I have been reviewing the numerous photographs which were given to me on a thumb drive. The photographs are of people on my wife’s maternal side of the family. They were given to me by Carl Gonya, who has for years studied that side of the family. I am having many printed and also working to organize them into a photobook that I hope to get printed. The book will cover ancestors from my side and my wife’s side of the family. By doing this, the pictures will be on a printed page and identified as to who they are. I thought I would share a few of these pictures with you. I selected these particular pictures because, for the most part, they were all in uniform.
I will start with our mystery man. Carl told me that it is believed that the above picture is of Patrick Hart (Hunt?). Patrick would be my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather. On September 11, 1863, Patrick married Hannah Sanford Ladd. She was the daughter of Ulysses and Electa Hazen Ladd, who had, according to family lore, very strong objections to the marriage. Patrick and Hannah had one daughter then it seems he disappeared from the family. It is believed he joined the Union Army perhaps in a Zouave regiment if that is him in the picture. Hannah went back to using her maiden name Ladd for the rest of her life. One story about Patrick was that he died on the USS Maine when it exploded in Havana Harbor, which sparked the Spanish-American War. However, this story was easy to disprove. I have spent many hours hunting for Patrick to learn his story. So far, I have no real hard facts about him, but the search will continue. With more and more records being placed on the internet and opened for public view, my big break may be just around the corner
The above photograph is that of Edward Monty Kirkpatrick, my wife’s first cousin twice removed. The picture was taken sometime after January 1899, when Edward first made the rank of corporal. One of his duties during World War 1 was guarding New York City’s water supply. Edward spent 38 years in the service of his country and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. His service was a combination of active and reserve duty. He retired from the military in 1936. He also worked for the National Biscuit Company of New York for many years as director of security. Edward died in 1979 at 102 years old. The beautiful woman pictured below is Edward’s daughter Muriel Kirkpatrick MacPherson
Muriel was the NBC weatherperson for the Today Show in the 1950s. This may explain why my wife is always studying a weather map, but I doubt that is the case. Muriel was to show she had talents well beyond reading the weather. She was to receive a Masters Degree in English from Fairleigh Dickerson University. Muriel put that degree to good use as an adjunct professor of English at Fairleigh Dickerson and William Patterson University before retiring in 1986. Muriel’s marriage lasted 52 years, ending with her death at 83 years of age in 2008. It is not every day you find a television personality from a major show in the family.
The picture above is Luman C Holcomb Jr. in the uniform he wore during World War 1. Luman is my wife’s second cousin, and I have already written about his father, Dr. Holcomb, in a previous blog. Luman Jr. was a letter carrier for 40 years before his retirement. During World War 1 Luman was in the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) at Norwich University, in Vermont. The S.A.T.C. was formed to educate student draftees in various trades and skills needed for the war effort. The military and the individual colleges jointly ran the program. Luman was inducted on October 23, 1918, and was discharged on December 12, 1918.
The photograph above is of Glenn (Glenwald) Kirk Otis, in his World War 1 uniform. Glenn was to see action in the Signal Corps unit of the Seventh Division. My wife’s first cousin, twice removed, was to die at an early age of 52 after suffering a heart attack. He still put in 30 years working for the D&H Railroad as a telegrapher then later as a train dispatcher. His son Glenn Kay Otis was picked from the ranks to attend the United States Military Academy, WestPoint, from which he graduated in 1953. He had a 42-year career in the army and rose to the rank of General.
These are just a very few of the photographs I have yet to go through and study. Most of us have family photographs just waiting to be appreciated. Take some time to rediscover their story and record it so it will become part of your family’s history.