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This photo was taken in 1889 near Crail, Scotland at the Lord of the Manor's ancestor's home. It shows LOM's great great grandparents and their eleven children. See the tiny lady with the white shawl on her shoulders? That's his great great grandmother and she was only 63 in this picture. Doesn't she look ancient? Having a child every other year for 22 years will do that to you. She had her first baby at 23 and her last at 44. She actually gave birth to more than eleven, but eleven survived to adulthood.
The father of the family is the seated man with the white beard. He was born in 1820, so he is 69 in this photo. The children range in age from 19 to 40. The two sitting on the ground are Charlotte (21), and Ernest (19). From left to right in the middle row are Alex (30), Mother, Susan (23), Father, and Christian (35). Standing on the back row are James (39), Mary (37), Euphemia (24), John (40), Edward (28 and the LOM's great grandfather), and William (31).
Life was certainly different back then, wasn't it? While this family was healthy, well educated and had some wealth, they still lived without indoor plumbing, cars, telephones, televisions, and computers. And what an adventurous lot; some traveled to foreign shores in the Queen's service and came home again to tell the tale. And some traveled to foreign shores and put down roots, had children, and never saw their parents again. But thank goodness their descendants can make the connections, share the photos, visit the old home, and keep alive their memories.
added later::Someone asked why so many of the people are not looking at the camera. I know why the two men in the upper right aren't. One had a damaged eye and didn't want anyone to see that. And the other had a cleft palate which he passed on to his daughter the well-known California artist Effie Charlton Fortune. As for the others, I have no clue.