I edited this photo several weeks ago not knowing who the people were. Last week, when I opened up my Ellis album scans to write the next post in the series, I still had no idea who these people were. They weren’t in my tree, not a one of ’em. The man is labeled as “William S. Ellis” so, I went to FamilySearch, started with my 2nd great-grandfather, Frederick William Ellis, and looked through his descendancy until I found this grouping of people. Then suddenly it made sense.
Frederick is my 2nd great-grandfather. He was a polygamist. William is a son from his second marriage to Sarah Jane Barker. Sarah is in my Ancestry tree but until I wrote this post, none of her children were in my tree. I’m not sure how I feel about all of that. A bit of guilt for not including them…? I’m really not sure. It definitely wasn’t an intentional slight or anything. This branch of my tree is so well researched by cousins I really only add info when I’m adding a photo, story, document, or other artifact from Grandma’s collection. Then I thought of my 3rd great-grandmother, Maren Katrine Thomasen, who was part of the “other” family – meaning the second wife – and wasn’t treated very well and wondered if I am unintentionally part of the problem of second families feeling slighted. Hmmm. I guess I need to add the rest of Frederick and Sarah’s children and descendants.
Setting all of that aside, isn’t this a lovely family portrait? I am so delighted to be able to add this to the collection of photos for William & Vaughn on FamilySearch. While they have several photos, the ones that are there are not very high-quality scans. They do have a black and white photocopy of this photo, as seen here, but my image is in excellent shape thanks to great-grandma. I hope William and Vaughn’s descendants will treasure this scan.
Two more comments on this family. It appears William and Vaughn had four children, these three daughters, and one son. Sadly, their son, Oleen William Ellis, died at the age of seven from acute septic tonsilitis. This is likely the last family photo that was taken before Vaughn died in 1939. The photocopy on FamilySearch gives the date of this photo as 1934.
ps – aren’t their dresses incredible?!
This photo comes from the thirty-second page of the album. Here are pages thirty-two and thirty-three to give context for this photo:
This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album. You can learn more about the album here.