thegenealogygirl


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Photograph Showcase: My Sister Alice

My mind has been rather intensely occupied by the whole muddled mess that is my Hyde line.  Surprisingly, after writing that last post about the updates I need to make, I discovered a whole new crazy plot twist involving bigamy.  Except this time, the crazy was in my direct line and for some reason that revelation was more upsetting than all of the previous discoveries – that should absolutely be more upsetting.  Of course, I haven’t shared those discoveries yet so you’ll just have to trust me that they should feel worse.  Sigh.  I’m adjusting.

But.  Because my mind has been so fixated on this part of my tree, this photo took on new meaning to me.  It is an image taken in Sheffield, England and labeled on the front, “my sister Alice”.

On the back it reads “Alice Hyde Duval”.  Now the note on the back was written by my own Grandmother.  If her note was correct, this photo would be of her grandmother, Alice Hyde who married Francis Cyprien Duval.

Her note is not correct.  This is definitely not Alice Hyde Duval.  Alice Hyde was born 29 July 1880 in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.  She did travel to England with her father and younger sister Rosey after their Mother’s death in 1884.  But it appears they did not remain in England for very long, likely not long enough for her to be as old as the child in this photograph.  Rosey was left with her Hyde grandparents in Sheffield and Henry, Alice, and Henry’s new wife Alice left England bound for Alaska.

So who is “my sister Alice”?

I believe this photo is an image of Alice Whiteley.  Alice Whiteley is the sister of Ann Whiteley.  Ann Whiteley is the wife of Henry Hyde and the mother of Alice and Rosey Hyde.  Ann died 3 days after the birth of a daughter – who is believed to be Rosey – leaving Henry a widower with two young daughters.  He went back to England and married Ann’s younger sister Alice Whiteley.

We now have two females named Alice Hyde.  They are aunt and niece, and step-mother and step-daughter.

Alice Whiteley was 5 years old when her older sister Ann married Henry.

It appears that after Ann and Henry’s marriage, Henry left Ann in England for a time while he was living in Ontario.  She may have been there as late as 1879 – when Alice was 11 years old.  When Ann left England, Alice was her only living, unmarried sister.

So, as I said before, I believe this photo is of Alice Whiteley, the sister of Ann, who went on to marry Ann’s widower Henry.

But here is the really big deal…

If I am correct that this is a photo of Alice Whiteley, then I am likely looking at my 3rd great grandmother Ann Whiteley’s handwriting.

Ann Whiteley is a bit of a ghost in my tree.  She left almost no mark on this earth in the form of records.  There are no known photographs of her.  This might possibly be the only item she ever touched that still remains in our family’s possession.

That is cool.

And yet, did she write, “my sister Alice”?

On her marriage record in 1873, Ann signed her name with an x as her mark.  In the intervening years would she have learned to write so well?

I don’t know.

What I do know for certain, is that there are two family members in my tree named Alice whose lives intersect with Sheffield, England.  The only two candidates to be the subject of this photograph.  Alice Whiteley and Alice Hyde.  Aunt and niece, step-mother and step-daughter.  I have two photographs of them together.

Alice Hyde & Alice Whiteley Hyde

Alice Hyde and her step mother Alice Whiteley Hyde.

On the left is my 2nd great grandmother Alice Hyde, born in 1880 in Ontario, Canada.  On the right is Alice Whiteley, my 3rd great grandaunt, who was born in 1868 in Sheffield, England.

HYDE family, in Alaska

This photo was taken in Alaska.  Alice Hyde is in the back row and Alice Whiteley is in the front row on the right.

Based on their faces, I believe the child in the first photograph does look like the adult Alice Whiteley.

 

What do you think?

 

Is the child in the image Alice Whiteley born in 1868 in Sheffield?

 

If so, do you think Ann learned how to write well enough that she labeled this photo herself?

 

 

Every photo, letter, note, and artifact leave us clues.  I hope I am seeing all of the clues for what they are.

 

 

ps – Here’s one more factor… According to her 1940 prison record, Alice Hyde born in 1880 had grey eyes.  The eyes of the child in the photo appear to be very dark to me – brown or black.  And yes, you read that right.  My 2nd great grandmother went to prison when she was 60.  I told you this Hyde line is filled with a lot of heavy stuff.

 


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The Mess That Just Keeps on Growing

Whiteley - Hyde

Once upon a time, I drew that colorful – {both literally and figuratively} – flowchart.  I wrote about the matrimonial messiness in this part of my tree.  I followed that up with a post about Arthur Hyde who seemed to have left a family in England and then married his widowed sister-in-law while still being married to his wife back home.  That was followed by a post about the incestuous relationship between uncle and niece – Robert & Rosey Hyde.  Then there was the follow-up post reminding readers that we need to always click to the next image because I found even more details about that crazy mess up there on page 50 of a record.

This fascinating series of discoveries was capped off by a post all about Rosey’s Girls.  I had learned so much since I drew that first flowchart that I had to update it.

marrying mess

The crazy, twisty, utterly shocking journey did not end there.

DNA connected me with two of Rosey’s living granddaughters.  My finding-living-people-stalking skills led me to a direct descendant of Rose Elvera Hyde.  And my cousin bait – namely this blog – brought a living descendant of Arthur Hyde to my digital door.

GUESS WHAT THAT ALL MEANS?!

 

That super colorful flowchart needs another update.  A major update.  So major in fact that I have to start from scratch.  I thought that last post about Rosey’s Girls was hard to write.  Ummm…these next ones are going to be even more complicated if you can believe that.

I just wanted to share a few tid-bit teasers and two BIG, FAT REMINDERS as a PSA to all my fellow genealogists.

 

Tid-bit Teaser #1

I wrote this about the men in Rosey’s life: “There are details that come from the nuances of the records that lead me to believe that Harry was the great love of her life, that Neil was a loving old age companion, and that Robert, well, Robert seems to be the villain.  I don’t know if that’s fair, but that is who he is becoming in my mind.”

Well.  I got that completely wrong.  It turns out Harry is definitely the villain.  So much so that Robert is starting to seem not so bad.  How’s that for a turn of events?

 

Tid-bit Teaser #2

A very long time ago I wrote about my Grandma’s adopted first cousin Sherry Hunter.  At the time I wrote about Sherry, I still didn’t know Rosey had any children.  But it turns out that Sherry is a descendant of Rosey, adopted by her biological 1st cousin once removed.  Sherry belongs to that crazy mess up there.  I did not see that coming.

 

Tid-bit Teaser #3

Muriel Grace Groome nee Hyde - cleaned up

This lovely photo made it’s way to me.  That is Rosey’s daughter Muriel Grace.  Isn’t she beautiful?

 

Now for the PSAs.

 

Big Fat Reminder/PSA #1

If you have not DNA tested – PLEASE DO IT!  I cannot believe the wealth of information that has come my way as a result of DNA testing and transferring my results to two additional companies.  Followed up by contacting my matches.  In fact, I’ve gotten so caught up in the deluge, that I have lots of matches I haven’t had time to contact yet.  What other goodies are waiting for me?

 

Big Fat Reminder/PSA #2

When you have a mystery, brick wall, dead end – write about it.  Leave plenty of cousin bait.  If you are a regular reader you have probably noticed that I mostly write about my questions and unsolved mysteries.  In fact, if you aren’t paying close attention you might think I never solve anything.  😉  I am putting out massive amounts of cousin bait.  And it works.  People email me after finding something I wrote about a family member we have in common and they fill in details that ONLY THEY can share.  Details that exist in photo albums or memories.  Details that answer some of my most unanswerable questions.  Like what the heck happened to Arthur Hyde and his first wife Mary?  Did he really just leave her and the children behind in England and marry Alice?  Why yes, yes he did.

Cousin bait is your friend.  Make sure you are leaving it out to attract the cousins you need to find.  Your beautifully researched, perfectly reasoned, tidy little genealogy stories will attract cousins too, but usually not the cousins who bring more toys to the party.  You solved those ones.  Go ahead and write them up, but don’t let your mysteries languish in a stack of notes.  Those glittery little bits attract the distant cousins who just might answer some of your burning questions.  You may not like the answers – after all, there is a reason you haven’t been able to solve it with traditional research – but they are usually very fascinating answers.

 

Are you excited for my new flowchart?

 

I am!  Now, I just have to figure out how to fit all of the crazy connections on one page.

 

Maybe I need to go buy a posterboard…