Sunday, February 17, 2013

Feb 17: my Grandpa's 125th birthday!

My paternal grandfather, John Griffith Williams, was born in the sub district of Festiniog, in the county of Merioneth in North Wales on February 17, 1888. That's 125 years ago today!
While studying and researching my family history over the past year or so, I keep running across photos I've never seen or noticed before. The above picture was taken in Calgary Alberta according to the writing on the back, and my Grandpa is shown sitting on the steps holding a saw. One man is holding a hammer, one a pair of gloves, one a planing tool, and I'd just love to know where this is, and whose house they are working on! Grandpa's first wife, Nellie, is sitting behind Grandpa, to his left, with a young boy who I assume is Harry. Harry was born in July 1920, I believe, as on Grandpa's 1920 income tax filled out in 1921, he is 9 months old in April, putting his birth date in July of 1920. 
I don't know how to verify this information but hope to figure it out in the coming year.
I would guess that Harry is around 3 years old here. It also looks as if Nellie is expecting her 2nd child, a boy named Wallace. Little Harry died in 1925 at the age of 5. Nellie died shortly after, leaving Grandpa with a young son to raise. He didn't wait too long before remarrying in August 1928.
I just love this photo as it's the only other one I have of Nellie besides the tiny one taken when she was a young woman. This photo was in my Dad's collection and I recently scanned it in.

Here's another fascinating photo. If you click on it you will see my Grandpa in the back row.
I assume this was on a Sunday morning after church, as everyone is dressed up well, and all wearing shoes or boots. Someone was even wealthy enough to own an automobile!
My Grandpa never owned a car. On the farm he always drove a wagon with horses.

And here is my Grandpa, John Griffith Williams, as a young man.
I'm fascinated with the clues I'm discovering and hope to piece together all the puzzles of his life in Canada during the 1910's - 1920;s. 

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