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.
If you have a MyHeritage subscription, these would be great to use the enhance / colorize phots app. If not, you can try accessing the site — they allow a number of free photos.
I do have a program on my computer that will enhance my photographs. I have used MyHeritage to colorize a few photographs to see what they look like. For the most part I prefer not to colorize my B&W pictures. But I have seen some great results from people who have.
Interesting post. Your family certainly has an outstanding military past. All the way up to generals! And a national TV personality to boot! I had missed reading your posts, but now I can understand why it had been a while. You’ve been busy. Great job!
Thanks for reading and your comment. When I am given a choice between research and writing I will go with research. If I could find someone in the family who liked to write I would sign on as the research part of the team and let them write about the family. That being said I do have to do better in writing up what I find.
What an amazing collection of photographs. My favorite is the Civil War era one—photography was still so new then that that is probably one of the oldest family photographs I’ve ever seen. I did wonder what happened to his daughter Lottie? Did she take his surname or her mother’s?
And wow, a connection to The Today Show—very cool!
Hi Amy. Lottie did stay with her mother’s surname. Lottie married into the Gonya family. She is my wife’s great grandmother. I have heard many stories about her and will in the future be written about in a blog.
I look forward to reading about her, Charles!
Thanks for these enlightening descriptions of old family photographs. I enjoyed this.
I am so lucky to have these photos it would be a shame if at least a small part of their story was not told.
Great photos and background research.
Thank you. The research was easy to do and that is the part of genealogy that I like. When I am doing that the hours just fly by.
What winderful stories of these accomplished family members! I love the photos also– amazing the Civil War era! I had to research the Zuave infantry as I not heard of it before! Thanks for this experience Charles!
Glad you liked the post. I do not think I would have wanted to wear the Zouave uniform. It was too colorful to wear on a battlefield.
What a treasure trove of gifted photo’s. Patrick’s photo is amazing and amazing it is still in family circulation. You can see it must of once been in a oval ‘bubble’ frame (maybe) They are all wonderful photos but I am drawn to Edwards. Great posting 🙂
Thank you Sharon. I am very lucky to have these photos. Many of the photos from that side of the family came from my wife’s parents and the majority from her cousin Carl who has spent years gather information of his family’s history.
What a handsome family your wife has – Muriel was a stunner and smart. I am fascinated by all the various uniforms – how lucky to find these photos.
We have many photos from that side of the family for which I am thankful for. I wish all my family lines were so well represented.
We have a lack of photos from one line in our family but a second cousin just found me from my blog because she was googling our ancestor!
What great luck. I hope they have a few gems for you.
Another good post. I love to research and write using the historical facts and my imagination. Where did you go to make the picture book?
I have done two books for photos from the years 2019 and 2020. I have been working on the family heritage album (my name for it) for a year or so. I hope to have it done in the next year or so. I am using Shutterfly and have liked the results so far.
I recollect Muriel from the Today Show with Dave Garroway. Peace.
These are wonderful photographs.
It’s always fun to receive pictures of your family members. Thanks for looking at my blog post. The picture on my blog is my great-grandmother on my mother’s side. I also received a picture of my 3rd time great-grandmother taken about 1860. I don’t know if we are related or not, but my cousin married a George Moore.
Seems that everyone has a Moore in their family. They sure did get around. I have no record of a George Moore in my family. But perhaps I have not found him yet. You are right about the pictures they sure are fun to get and work with. Thanks for reading my blog and your comment.
Hi there! Interesting post…thanks for sharing those beautiful photos. Do you know why the family disapproved of Patrick’s and Hannah’s marriage?
Thank you for reading my post and your comment. I do not know why they disapproved of the marriage. Also I have no idea what was the break in the marriage was caused by. Like I said this one is a mystery.
Charles, I haven’t seen any posts from you since this one (February 2021), and I’ve missed them. Wondering if you’re still blogging, still digging into that family history, still around! Hope to hear from you again soon.
Hello, I have had a run of bad luck with my back this year, which has put me on the sidelines. I have been digging into my family history but writing has been put aside. However a few medical procedures have me in much better state and I have been outlining a blog post I was working on when all this back trouble started. Thank you for your kind interest and I will be back shortly.
I enjoyed viewing your photos. I have missed your posts. Hope all is well.