Discovery of the week: Padfields, Playfords, and Musgroves, oh my!

The runner-up for title of this post was “Holy Howick!” because that’s where these three families (and more) were all located at the turn of the 20th century.

It’s been a week of snowballing discoveries since I opened my Mom’s suitcase of photos, which had been sitting neglected in my closet for most of the last decade.

Musgrove family.
James A. Musgrove and Catherine (Kate) Padfield with their eldest son James Wilfred

The suitcase belonged to my grandmother, Sarah Ellen Playford, and most of the photos are of that family and the Padfields. I had looked through the photos many times — and had even sorted many of them into their various family groups.  For reason, though, this week the penny dropped… several pennies, actually! First it was, discovering a photo of Thomas F. Playford that had been misidentified on the back. Then I managed to identify a mystery “friend” of my grandmother’s as actually cousin named Muriel Musgrove… that led to the connection that Kate Musgrove was, in fact, Catherine Padfield. And that was just the first hour!

It would be too cumbersome to explain everything I have discovered in the last week or so, but suffice to say that several hours of research has resulted in dozens of new names and images added to the Carmichael Family Tree.

If ever you want to see “What’s New” in the family tree, there’s a page for that!

P.S. If anyone can explain the vest that James Musgrove is wearing in the photo above, I would really appreciate it. 

Photo Friday: Mary Padfield and her sisters

Mary Padfield and her sisters.
Mary Padfield (second from left) and her sisters.

I love this photograph of my great-grandmother Mary Padfield (2nd from left) and her sisters. The only other sister that can be confidently identified is Marguet, the youngest, in the centre. However, later photos of Catherine, the eldest sister, lead me to believe that she is second from the right. The photo is undated, but was likely taken around 1900 which would make Marguet 15 years old, Mary 27, and Catherine 28.

Of the five sisters, only two (on the far right) seem to be looking in the same direction. At a time when ‘candid’ photographs were rare, it strikes me as odd (and refreshing) that the sisters would intentionally be looking off in all directions.  You can almost detect personalities in their gazes. The sister on the far left (possibly Sarah) appears confident; not afraid to look directly at the camera. Mary has a certain intensity about her, but also a hint of a smirk. Marguet appears shy, looking downwards not wanting to draw attention to herself. Catherine, while bearing the confidence of the eldest, seems quiet and demure. The last sister (Jane?) is the least expressive.but has a certain studiousness about her, perhaps invoked by the glasses.

As an amateur photographer and amateur genealogist, this photo is just fascinating.