Hannah Boyer as a young mum

I recently inherited a 19c. photo album from my grandmother’s house–it belonged to her grandparents, Emma L. Boyer and Andrew J. Marsh. Emma was the eighth of ten English children who immigrated to the US in 1864, after their mother died–but their father had died at sea on an earlier ship, and the Boyer children arrived in New York as orphans (except the youngest, a baby, who also died at sea). The older kids were young adults; the eldest, Hannah, married within the year and moved to Ontario. The younger kids were scattered to foster homes, but seem to have kept in touch into adulthood, because several of their photos are in the album, and one of their obituaries is included as a newspaper clipping, telling the whole story.

I had occasion to scan the photos of Hannah Boyer, the oldest of the Boyer children, today, to send along to her great-grandson (a lawyer, historian and writer, and a former member of the Canadian parliament, as it turns out); so I might as well post it here while I’m at it. Hannah was called “Nancy,” and the child on her lap in at least one of these is her son Freddie. Both taken in the same studio in Orillia, Ontario.

Hannah \
Hannah Boyer ( 1842-1928 )

These would have been taken in the 1870s, which coincidentally is the setting of the novel I’m reading just now (Sarah Canary, set in 1873).

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