A moment in time

October 17, 2012

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’.

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  • kathleen October 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

    A beautiful woman. I love that no matter how much money anyone had or what was happening in their lives they would still make the effort to look smart.

  • Misty October 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I love that this picture has a story behind it. I can definitely see the sadness in her eyes.

    Fantastic picture

  • Gina Caro October 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Great photo, I love old pictures x

  • English Grandma October 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I just love all those old photos….the fashions and hairstyles! I have similar ones of my long-gone relatives.

  • Louise Lloyd October 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    What a lovely photo to have, something very special. And what an interesting back story as well X

  • LauraCYMFT October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    A really beautiful photograph. I agree with you; she does look sad.

  • Suzanne October 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    What a story these photos have to tell. I agree that she looks rather wistful and sad. A lovely keepsake for you though.

  • Herding Cats October 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Beautiful photograph. Typically Edwardian, so I would date between 1906-1910. Having a photograph taken during this time was an uncomfortable expereince as the sitter had to stay still for a length of time while the photograph was taken.

  • Emma October 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I just love old photos like this.. and love the back stories x

  • Helen Spencer (SaveEveryStep) October 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

    What a fab photo. One to treasure I’d say. I have a very similar posed photo of my nan from about 1917 and I simply love it.

  • Mama Syder October 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful photo and it looks it such lovely condition for its age x

  • Jenny Paulin October 17, 2012 at 8:32 am

    She is a beautiful woman and I love her clothes

  • Kelloggsville October 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

    It’s really interesting to hear more background to a picture.

  • Lousie October 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    It is nice that this photo has a story. I have some old photos and I don’t know who they are which is quite sad

  • Tina Robson October 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this photo of your great-grandmother.