Old Photographs

One generation removed

The brothers
The men pictured here are, from left to right: Guy Abram Robinson, Jr. (“Don”), James Clark Robinson (“Rob” or “Clarke”), Philip Nathaniel Robinson (“Bud”) and my father, Bruce Randall Robinson. The picture was probably taken in 1939.

Nicknames are an interesting point with this generation. I don’t know why my dad was the only brother without one (perhaps he had one that I just never found out about). Pennsylvania relatives called James “Clarke.” Everybody else called James “Rob.” Nobody ever called James “James.” Also, I have no idea where “Don” got his nickname, since I haven't found any other Donalds in the Robinson line (except his son) to whom it may refer.

My dad
This picture of my father, Bruce, was taken in the early 1960s.

Bud and Rob
Bud is seated on the left, Rob is on the right. Photograph dates from approximately 1920. For comparison, I have also included a snapshot of this pair taken in Erie in 1984, with Bud again on the left and Rob on the right, as an illustration of what sixty some-odd years can do.

Don
Here are my uncle Don and his wife, Lovey, at their wedding. Notice the lipstick on both. Ah, the fifties.

Rob again
His favorite picture of himself, so if I didn’t include it, he would cuss me from the grave. (Taken in the late sixties or early seventies.)

Janie Morrisey
This was one of my mom’s favorite pictures of herself, taken in 1929 and run on the cover of The Mixer, which was the employee publication for the Joliet steel mill at which her father was a supervisor.

Jane Morrisey
This was my mother’s other favorite picture of herself, of which she had multiple copies made. It was taken in 1948, which was her senior year at Lindenwood College.

Uncle Jack
Here is a portrait of my uncle, John David Morrisey, Jr. (“Jack”), probably taken while he was in engineering school right before WWII. He was drafted into the army as a cook, and later became a combat aerial photographer. Apparently the experience moved him, after the war, to switch from engineering to law.

Two generations removed

My paternal grandfather
A portrait of Guy Abram Robinson, made approximately 1900. My grandfather is rumored to have won a race on his horse against the neighbor’s Pierce Arrow. You’d never tell it from this dude outfit.

Louise Clark
My paternal grandmother, Emma Louise Clark. Official documents call her “Emma Louise,” but all the relatives I’ve talked to have never heard her referred to as anything but “Louise.” I think she preferred it. (The portrait itself has obviously seen better days, and was probably made in the late 1900s/early 1910s.)

The Bedfords
My great-aunt, Eva Althea Robinson, and her husband, Dr. Bruce W. Bedford (after whom my father was named), who raised my dad after his parents passed away in 1922. I don’t know who raised the other brothers, but I do know they all grew up in Pleasantville, Venango, Pennsylvania. Picture was probably taken in the ’40s.


Ethel Brown
My maternal grandmother, Ethel Maurine Brown, on a trip to a place called “Starving Rock.” I have no idea where this is, but assume it’s in Illinois. Her apparent age and fashion sense would suggest this photo was taken in the 1910s.

The lavender grandma
Here is Ethel Morrisey as I remember her (yes that’s me on her lap). Photo was taken in Cheyenne in 1962.

John David Morrisey, Sr.
My maternal grandfather, after whom I’m named. Photo most likely taken in the 1930s.

"Aunt Gertrude"
Ethel’s sister, my great aunt. Picture probably from the 1920s.


Three generations removed

Civil War reunion
This is most likely a picture of a gathering of C.S. Chase Post #50 of the Grand Army of the Republic, Titusville, PA. (The GAR was a prominent group of Union Civil War veterans; more information can be found about them here.)

My father’s father’s father, Philip Nathaniel Robinson, is pictured. Originally my uncle told me that he was the fellow in the back row left, with the long beard, and that his wife, “Sean Fogel,” was seated in front of him. Later I acquired another picture of him from his obituary, and it seems he looks a lot more like the man in the bowler hat to the right of the man with the beard. Which would make his wife, whose real name turns out to actually be Samantha Fogle, the gray-haired lady in front of him. Or so I assume.

(A full-sized version of the picture, showing the entire gathering, is also available, and is 341 kilobytes in size. The number of stars on the flag displayed in the background, 45, places the date of this photograph between 1896 and 1908.)

P. N. Robinson
Another picture of Philip Robinson, courtesy Dan Robinson

Mariah Jane Robinson Manross
Philip's older sister, who lived in Fagundas most of her life. Married to George Manross. Photo courtesy Christine Welker. Date unknown.

Mary Jane Button
Scan of an old tintype of my mother’s mother’s mother. Date unknown (19th century).

William Brown
Mary Jane Button’s husband, my great grandfather. Date unknown (19th century).

Etta Maria Ardaugh
My mother’s father’s mother. She was married to James Francis Morrisey, of whom I don’t have a picture, but whom a distant cousin who met him in life described as a “white-haired Irishman.” Date unknown.

Four generations removed

Catherine Doyle Morrisey
Immigrated from Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland. My great-great grandmother. (Date unknown-19th century)