Monday, February 24, 2014

The Oldest Photographs in the Hastings Archives

A wonderfully "Victorian Era" photograph, but unmarked, so we do not know this little child's identity. This was found in my Grandmother, Frances Watrous Hastings' collection of photographs. Because "Critcherson" was a resident of Worcester, my guess is that this could be Harry Leander Hastings, if a boy; or Bertha Mae Hastings, if a girl.  The fashion of the Victorian era was to outfit males in dresses, so it makes it difficult when unsure of the gender of the child!
Historically, this photograph has great value.  "Critcherson" was an important photograph in the 1800's.
In 1869 John Dunmore and George Critcherson accompanied the marine painter William Bradford (1823–1892) on an expedition to the Arctic. Using the photographs as reference, Bradford later painted scenes of the Arctic wilderness that won great acclaim in America and England.
This is another unidentified person.  Since this series of photographs are pre-1890's, and in Frances Hastings' collections, I surmise that these people might all be connected to the "Lowe" family since Leander Hastings married Lucy Lowe. A few of the following do have some notations, which brings me to this conclusion.

This young lady is Leander Hasting's Niece.  There are pencil notations on the back that I am unable to read, other than the name "Ruggles".  In pen, written by my Grandmother, Frances W. Hastings Cook, is "my Grandfather's niece."  The photography studio is "R.B. Lewis, Hudson, Mass."
Mr. Lewis is listed in "America's Most Productive Photographers during the Carte-de-Visite Period"

It is hard for me to believe that these are the same woman - young and old, since both pictures are in the same condition - but each one has the same name on the back.  On the first one, written in pencil, and in a handwriting that I do not recognize, it states:  "Aunt Lizzie Lowe".  The photography studio stamp is "Warren, 100 Merrimack St., Lowell."
The second photograph also has the same handwriting, in pencil, but is not legible other than the name "Lowe".  The photography studio stamp is "Morrill - Lowell"; and, in my Grandmother, Frances Hastings Cook's handwriting is" "Grandmother Hastings Mother", who would be:
Elizabeth Lucy Pevey Lowe, b:8-30-1801/d:10-28-1882 @ Lowell, Massachusetts.
This would make her my Great, Great, Great Grandmother!

This pretty young woman is unidentified.

This baby is also unidentified, but the photography studio stamp is "A. F. Daniels, 333 Main St., Worcester, Mass." So, again, this could be Harry Leander Hastings.  The photographer, A.F. Daniels, is also listed in "America's Most Productive Photographers During the Carte-de-Visite Period."

Here we have a family photo that was probably done as a "several generations" photo.  The baby is
my Grandmother, Frances Watrous Hastings Cook, although I am not positive... in my own handwriting is a notation that this is Frances, but I am not sure how I came to that conclusion.  If this is a "four generations" Hastings family photo, and the baby is, in fact, my Grandmother Frances Hastings, then it might be Leander Hastings' Mother (Ann E. Parks Hastings), with Leander Hastings on the right, and his son, Harry Leander Hastings, on the left, but in comparing other photos of Harry Hastings, this really does not look like him.   On the other hand, this could be relatives from Margaret Isabelle Smith Watrous Hastings' family, which would make the elderly woman Sarah Howland Shove Smith. Very frustrating that these old photographs of our relatives remain unidentified.

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