Photographic Orphans 3

So it seems young Mr Merrifield featured in the last Photographic Orphans post has no one to claim him!  He is still looking for a home so I invite you to share this image in the hope that someone needs him to fill a space in their family tree.

This week’s image is again one that has been found in Melbourne, Australia and it appears from the message on the back that this young man’s mother wished to share him with members of her family.  His surname is Bennett and his birth was celebrated in 1913.


The original is a black and white postcard sized image printed on a postcard reverse and is a Kodak Australia product.


Photographic Orphans 2

My first foray into reuniting lost photographs with their “families” has had pleasing results.  Rather than rely on someone finding my posts here, on Linked In and in other media, I began a search of Ancestry to see whether I could establish a likely connection.

I found one prospect that looked promising so I sent a private message to the Ancestry Member.  It seems I had struck the right note, as she was connected to the photo’s subject.  She was most intrigued as to how images of a family from the Armidale region of NSW could end up in Melbourne (Armidale is approximately 1350km from Melbourne by road)

The pictures will likely end up in the hands of a researcher who is putting together the Mackay story – I believe his intention is to place his research with either the local Historical Society or Family History Society.  These pictures have a potential home where they will be treasured.

New Orphan Picture



This image is tinged with sadness as it would appear that this young man did not live to see adulthood.  Produced as a postcard sized image (printed postcard details on reverse) The image dates from 1927 and is identified as being of a young man by the surname Merrifield. There is no location given as to where Master Merrifield hailed from – the only clue being that the image was found in Melbourne, Australia.

Please feel free to contact me for further details.


Photographic Orphans

Over the past few weeks, I have embarked on the massive task of digitising most of the family photographs currently in my mother’s custody.  These photographs cover both sides of my family’s history in Australia and also some from New Zealand and England – the earliest of which are a group of family portraits taken in Liverpool before the family embarked on their journey to New Zealand in 1878.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to marvel over their stories played out in these pictures. Some journal my uncle’s experience in Japan with the Occupation Forces in 1946 & 1947. Others record delightful beach experiences and visits to zoos as the children ‘grow’ before my eyes.

The most touching are the pictures of my Great Grandfather inscribed on the back – “For Dorothy”.  My grandmother was barely 3 years old when he died in 1903 and these few cherished photographs were all she had of her father as she grew up.

I collect.

I scrounge through boxes of dusty cards and pictures looking for treasures.

Every now and again I find something that needs to be reunited with someone who is as committed as I am to chronicling their family’s journey. Today was no exception – several pieces attracted my attention so I bought them.  I bought them with the intention of finding someone who is researching these families.  I hope these orphan photographs add some life to your research whoever you are!


If you recognise these Mackay family members, and would like high quality images emailed to you for no charge, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your email address.  The images will include scans of the backs of two of the images with the hand written annotations identifying the subject of the photograph.

More orphans in a week or so…..