This photo is of Michael's grandmother, Sarah Murray (Joseph) 1885 - 1958, on the right as you're looking at the photo.
Next to Sarah, her sister Rose Joseph 1888 - 1969.
Michael doesn't know who the other two women are but thinks that the woman on the left is Sarah's sister Leah.
The date is probably mid-fifties and the reason for the highly damaged state of the photo is unknown.
I've used my newly acquired Photoshop Elements 15 to try and improve the photo.
As before (see previous post) I've used Guided Edits and the Restore Old Photo option.
I've done some judicious cropping of the photo and applied the Spot Healing Tool to the cracks.
The Healing Brush Tool helped to re-instate a part of the unknown woman's spotty dress.
And the Auto Levels button has sharpened the photo slightly.
Again, it's far from perfect but much improved, I think.
The next photo is probably about 1936 / 37. The women sitting in the deckchairs are my great aunts.
Great Aunt Sarah on the right as you're looking at the photo.
Great Aunt Edith on the left.
The girl on the right is my mum, Doreen Ashworth 1927 - 1982, and the other girl is unknown.
The location could be Wakefield Park which was where both the great aunts lived at that time. (Wakefield in Yorkshire - not actually in the park.)
Photoshop Elements 15
Restore Old Photos
Spot Healing Tool
and considerable improvement I think.
I'm pleased with the next photo. All we have is a photocopy of the photo which shows Michael's mother, Rose Murray 1908 - 2006, when she was about twelve years old.
Rose is on the front row, first person on the left as you're looking at the image.
Photoshop Elements 15
Convert to B&W
and I think it's much clearer.
I've fixed several other old Family History photos with Photoshop Elements 15 but that's probably enough for today!
This is my favourite Family History photograph.
The original photo is cracked. It's been like that for as long as I can remember.
And so, my scan of the photo includes the damage.
A few days ago I finally took the plunge and invested in Photoshop Elements 15.
But hopefully a good purchase.
And hopefully not too difficult to use.
Well, after a several hours of exploration, trial-and-error and reading tutorials, I'm starting to get the hang of it and today managed to use it to restore my favourite old photo.
Not restored to perfection but a considerable improvement, I think.
Maybe in the future I'll work out a way to improve the photo even more but I'm pleased with this for now.
How to use Photoshop Elements 15 to fix old photos.
Guided Edits --- Restore Old Photos ---
.--- and then after slightly cropping the bottom of the photo used ---
Spot Healing Tool ---
with a very small brush to carefully draw a line along the cracks in the original photo.
The brush line shows up clearly so you can see where you've worked.
When you've finished, don't forget to Save As so that you keep your original unchanged.
I'll be checking all my files now for any other Family History photos which would benefit from a bit of TLC.
So far,Photoshop Elements 15, so good.
I'll let you know if Photoshop Elements 15 is useful for Family History in any other ways.
I search the British Newspaper Archive frequently.
I don't get Family History hits very often any more but for more general researches it's a goldmine and well worth the annual subscription.
The BNA has introduced a new search tool just for pictures.
It's limited to five periodicals for now:
Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News
and Britannia and Eve.
You can read more about it on this BNA Blogpost.
It's free to search on this page of the BNA.
As it's a new search tool, it's still in development.
I did a search for Arthur Rubinstein, the renowned pianist, who was born on this day in 1887. There were several interesting photos of him in the BNA but I couldn't figure out how to get to the article without undertaking another ordinary search.
So, the new search tool seems to work well in finding any images which match your search term. However, it doesn't appear to connect to anything if there's an image you're interested in. I'll keep checking it and see if it improves. Or work out what I'm doing wrong!
Certainly, the bookmarking facility was very cumbersome when the BNA commenced but the revised version is very quick and user-friendly so I'm sure this picture search tool will become an asset once any teething troubles are sorted out.
Thanks for visiting my website today.
If you're interested in Family History and the post-WW2 era you might like @1947Diary on Twitter. You don't need a Twitter account - just hit this link.
And if you've bought any of my Family History books - thanks very much. It's about a year since I did my interview for "Life and Living" magazine although the article wasn't published until the summer. It's still available on page 16 of the magazine if you missed it.
And just in case you like reading detective novels, A Single To Filey by Michael Murray is still available for 99p although the sale ends on January 31st.
In 2015, on one of my other blogs, I wrote a post for National Handwriting Day (January 23rd). This year I've been thinking about my ancestors' handwriting and remembered that in 1911 the completed census forms were retained for the first time. These records provide a good resource for looking at the handwriting of your ancestors.
The 1911 Census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday, 2 April 1911. Prior to that day, householders were left a form requesting the following information be provided for every person staying at the house on the night of 2 April:
Information requests new to the 1911 census were the ‘fertility census’ and occupational questions. Fertility questions included how long a present marriage had lasted, the number of children born alive to the present marriage (including children no longer living in the household), and number of children who had died. Questions about employment were meant to give the government a general idea of which industries were in decline and which were growing; however, many people provided far more information than was needed, recording the name and sometimes address of their employer in addition to the industry that employed them.
After enumerators collected the householders’ forms, they copied the information into enumerator’s books, which were sent to London. For censuses prior to 1911, the householders’ forms were destroyed, and the enumerator’s books are all that survive. However, in 1911, for the first time the actual householders’ forms—typically in their own handwriting—were preserved as well.
I have been able to find most of my ancestors who were alive in 1911 recorded on the census forms. In most cases the form was signed by the male head of the household. It's interesting to see that they could all write and that some of them had beautiful handwriting. Although some is neater and better formed than others.
Great Great Grandparents
And a puzzle....
According to my husband Michael's mother, Rose Murray, her father Maurice John Arthur Murray was renowned within his community for his beautiful handwriting. Certainly his entries on the 1911 census form confirm that assertion.
Now here's the puzzle.
Why did someone else sign the form?
Whoever it was has less well-formed handwriting and doesn't spell Murray correctly.
Did Maurice go off to his employment as a carman and forget to complete the form? And then when his wife handed the form to the enumerator was a signature demanded from her? So, is this the handwriting of my husband's grandmother, Sarah Murray (Joseph) 1885 - 1958? Or a neighbour? Or the enumerator? Michael doesn't recognise the handwriting but guesses, like me, that it was probably Sarah who finished the form off.
Sarah is the jolly looking woman on the left of the photo as you're looking at it.
The man in the centre (we were told by Michael's mum Rose) is Mr Phipps. The Electoral Registers identify him as Mr Thomas Phipps. His wife was Ada Phipps so maybe the other person in the photograph is her. Sarah looks as though she's wearing a paper hat but what they're doing and when the photo was taken is anyone's guess. I wonder why we never asked Rose for more information about it. Too late now: although Rose lived until she was ninety eight she died in 2006 so what ever she might have known is lost for ever.
Thanks for reading my blog today.
If you'd like to read my post for last year's National Handwriting Day it's here: Learning Handwriting in the 1950s.
Tuesday 7th January 1947
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK