A Series of Photographs Give a Clue to a Family Reunion!

A Group Photo of Boardman’s

A series of group photographs were among the possessions of my mother, Marjorie’s. As I studied these photographs I pondered where they might have been taken.  I noted the palm three in the background.  Where are there palm trees like that? What area on the Pacific coast is close? How about California, it is close enough for my family who lived in Seattle to go and not cost too much. I think so.

I started by identifying the individuals in the photograph featured above.  Starting on the left we have Marjorie my mother, Ethel my grandmother (in the back), Aileen my aunt in the white dress.  The lady in the back is Charlotte Boardman my great-grandmother.  It took me awhile to identify her but after I pulled some other photos and compared the face, I knew it was her.  Studying the face of the young girl next to her on the right I had a flash of insight.  It was Laura.  The one kneeling in the front was probably Alice.  So who are these two women, Laura and Alice?  Check out the next photos.

More Boardmans

This photo was among the collection and I recognized my grandfather Robert, the man in the middle.  The man to his left was probably William (Willie) and the man looking down on the right was John.  These were his brothers.  So who are the three young boys in the front.  The one young boy on the right is Uncle Boardie (Robert)  and the other two are William’s two sons William and Robert.

Everything came together.  This was a family reunion, someplace in southern California because of the palm tree.

The two women, Laura and Alice, are the wives of John and William (Willie).

The Boardmans gather!

This photograph shows them gathered together starting on the left is Aileen, Charlotte, Boardie, Marjorie, Ethel and Robert.  On the ground is William (Willie), Alice, and Laura.  John is missing and the heads of the boys are cut off.

On the house is the number 175.   Years later more photos of this same family gathering appeared in the large collection that my cousin sent to me.

Another photo of the Boardmans

So here we have yet another photograph of the family.  The man in the suit on the left has his head cut off but he was in a previous photograph.  I think this man is John, the youngest brother.  Next to him on the right is Charlotte, then Marjorie, Ethel with her eyes closed, one of Willie’s sons, Laura, Robert my grandfather with his head almost cut off totally.  On the ground on the left is Aunt Aileen.  This dark-haired lady must be Alice.  On the ground in front of her is probably one of her sons, the youngest Robert, and to his right is Uncle Boardie.

The photographs obtained from my cousin several years back just keep getting better.

The boys line up?

Starting on the left:  It is probably William one of Willie and Alice’s sons.  I believe that is Uncle Boardie who is next.  To his right is Robert in the hat, another of Willie’s and Alice’s son’s.  The boy on the end is unknown?

The Boardman Boys!

In this photograph above,  we have William and Robert, Willie and Alice’s sons and the one on the bicycle is my Uncle Boardie.  There is that palm tree again (see first photo) and a view of the tree-lined street.

Finally a 1924 photograph of almost all the Boardman’s together.  Starting on the left in the back:

  • Great grandmother Charlotte Anne McMurray Boardman
  • Grandmother Ethel Adella Brown Boardman,
  • Laura Eleanor Cuthbert Boardman, wife of John Boardman
  • Robert Boardman, my grandfather

Front row

  • William Thomas Boardman (Willie), my great-uncle
  • Marjorie Faye Boardman, my mother and daughter of Ethel and Robert Boardman
  • Daisy Emily Alice Colbeck, wife of William Boardman
  • Hazel Aileen Boardman, my aunt and daughter of Ethel and Robert Boardman
  • John Boardman, another great-uncle to me, and son of Charlotte and brother to William and Robert
  • Robert Brown Boardman, or rather Uncle Boardie, my uncle and son of Ethel and Robert Boardman
  • Probably the youngest son of William and Alice Boardman, their son Robert R. Boardman
  • In this photo we are missing the older son of William and Alice, William Edmund Boardman

Charlotte with her sons and grandsons

In this last photograph we have William (Willie), Charlotte the mother, Robert holding his son Robert (Uncle Boardie) and John holding onto his brother’s son Robert son of Willie and Alice.  The oldest son Edmund James, of Charlotte’s,  is not in this photograph. He remained in Winnipeg with his family.

You can imagine how happy I was to have these photographs and to be able to figure them out.  Some had writing on the back but others did not.

According to the 1920 U.S. Census for Pasadena, Willie and Alice were living as “lodger.”  So the house with the 175 is probably a rental and the young boy I could not identify might have been living there or near.

Meanwhile the palm tree is driving me nuts.  So I was off to the 1930 U.S. Census for California and I found that Willie and Alice are living in Pasadena, California and great-grandmother Charlotte is with them.  So I now knew what happened to her and that she had remained behind while my family headed back to Seattle.  More on that in a future post.


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