Sepia Saturday – The Sweet Shop …. and final installment of George’s Wedding Photo

SepiaSat March 31Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

This week’s prompt of two men in the doorway of a Coffee Lounge reminded me of a photograph emailed to me by a cousin. Thanks Brian! 🙂

Elgey, George.WeddingI’m using this photograph of two people standing by the door of a candy store to fit the prompt today. But more importantly, it is my last post about identifying the people in a photograph taken on the occasion of the marriage of George Elgey to Isabella Lidford.

I promise. The last one……. unless I hear from someone who can help identify some of these people.


Unknown sweet shop in England

There is nothing to indicate a connection between the picture above and the wedding picture except that my cousin included it with other pictures that his grandmother had of relatives from England.

454px-Frys_five_boys_milk_chocolateI hoped that the Fry name on the storefront might give me a clue to the identity of the store owners, but I was so very wrong. Instead I quickly learned that Fry’s Chocolates were the largest producers of chocolate in Britain in the 1800s. The Fry name on the store was simply advertisement.

The Fry’s Chocolates family were innovators in the chocolate business, producing the first molded chocolate bar for widespread distribution in 1866. They were also the first to make chocolate Easter eggs – in 1873 – making this Easter weekend the 140th anniversary of chocolate Easter eggs.

By the time the picture above was taken in 1922, Fry’s Chocolates had merged with Cadbury, forming the British Cocoa and Chocolate Company. When you bite into that Cadbury chocolate egg tomorrow, you have the Fry family to thank.

The photograph didn’t yield any clues and the back of it wasn’t much help either…. somebody’s mother and brother.

unknown Sweet Shop reverse

I have been looking at the wedding picture so much recently, that it occurred to me that the woman above resembles a woman in the wedding picture.

Unknown woman sweet shop cropElgey, in back crop                          Elgey, crop

They look like the same woman to me! Eleanor Richardson Coates, mother of Jennie Coates Elgey (and grandmother of the groom), was not alive at the time of the wedding, so that eliminates the possibility that she is the woman above. My best guess is that she is the mother of the bride – pictured on the right above.

And then there is the young man in the photo of the sweet shop.

Unknown man sweet shop cropElgey, far right

He resembles this young man in the wedding photo. Of course, in my last post I wondered if he was Edward Elgey. If the woman is the mother of the bride, then he could be the brother of the bride.

Elgey, George.Wedding

I’ve just begun research on the bride, Isabella Lidford, and I think I have found her in the 1911 Census. She is listed with parents Frederick John and Margaret Ann Lidford. The children are listed as:

Isabella Lidford 12
Sarah Lidford 9
Thos William Lidford 7
Margaret Ann Lidford 3
George Lidford 4/12

Elgey, left cropCould the young woman in back be Isabella’s younger sister, Sarah? She would have been about 18 at the time of the wedding.

And could the young man on the right in the wedding photo (and the sweet shop) be Isabella’s younger brother Thomas? He would have been about 16 at the time of the wedding.

I also found a 1918 death record for a Frederick J Lidford in Houghton, Durham, England. If I have the right man and family, Isabella’s father died in 1918 at the age of 44, about two years before her marriage. This makes me think that the man with the mustache is Frederick Elgey, father of the groom. Of course, that is pure speculation.

I’ll sum up what I think I have learned about the people in the wedding photograph and then follow up with a couple of closeup views of the sweet shop picture. Here’s the wedding picture again to make it a little easier to follow:

Elgey, George.WeddingThe people I feel confident that I have identified:
The groom: George Elgey
The bride: Isabella Lidford
Man on the left: John Elgey – brother of the groom
Woman in white standing on right side: Ethel Elgey – sister of the groom
Woman standing in back behind John and George: Jennie Coates Elgey – groom’s mother
Woman in black standing between the bride and Ethel: Nellie – wife of John Elgey

I’m less confident, but think my guess is a strong possibility:
Seated on left: Lizzie Elgey – sister of the groom

Good guesses:
Older woman in dark hat: Margaret Lidford – mother of the bride
Young man on right: Thomas Lidford – brother of the bride

Pure speculation, but reasonable guesses:
Man with mustache: Frederick Elgey – father of groom
Girl in back between older women: Sarah Lidford – sister of the bride
Seated on right: maybe, possibly, could be Hilda Dawson – cousin of groom

That’s what I think, anyway. I’d love to hear what you think!

Here’s a closer look at the sweet shop, just for fun.

Unknown sweet shop in England_2











Do you think those are filled Christmas stockings in the window?

Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, or perhaps more chocolate with the other’s who are participating in Sepia Saturday.


Sources: 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911. England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2006 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.

Flatbed scan of advertisement of Fry’s “Five Boys” milk chocolate from Wikimedia Commons.


George’s Wedding Photo Part 6 – Jennie

I think I know where George’s mother is in the wedding photograph.

On the back of the picture below, my grandmother wrote:
Eleanor Coates
– daughter and grandchildren

Eleanor Coates, daughter and grandchildren copy

Eleanor Coates, daughter and grandchildren

That would make the older woman on the right Eleanor (Richardson) Coates and the younger woman one of her two daughters – Jennie (Jane Ann) or Nellie (Mary Ellen). The children lead me to believe that the woman is Jennie as they seem to fit the birth order of Jennie’s children.

The 1901 Census for England and Wales lists the following children for Jane A. and Frederick Elgey:
Jane P. age 9
John age 6
Ethel age 3
George age 1
Elizabeth age 1 month

If the baby in the picture is George, that would date the photograph above around 1900 – Jane P. standing between Jennie and Eleanor, John on the left, and Ethel in white standing in front. Records indicate that Jane P. died in 1905, so she would not have been in the wedding photograph.

Elgey, George.Wedding

That looks like Mom – Jennie Coates Elgey – peeking from behind her sons John and George.

Elgey, Jennie cropJennie Coates Elgey crop

They look like a match to me. Eyes, nose, mouth, and the shape of face look the same. The tilt of the head even seems to match.

Elgey, Frederick cropI do not have any other pictures to help me identify the rest of the Elgey family who might be in the wedding picture.

Perhaps the man with the mustache is George’s father, Frederick Elgey, who made his living as a barber. I think the shape of his face matches both George and John and he has the same deep-set eyes and eyebrows as George, John and Ethel.

But then again, maybe he is the father of the bride…..

Elgey, far right

Jennie and Frederick had two additional sons who appear in the 1911 census – Edward, born about 1905, and Thomas, born about 1910. The young man standing on the right looks enough like the others to be part of the Elgey family. Edward would have been about 15 at the time of the wedding and Thomas only 10. I think he looks older than 15 – he’s so tall.

Maybe he is a friend. Or a cousin.

Or maybe he is a brother of the bride. I think they look enough alike to be siblings.

Who knows? I hope someone can identify him!

If you’d like to catch up with who’s who in the wedding photograph, here are the links:
Isabella Lidmore
George Elgey
Ethel Elgey
John Elgey
Nellie – Mrs. John Elgey

_________________________________________________________________________ 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911. 1901 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901.

FreeBMD. England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.









Wedding Wednesday – George’s Wedding Photo Part 5: Lizzie?

I’ve been deconstructing a photograph taken at the wedding of George and Bella Elgey (1920 in Durham, England) and trying to identify the people in the picture using pictures of the “English relatives” in my grandmother’s collection. If you’d like to catch up, I’ve listed the links to previous posts at the bottom.

Identifying the first few individuals was pretty easy, but I ran into trouble as I continued. A letter from “Aunt Jennie” to my grandmother, Eveline Coates, provided information about several people whom I assumed were Jennie’s children.

I knew that my grandmother’s father was Joseph Coates and found him in the 1881 Census for England and Wales. There is a son, Joseph (age 13), and a daughter, Jane Ann (age 3), with their parents John and Ellen Coates in Willington, Durham, England.
gen.1881EnglandCensus-johncoates crop

I’m a little slow, but it finally dawned on me – Jennie must be a nickname for Jane Ann.

I found Jane A. Elgey in the 1901 Census in Hetton-le-Hole, Durham, England married to Frederick Elgey with children Jane P., John, Ethel, George and Elizabeth. All of those names were in Aunt Jennie’s letter except Jane P.

1901EnglandcensusFrederickElgeyJaneACoates crop

It seemed that I had the family group identified, so I returned to the wedding photograph. I had not yet identified Lizzie, the youngest child in the 1901 census, so I looked at the girls seated in front. Lizzie would have been about 20 years old at the time of the wedding. If those girls in the front are 20 maybe I should be calling them young women. Elgey, George.Wedding

The picture below has this signature on the back:
With Fondest Love
from Lizzie

Elgey, Lizzie

Lizzie – Mrs. Jack Hall

My mother’s handwriting also appears there, with this inscription: Mrs. Jack Hall.

At first glance, I thought Lizzie looked like the girl on the right in the wedding picture.
Elgey, on rightElgey, Lizzie crop

I also found the picture below…..

Mr. and Mrs. John Hall.Aug1926 copy

Mr. & Mrs. John Hall

and thought she must be the girl on the left.

Elgey, on leftMr. and Mrs. John Hall.Aug1926 crop woman

But wait – the back of the picture of the rather dour-faced couple reads:

Mr. & Mrs. John Hall
30 Wear Street
August 1926

Jack Hall copy

Jack Hall

Are Jack Hall and John Hall the same person? Could be. We’ve all heard of John Kennedy aka Jack. And I found a picture identified as Jack Hall that looks like he could be the man in the picture above – although the profile view makes it difficult to match.


So are these pictures of the same woman – Lizzie?
Mr. and Mrs. John Hall.Aug1926 crop womanElgey, Lizzie crop

And if so – is she one of the girls in the wedding picture?
Elgey, on leftElgey, on right

There is one more picture of Lizzie. The back of this picture names Jack, Lizzie, Nell and John. I’m pretty sure that’s John Elgey and his wife, Nellie, on the right. So that’s Lizzie in the middle and Jack on the left. Jack and Lizzie look like they could be the unhappy looking couple in the earlier picture. I’m so glad they are happy here! Maybe they are laughing about Lizzie’s house slippers.

Nell, John, Lizzie, Jack copy

Jack, Lizzie, John, Nell

Could this be a progression of Lizzie as she aged?

Elgey, Lizzie cropMr. and Mrs. John Hall.Aug1926 crop womanLizzie crop
Or is the woman in the middle not Lizzie? And if she is not Lizzie, then are John Hall and Jack Hall two different men?

And if all 3 of the pictures above are Lizzie – is she one of these girls?
Elgey, on leftElgey, Lizzie cropElgey, on right

Aunt Jennie mentions “cousin Ida” in her letter – but I have pictures identified as Ida and she doesn’t look like anyone in the wedding picture.  Jennie also mentions Hilda in the letter – whom I now know is Ida’s sister. Ida and Hilda are Jennie’s nieces.

Until I started typing this, I had never considered the possibility that Hilda might be in the picture – but a cousin could be in the wedding party. I must take a look….. Hilda would have been about 20 when the wedding occurred. Does she look like the girl on the right? (Hilda is pictured here on either side.)
Hilda 2 copy cropElgey, on rightHilda copy 2 crop

Here is what I think:

Jack Hall and John Hall are the same person.
Lizzie is in the 3 pictures – two identified as Lizzie and one identified as Mrs. John Hall.
Lizzie could be the girl on the left in the wedding picture. There seems to be enough resemblance in the shape of her face, nose, and eyes.
The girl on the right could be Hilda.

I don’t know if I will ever solve the question of the girls seated in the wedding picture unless I hear from a cousin somewhere who knows who they are, but I’d like to hear what you think!

There are five people left to identify in the wedding picture. Stay tuned.

If you’d like to catch up with who’s who, here are the links:
Isabella Lidmore
George Elgey
Ethel Elgey
John Elgey
Nellie – Mrs. John Elgey