Sepia Saturday – Three Men and a Hetton Connection

Sepia 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. If you want to play along, sign up to the link, try to visit as many of the other participants as possible, and have fun.

Three men, seated, smoking pipes. One pipe leans left, two lean right. One man wears a tie. Two have open collars. All wear white, or light-colored, shirts. All wear vests. One wears a cap. One has a well-defined part in his hair; one whose hair defies a part. Two with rolled up pant legs; even some bare leg shows. Feet mostly hidden. The roofs of houses provide a background in a clear sky. All look directly at the camera. They seem familiar and comfortable together, yet assume a serious pose. Do I detect a hint of a smile? I think they have a bit in common with the men on the boat, although my men likely worked coal mines and I suspect the men on the boat did not.

John Elgey on right

I only know the identity of the man with the X over his head. He is John Elgey, older brother of George Elgey, who was central in last week’s post. His mother, Jennie Coates, sent the photo to my grandmother. Jennie was my grandmother’s aunt; John, my grandmother’s cousin. I have a copy of the letter that helped me identify John, as his name does not appear on the photo.

John was born in 1895, so the photo was likely taken 1939-1940.

After my post last week that included a newspaper clipping documenting the 50th wedding anniversary of John’s brother George, I did some internet searches for a few of the hints included in that newspaper article. My search led me to a private Facebook group for sharing photographs of Hetton-le-Hole in Durham, England. I joined the group and there are people there who knew George and Bella! What??? I’ll follow up on some of that later.

I posted the photo above seeking the names of the other men and a location. I only got a street suggestion that the next commenter said was wrong. Oh well.

Please add some enjoyment to your weekend by puffing on your favorite pipe, hanging out with a few friends, taking the boat out on the lake, or, may I suggest, reading what others have prepared for Sepia Saturday by clicking right here: Sepia Saturday.

Sepia Saturday – Men in flat hats


This week’s prompt image for Sepia Saturday is a group photograph of “Big Mac” Caddy Master and caddies at Shaughnessy Golf Club – February 1921.

The prompt reminded me of a few photos I have of men in flat caps, some of whom are sitting or squatting like the fellows pictured.

The first to come to mind is this photo of three chums sitting and smoking pipes. I don’t know who the fellow is who is wearing the cap. The only person identified is the man on the right, John Elgey. This photo was in the possession of my maternal grandmother (Eveline), who corresponded with her Elgey first cousins in Durham, England.

Below is a photo of my step-grandfather Glenn Hockensmith and his two sons – my dad on the left and his brother on the right. Glenn was a dairy farmer in Kansas. It looks like a cool fall or winter day for working on the farm. I hope there was also some time to play. I like that they are not scrubbed and dressed up for a photograph. I am curious as to why a photo was taken on this particular day.

I’ll close with my husband, posing here in his favorite hat in his parents’ home sometime in the 1970s.

Here he is again (I told you it was his favorite hat) – this time outside an old home in Waco, TX.

No golfers in the bunch, although dad (Jim) did grow up to enjoy playing golf. And because he enjoyed it, I took it up for a few years when we lived in Joplin, MO.

I’m light on stories and insights today…

You can see how others interpreted the theme by visiting Sepia Saturday.

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.