I have been researchin my Family History for over 30 years and instead of getting bored with it I am finding it is getting more exciting as I go along. There is more and more to find and more records being released to research.
Some time ago a distant cousin from New Zealand sent me some photos. Based on my research he believed they were photos of Benjamin Woodhead (b 1820) and his wife Sarah (Nee Clarke). There were also pics of two children Amy and Walter whom he believed were the children of Benjamin's brother John.
I have photo's of Benjamin Woodhead and I can see a likeness but the ages, times of birth and the place where the photographs were taken were not consistant with the information I had.
The other thing that had me puzzled was, why were the letters JC written on the back of the photos?
and so the search started. Benjamin was born to John and Fanny in Netherthong, Yorkshire 4 January 1820 and christened 24 March that same year. I had the christening certificate so I knew that was correct. However on this new photograph the birth date was 1827. Also at the time these photos were taken Benjamin was well and truly living in Australia. This was the same for Amy and Walter, the births did not match the ages and dates the photos were takne and again they were photographed in Kendall and not in Australia. The likelyhood of them returning to England for these photos were slim and there were no records at the time showing any of them leaving the country. Cousin Norm was convinced the pics were taken in Australia, and these were definatley that of our ancestor Benjamin as this was what he was told.
An internet search of the photographer proved the photos were taken in England as there mention of J H Hogg at Stricklandgate Kendall so I knew I was heading in the right direction.
Benjamin had a couple of brothers and I knew one was a Joseph, so I began looking for a Joseph Charles Woodhead or at least a Joseph C Woodhead living in Kendall at the times these pics were taken. After days of trying any number of vaiables including Amy and Walter Woodhead along with the aproximate ages at the time but I was no closer in finding who these people were in the photographs. I was determined to find out who they were, they were in a family photograph album and they had to be related but how?
Going over my notes I looked at Benjamin's wife Sarah. She was born Sarah Clarke and had come from Kendall. A further search found that Sarah had a brother John, JC! Not only that John Clark had been born in 1827, the date written on the back of the photograph. More checks of the census found that John Clark had a number of children, two of them? Amy and Walter, whose ages matched those on the photograph.
Bingo! I had found them. I was also able to contact Norm and inform him that the photo's of his ancestor and his neice and nephew were a little out but he did have some lovely photos of his Great Grandmother's brother and his wife and two of their children. Another photo he had sent was one he believed was his Great Grandmother Sarah holding a child, the date and age of the child not matching any of the children known in the family. From the research I was able to establish that the photo was John's wife Mary Elizabeth Carter and she is nursing Walter.