Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Eyes of Margaret

"When morning comes to me
I see the eyes of Margaret"
The Rankin Family 

Our photo prompt for this week's Sepia Saturday is two little girls from Texas, with very sad-looking faces. A frantic thumbing of my family album turned up this picture of a little girl with one of the saddest expressions I have ever seen. I find her eyes quite haunting and her little downturned mouth really pulls at the heartstrings. Who is she and why is she so sad? I've had this picture for a few years, and, until today, it was the only photograph my husband possessed of his maternal grandfather George. The little girl was called Margaret and we can only assume she was his sister. George was born in 1886 in Aston-under-Lyne, Lancashire. He looks about seven or eight in the picture so I am placing it around 1893-4. Margaret looks about four years old. My husband called his older brother in North Wales yesterday, explaining that I was in need of some facts, and lo and behold several 'new' photographs and documents landed in our inbox! We now know a wee bit more about George, but Margaret remains a mystery.

Another photograph of George and Margaret also came to light. Here she doesn't look quite so terrified of the photographer, in fact she is adopting a rather relaxed pose. George seems to be about thirteen or fourteen and Margaret about ten years of age. They are dressed in their 'Sunday Best'; just look at George's bowler hat! In later years he seems to have favoured the 'flat cap' but still cut a dashing figure.


George grew up to be a rather good-looking young man who, according to his 1915 National Registration card became the Company Secretary of Cotton Spinning Mill 38. Lancashire was the centre of the cotton industry at that time. He was also a keen golfer, cricketer and bowls player. Among the photographs sent by my brother-in-law, are pictures of George with his fellow members of the Werneth Low Golf Club and here (front row, bottom right) at the Ashton Cricket Ground Gala Day on 4th August 1923.


The picture below is titled 'First Visit of the In-Laws 1933' so was presumably taken by my husband's father shortly after his marriage to Mary. It shows George with his first wife, my husband's grandmother, Alice. Sadly Alice died only five years after this picture was taken. We do know that George married again later in life. My husband's memories of his grandfather are very hazy as he was very young when George died in 1958.


We still know no more about Margaret, but there is one further picture of her in February 1918.

Once again we have that sad, faraway look. She was a fine-looking woman with a slight dimple in her chin and those luminous eyes, but we know nothing else about her. All the people we could have asked have long since passed away. We hope to rectify this in the future by delving into census returns, but in the meantime she must be our mystery woman.

The song, 'The Eyes of Margaret' can be found on You Tube here.

For more faces showing a range of emotions visit this week's Sepia Saturday and find what others have made of the prompt below.

25 comments:

  1. The wee soul looks terrified in the first picture. Good, though, that it has prompted you to find out more about her.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  2. It's remarkable to see the same facial expressions at photo 1, 2, 3 and 5. Like life is flashing by in a minute. I hope you find out more about these relatives of yours, it's nice you already did some digging and showed it to us.

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  3. I think Margaret is indeed an attractive, fine-looking woman. I hope one day she will appear again in one of your posts, she deserves it.
    BTW I see you are back from having been away.

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  4. The 1933 shot of George and first wife, Alice is my favorite. She has one of those fox stoles - the four foxes strung together, each biting the next one's tail! My mother had one of those; she called them Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (much to our amusement).

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  5. The eyes have it! Now we are all waiting for you to find out more about her.

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  6. I cannot believe that you used a Rankin Family reference, uncanny!

    What was George and Margaret's last name? I'm just curious. I can look them up on Ancestry.com and see if I can find any more information on her.

    She has a decidedly defiant look about her in both the top and middle shots, to me. I bet she was a handful! Great photos!

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  7. I can't wait to learn more about the mysterious Margaret and echo Kat's offer to see what can be found on subscription sites with a surname. Margaret is a beauty.

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  8. I had to skip through the list to read yours first! I feel like it's been forever that I've read/or Facebooked with you! I just adore the in-law photo! What a bunch of emotions are stored in that snapshot. I especially like the man center (perhaps your husband's relative? He sure stands out by the way he sits and his shoes! A remarkable stand out man in life as well I just know it! Your sweet little girl in first photo sure is filled with emotions as well. Not sure if she wanted to just let a gigantic pout or maybe break into tears. Great photos you linked for a theme this week!

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  9. So glad little Margaret got over her fear of photographers! She does have compelling eyes. Good luck in your search for more information about Margaret.

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  10. Wow - what great photographs. Really enjoyed your post :)

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  11. I'm so glad that sad face little girl turned into a happy beauty eventually.
    I feel a kinship with the dimple in the chin, as my family seem to have had a recurring one for several generations - must be a dominant gene!

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  12. Oh my, she really does not look happy in that early photo... I hope you find out more about her some day. It's really fascinating when one does suddenly come upon a little bit of more information about someone who was so far very anonymous. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  13. Margaret looks like she is about to cry in the first photo. I suspect that Margaret died or moved far away when she was still young.

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  14. If no one thinks she's a sister, I'd look at cousins. My maternal grandfather and siblings were close to their cousins, and we have several photo-postcards of them together in what would appear to be a portrait of siblings to someone who didn't know otherwise.

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  15. I'm sorry, but my first impression is that they made her sit there for so long that she wet her pants and felt horrible about it, thinking, get me out of here (but then they will all find out!). What great pictures and stories that you have chosen for us this week, Marilyn.

    Kathy M.

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  16. She appears to be a bit of a mystery. You clearly have no knowledge of her marrying. She is a very attractive woman, and I wonder if she was one of those who either lost the prospect of marriage or their beau in the war. A great number of women went on to live a spinster existence, either with her family or with some other in similar straights. Her eyes may indicate a loss, but also simply confidence.

    More research needed???

    Mike

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  17. I'm so glad you were able to get information and these wonderful photos from your brother-in-law. Margaret is a lovely woman. I hope you are able to find out who she is and what happened to her.

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  18. I so want to know more abut Margaret! She is far too young to look so beset with worry in that first picture.
    She looks very tight-lipped in each shot, yet does have soft features which somehow make the tension incongruous with the expressions.

    Despite not knowing much about her, you manage to know enough to keep us very interested, and more than most people do about the family history.

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  19. What a sad little face! She must have had her hair curled for the second photo, and I love the "bobbles" on her dress in the final pic. I hope you find out a bit more about wee Margaret and George :-)

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  20. A great post, in part for discovering something new from something old. Super photos. Distressed children could be a theme all by itself.

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  21. It looks as if she didn't want to be photographed in the first picture, for sure! Oh dear, dear, dear! I think she looked quite calm and self possessed in the later one but of course we can never tell really. I find the picture of him as a teenager most odd! I guess if he was out at work then he might have dressed as an adult, though surely he wouldn't have done so if he had still been at school. Old photos are so interesting.

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  22. You must have thought you hi the jackpot when the other photos arrived. How nice to see that Margaret got over her fears, sadness, tears.
    Nancy

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  23. What a beautiful child (and woman)--even with the sad, faraway look. I hope that you can find out more about her.

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  24. Sad to see just how quickly can one be erased from Time. Given the web and all of the social medias, perhaps memories will endure a bit longer, offering answers to questions asked later, much later.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  25. Nell,MeThinks she would have made a rotten poker player! Her eyes would have given her away every time.They look an honest reflection of her 'ups' (and,no doubt)'downs'.Maybe she was sad she didn't have such a Dandy Bowler Hat too (I know I am envious)?
    My Bestest Wishes to You & Yours for 2013.Regards,Tony.

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