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August 20, 2013

Another Set of Orphan Identified Photos from Cousin Doris

 I love this photo. It was taken in 1925, probably in England. The boys are brothers and their names are on the back as this is actually a postcard. It was sent to my Auntie Cordie (Mary Cordelia Simpson nee Cook) who lived in Toronto.

They were part of a treasure trove of photos, documents and photo albums that came into my possession when my mother's cousin Doris (daughter of Auntie Cordie) died in 1998.

I knew the brothers were almost certainly part of Auntie Cordie's family but until last night I did not know how they fit, or what their surnames were.

The text on the back reads:

"Auntie Cordie
Horace 4 yrs 4 mos Leslie 1 yr 7 mos"

You're probably wondering how I know the photo was taken in 1925 (the scribbled "Sept 1925" on the bottom right is my handwriting, it was not part of the original photo)

I have an earlier photo of Horace labelled "Horace Leonard 1 year, [2?] May 1922" So I had a birth year for Horace of 1921. In case you are thinking that "Leonard" might be his surname, it isn't.

 Last night I decided to enter Auntie Cordie's COOK family tree on  I spent several hours linking records suggested by shaky leaf (after reviewing them of course to be sure they were the correct family)

Horace Leonard Cook 1 year old, May 1922
I'm glad I did because it helped organize the family for me and allowed me to attach some of the many photos in my possession. My hope is that a descendant will find the Cook Family Tree (which I made public) and thus have access to these wonderful photos.

As I discovered more facts about Auntie Cordie's family, I decided to search Free BMD indexes for a Horace Leonard born in 1921 and a Leslie born 1923-1924. I used the surnames I knew were in Auntie Cordie's family (Cook, Towner, Malpas etc) and there they were - Horace and Leslie Cook born to a mother whose surname was Towner.

I knew that Clara Towner married Horace Stephen Cook in 1920 and Horace Stephen was Auntie Cordie's half-brother. Bingo! At last I can give these engaging brothers a family. I'm crossing my fingers that a descendant or other family member stumbles on my blog or my Ancestry Family Tree as I really would like these photos to go to someone who is connected to the boys. And I have more of Horace and his parents.

And to top it all off I also have a photo of Horace and Leslie as young men in WW2, with their grandmother. The photo is labelled on the reverse "Horace 19, Gran 78 & Leslie 16 1/2. Soldiers 2 May" Since I know Horace was born in 1921 it must be 1940.

The date of birth of "Gran" would be ca 1862 and Rose Dugwell, the second wife of their paternal grandfather Henry Stephen Cook is the best candidate. Their maternal Grandmother was Emily Curtis born ca 1855. 

Auntie Cordie's mother was Priscilla Edith Curtis (1856-1889) and she was the sister of the maternal grandmother Emily Curtis. 

The families lived for the most part in or near Ramsgate, Kent England.


Andrea Brockhurst said...

Hi, sorry if youve already received this message. I believe that Leslie Cook in these pictures are of my husbands late grandfather. Sadly he passed away on Christmas day 2013 but would have loved to have seen this article. All the names match his family and so do the dates. Any other information you have would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards andrea

Andrea Brockhurst said...

Hi, my son stumbled across your blog which we found amazing. I truly believe that Leslie Cook in these pictures is my husbands late grandfather as all dates and details are correct and the picture is just like him. Would be great to hear more from you.
Kind regards andrea

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Andrea - how nice to hear from a descendant of Leslie!

Please contact me at olivetreegenealogy AT gmail DOT com as I have many more photos of Leslie's COOK family. I'll gladly share them with you

Also - you can view the public family tree (with photos) I put online at


Would love to hear from you

Andrea Brockhurst said...

Thanks for your message, I will drop you an email as it would be lovely to see what other photos you have.

Great hearing from you, speak soon