Really, really great…

Great Great GrandparentsWe’ve been working on moving my cousin into a long-term care facility, and in the course of doing this, we’ve been going through a lot of old photos. This one is truly incredible though — this picture shows my great-great grandparents and my great-great-great grandparents on my mother’s side!

The fourth and fifth people on the top row are my great-great-grandparents and the third and fourth people on the bottom row (including the guy with the Rasputin beard) are my great-great-great grandparents!

To me, this is just a stunning thing to see. There are no dates, but I’m guessing that this picture was probably taken in the 1860s, either in Poland or in Russia. The oldest generation in this picture could have been born 200 years ago, in the 1810s or 20s.

It looks to me like this picture is actually a picture taken of a fairly damaged earlier photo or daguerreotype. Unfortunately, the names of the ggggrand-parents and gggrand-parents are not listed, other than as “grandmother, grandfather, great-grandmother and great-grandfather”–but they are listed that way in relation to my grandmother Polly and her sister Edie (who was the mother of my sick cousin). Several of the other relatives are labelled more explicitly though, and they are people that my mother recognizes as great-aunts and the like. There was a guide drawn on the envelope:

Great Great Grandparents Guide

We don’t know who drew this either, but it is possible that it was drawn by my grandfather Nat (married to Polly) — it looks sort of like other things he has drawn and might be his handwriting.

It is amazing to see something like this, but also frustrating to not know anything more about it–the names of all the people and their stories, or even when and where the photo was taken.

I do not have any children, but my cousins Elissa and Shelley do. For their children, this picture shows their Great-great-great-great-grandparents!

Update: Lots of comments and communication about this photo from various family members. The baby Lily (Sheldon, née Herskine) was born in 1909, so the photo must be around 1910, and the relationships were off by a generation. The older couple in the front are merely my great-great-grandparents, probably just going back to the 1850s-1860s. The man on the top-right with the hat who is labelled “Jack, Lionel & David’s father” was called Alec.

5 Comments on “Really, really great…

  1. I love this!! Thanks for sharing Arlen!!! and amazed how much Grandma looked like her mother! My kids are fascinated!!!

  2. Hi Arlen I am a cousin by marriage, my name is Jackie and I was David Henning’s wife. Your mum would know me and I can remember you, when you were a small boy living in London. David unfortunately died in 1998. It was wonderful to see this photo, I too have the photo and would love to know who all the other people are. The man at the back right labelled as Lionel, Jack and David’s father was indeed him, his name was Alec and he was married to Dora. Sorry to hear that one of the cousins is going into long term care, who is it. I have two children (girl and boy), 8 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild so it would be good for them to know too who everyone is. All the best


  3. Thanks for replying, I remember Stephen, David and I visited with him in 1969, shame he is now going into a care home, not sure where all the years have gone. Please give my love to your mum.

    All the best.


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