When I started tracing my paternal family tree in a bid to make contact with my lost brother and sister, I quickly discovered that my dad’s mother’s side of the family were very well known in the Oxfordshire area – but going further back, all the way to the 16th century, they had been Hugenots, fleeing persecution in Europe.
Lots of long-lost relatives helped me trace my tree, and one of them gave me this photograph of my great-grandmother, Esther.
I find this picture intriguing because she clearly isn’t comfortable with having her photo taken. Her hands are clenched, and she isn’t making eye contact with the photographer. It’s difficult to say when it was taken, but she was widowed with young children, and she does, I think, have a sad, faraway look in her eyes. Money was very tight, but her hair is glossy and beautifully arranged and her blouse is pristine (I love the pearl buttons).
Esther died when she was just 42, in 1918, after contracting the Spanish ‘flu, so this photograph is over 90 years old. Coincidentally her middle name was Elizabeth.
*This is my entry for The Gallery and the theme this week is ‘old’.