Continuing on with my journey of discovery into the identities of the people in the Kirby antique photo album I was able to develop a theory that the album began life in Yorkshire England and then ended up in Brantford Ontario.
Hubs and I matched photos - we put together all photos that we were sure were of the same individual and tried to work out dates and locations to help. It was an interesting exercise but it didn't solve anything for us.
Since my searches based only on the one full name in the album - Maude M. Kirby - had not been successful, and my searches using only first names as found on some photos, with my guess as to location likewise had not worked, I decided to search on Ancestry.com using a different tactic.
I had found a Maude Marion Kirby living and dying in Yorkshire England but she died in 1901 and this photo signed Maud was taken ca 1920s so they could not be the same person. I'd had a glimmer of an idea that Maude Marion Kirby might have been the original owner of the photo album and on her death perhaps it passed to her mother or someone else in the family.
So I made a huge leap (assumption) and theorized that Lillian might be this Aunt Mabel's daughter. So I started my search on Ancestry.com for any mention of a Lillian with mother Mabel in the Brantford area.
Bingo! A Family Tree had a Mabel Kirby with daughter Lillian who came to Brantford Ontario from Yorkshire in 1911. They were joining Mabel's brother Tom Kirby. And Mabel's mother Mary Kirby was with her. And Mabel had a sister named Maud Marion who died in 1901. My gut told me this
was the right family but I managed to contain my excitement while hubs and I compared information and photos in the online Tree with whatever bits and pieces were contained in the album I bought.
|Writing out clues from the photos|
He filled me in on details. I was happy to have them because by now I'd become quite attached to the individuals in the photos and wanted to know their stories. It turned out that the album had indeed once belonged to Maude Marion Kirby, who died in England in 1901.
Everything was starting to make sense. Maude Marion Kirby owned the album and filled it with photos that had meaning to her. Then she died in 1901 at age 26 and the album passed to another family member - probably her mother Mary Kirby.
When Mary came to Brantford Ontario with her daughter Mabel and granddaughter Lillian in 1911, the album came with them. I suspect that when Mary died, the album stayed with Mabel.
The one puzzle was the photo of "Baby Donalda" with Lillian. I'd surmised that Donalda was Lillian's daughter but I could find no evidence that Mabel's daughter Lillian ever married or had children. The Family Tree owner was able to fill me in. Donalda, (who is still alive, in her 90s and living in Ontario!) was the daughter of Lillian's cousin. The cousin died in childbirth. I do not know at this point if Lillian raised Donalda but am eager to learn more.
And so the orphaned album has found a home. I am mailing the photos to Gordon (the owner of the Family Tree on Ancestry.com) in England as soon as hubs has scanned them. We've agreed that I can put all the photos up on my Lost Faces website for other descendants to hopefully find.