Monday, May 21, 2012

Family Tree

Today I want to share with you some photos of my family. I've had these photos in my possession since last year when I asked my grandmother (father's mother) if I could borrow them to scan so I have copies of them. They were in a really old photo album too that was falling apart so I wanted to get a new one to put them in for her. 

Anyone who knows my granny knows she's a great story teller and I must admit I love hearing about all the hijinks she used to get up to when she was younger. I had to Skype her yesterday so that she could tell me who the people were in some of the photographs and it got me thinking about how much has changed in the world since these photographs were taken. I bet she wouldn't have dreamed of something like Skype when she was my age!

I love learning about my family and it's great that my granny is able to tell me about the people pictured below, for me it's important to know where I came from and who my family are, if for nothing else than to remember them and learn about their lives. 


This is my great-grandfather Charles Downes, my granny's father. He was born in 1900 and died in 1990, so I got to meet him which is pretty amazing. I still remember the day of his funeral even though I was only 4. We used to call him 'Grandad with the stick' because he had a walking cane and we didn't understand what a great-grandfather was so it was my parents way of distinguishing him from my grandad. My granny said she thinks he was about 18 here, so it would have been taken around 1918. 


This is my great-grandmother Kitty on the right standing beside her sister Julia. She died when my granny was 14, in about 1947.


My granny, Elizabeth, second from the right in about 1939.


She's with her two brothers John and Charlie here.


The date on the back of this photo is November 1948, so she would have been about to turn 16 here. 


25th of January 1951 with a lady called Bernie Murray.



With a lady called Mary White




1952/3 with Carmel Gleeson.



11th January 1951


At the Zoo in Phoenix Park Dublin with Jenny Reid.






All of the above photos were taken in the early to mid 50s.



My grandfather Bartholomew Grimes. 



So that's a bit of my family history. I'm so thankful to have my grandparents around and that I live near enough to them that I get to see them regularly. Do you know much about your family? 

Emma x


  1. First of all, dear Emma, I want to thank you for your interest in Kathleen Schneider's series on my blog. I know that you will be deeply touched by the stories and pictures of her mother and the Brown family.

    I love to gaze at old pictures like the ones you displayed here. Your grandmother was a beautiful woman and you resemble her. Your grandfather was a handsome man as was your granny's father. Good looks run in your family and that certainly includes you! Do you agree that teenagers of that era looked much older than teens do today? To me they look like 20-somethings.

    I knew my grandmother (born 1900) and grandfather (born 1897) on my mother's side for some 30 years before they both passed away. However, I never met either grandparent on my father's side. My paternal grandfather died in 1937, 12 years before I was born and my grandmother died in 1947, 2 years before my birth. I am eager to see more pictures of your family, dear friend!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Tom! I was lucky enough to know three of my grandparents, my mother's mother died when my mother was 9 so I don't really know much about her. I love old photographs too, it was so much fun going through these and fixing some of them in photoshop!

      I look forward to reading more about Kathleen's family!

  2. What great photos! I can't believe your granny is 16 in that picture; I agree with Shady, she looks like she's in her 20s.

    My mom found a bunch of old photo's in my grandma's house when they moved her out, but my grandma was so old at that point she couldn't really see that well or remember who the people were in most of them (she lived to be 96). The ones of my mom's father's family were especially difficult, since my mom's father died when she was a little girl. It's this side of the family that's a real mystery since they supposedly came from Ireland, but we haven't been able to track them down. My mom is really big into genealogy and has traced her mom's side back many generations.

    1. Yeah she really does look a lot older than 16! I'd love to give the genealogy thing a go, I think it's really interesting, even when it's not my family! It just takes so much time, although my aunt has done a lot of it for my mam's side so I should really sit down with her when she's over from the UK and get her to go through it all with me!

  3. So beautiful, very fascinating to see bloggers' old familyphotos! :)

  4. these photos are amazing! I wish I could trace my family tree back as far as yours. My family doesnt really have many old pics. They all got lost throughout the years. Its such a shame. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

    1. I know, I only wish I had more photos, but I just have to be grateful with the ones I have!

  5. This is such a lovely post. Your grandmother was such a stylish and demure woman, those dresses, wow! It's so nice that you have a close relationship with them. You can certainly see the family resemblance. I was born quite late into my parent's marriage (my mum was 36 and dad 43) so as a result I was very young when both my granddad's died. My grandmothers both died before I was born. I used to feel quite sad about that when I was a child xx

  6. Such an amazing post Emma - it's wonderful that you have these photos. It would have been my gran's 100th birthday yesterday - she passed away a few years ago and I would love to have some old photos of her. Though I'd have to fight my mum and her 9 siblings for them! Your gran is one stylish, classy lady - the apple didn't fall far from the tree, eh? xo

  7. your grandparents were quite foxy in their younger days!...and you most definitely resemble your grandmother, especially since you often wear lipstick and style your hair in such lovely retro-inspired curls!

  8. Oh Emma this post is so wonderful! How beautiful your Grandmother is ( you can see where you get it from). I know we have talked before about our stylish Granny's so it's lovely to actually see pictures of her when she was young. Your Grandfather was a handsome chap too and what an amazing name. xxx


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