had identified when he was younger.

Then he tucked the photos away and there they lay for a few years. Until last weekend. He pulled them out of storage and we went through them again.

There are some lovely photos and I can't bear to see them just sit in storage in our home so I'm going to share them here on my blog and then scan them to publish on my Lost Faces website. I hope descendants will find them!

There are 50 assorted photos, postcards and letters. One letter is from a WW1 soldier and is dated 1916 and written on birch bark.

15 items from the Hooper-Squires Photo Archives
We know that all the photographs have some connection to the Hooper and Squires families of St. Mary's Ontario Canada. That's a small town in southwestern Ontario where most of my husband's ancestors (maternal and paternal) settled in the early 1800s. In fact he's related to most of the townspeople!

Aunt Florence was an Elgie and she married Wilbert George aka Wib Hooper. Wib was born in Granton, just outside of St. Mary's in 1913 to Edgar John Hooper and Ettie Squires.

Wib's birth wasn't registered at the time, but in July 1947 his mother filed affidavits to testify that was his birthdate and that she was his mother. The nice thing about a late birth registration is that more detail than normal is given. For example Wib's late birth registration found on gave me the information that his mother was born in Tuckersmith, Huron Co. Ontario and his father in Blanshard Twp, Perth Co. Ontario.

Second pile of 15 items from Hooper-Squires Archives
The Hooper family is/was well known in St. Mary's. They ran a dairy (Hooper's Dairy) for many years. So my husband knew quite a bit about the family history already.

We noted several photos of Edgar J. Hooper ranging from him as a young man to a much older man. There are family photos of Edgar with his mother and father and siblings so we know we can search census and birth records to find out names of everyone in those photos.

Hubs knew that Edgar's father was John Hooper and that Edgar and Ettie had two boys - Wilbert (Wib) and Earl.  He can't recall John Hooper's wife's name but we know that marriage records will provide that detail.

3rd pile of items from Hooper-Squires Photo Archive
There are also a few photos of Edgar's wife Ettie Squires. There are also photos of Ettie with other young women who appear to be her sisters. There's quite a family resemblance and most of the girls wear glasses.

So my days of fun are about to begin as I research the Hooper-Squires family in St. Mary's and Granton Ontario using

I'll start by putting up the photos that we can positively identify and also any research I do on the people in them. It's going to be a lot of fun (and work!) because we also plan to run some facial recognition software to help us match uncertain photos with known.

Once we have all the photos organized, inventoried, scanned and published online, we will probably donate them to the St. Mary's Museum. We will also consider requests from any interested descendants.


Peter said...

What a treasure! Just hope you can put names to them all. Good luck.

Celia Lewis said...

Fabulous photos, Lorine! Enjoy gathering more details about them.
On the other hand, weren't you doing some re-organizing/scanning etc. of your office???? Photos are so much more fun!

GeniAus said...

That box is fortunate to have landed in your hands.

Lynne Carothers said...

Oooooooh ... do I ever wish my Ontario people would link up with yours! Joseph Naden Wicks and Jennie Emma Newman came to Ontario from somewhere in England in the late 1800's. So, if any names like that pop up ... let me know!!! Pictures and stories were held in secrecy by my grandparents. LOL

I do hope you find the descendants of the people in the pictures. What a treasure! Good luck.

Janet Smith said...

SO glad you contacted me today! My Genealogy search started with a box of old Photos too! I just love the stories that they tell!

Jan Smith