The Gift of Genealogy
Do you remember this photo?
I posted it on this blog along with a number of others that I took in and around the small Scottish village of Balquhidder, a couple of weeks ago. Well, the reason that I’m posting it again, is that I received such an interesting comment regarding it today over at Flickr, by fellow Scot, Eddie:
“Here was Isaac living with his family on the 1881 Census
Dwelling: Ednample Mill
Census Place: Balquhidder, Perth, Scotland
Source: FHL Film 0203501 GRO Ref Volume 331 EnumDist 2 Page 15
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
William SPY W 83 M Tillicoultry, Clackmannan, Scotland
Beatrice MC KENZIE M 30 F Balquhidder, Perth, Scotland
Occ: Gen Serv
John SPY U 27 M Balquhidder, Perth, Scotland
Isaac SPY U 24 M Balquhidder, Perth, Scotland
Maggie SPY U 16 F Edinburgh, Scotland
Rel: Grd Dau
William THOMSON U 19 M Australia
John MC KENZIE 6 M Balquhidder, Perth, Scotland
William MC KENZIE 1 M Balquhidder, Perth, Scotland
This is the census entry from 1881 which locates Isaac Spy and his family, and gives information on their places of birth and their occupations. I don’t know about you, but I found this completely fascinating, and I am so grateful to Eddie for finding it and sharing it with me. All of a sudden this image, which attracted me because of the shape of the stone, its carved scroll form, the burst of snowdrops at its base, and the soft light filtering through the trees, has been endowed with so much more because of Eddie’s genealogical sleuthing. Rather than a collection of shapes and forms, we now have lives, personal histories, narratives, and the image is all the more richer because of it.
How does the census information affect your response to the photograph? Does it fire your imagination? Has a genealogical discovery ever enhanced your own perception of a photograph before? Have you ever had this experience where someone else has added to your understanding of your own photograph?
PS Thanks again to Eddie – you can check his photos out here.