Thursday, 3 May 2018

The John Culbert - Mary Ward Family: Earliest Known Photo

In recent posts, I've hinted about a group photo I've been meaning to show you and tell you about. Here it is...

John Culbert-Mary Ward family c1865. Earliest known photo of this family.

Back row, left to right: Henry Culbert; William Culbert; Thomas Culbert; Joseph Culbert; and Richard Culbert. (These are John and Mary's sons.)
The people in the front row are not all identified but I assume they are, from left to right: Susanna Ward (Mary Ward's mother); Mary (Ward) Culbert; John Culbert; Mary Ann Culbert (youngest child of John & Mary); and the two women at the end could be daughters of John & Mary (Eliza or Susan or Rebecca) or they could be wives of two of John and Mary's sons.
This may be the entire John Culbert - Mary Ward family except one missing daughter!

There is no date on this photo. I'm going to assume that since that's probably Susanna Ward on the far left, and because Susanna died in late December, 1865, that the photo was taken the year she died: 1865.

Another reason I think the year was 1865 is because the photo was taken by Alfred Smart who had photography studios in London and Lucan. He opened his Lucan studio in 1865. 
The original photo was quite small, fragile, and very faded. I was able to clarify the image and enlarge it so that the photo is still a little blurry but it's a big improvement over the original.
Thanks to Margaret (Culbert) Hankala for this photograph. Margaret grew up in Lucan, Ontario and now lives in the mountains of North Carolina, USA. I asked if she could have a look around for old family photos and this is what she found: a photo of our Lucan-Biddulph, Ontario ancestors, found over a thousand kilometres away in North Carolina. This just goes to show that you never know what treasures may be lurking in the back of your closet or your attic. So please look around and share your finds with us.


  1. Thanks for visiting, Violetta. If you're a descendant of John Culbert and Mary Ward, please contact me. My email address is in my Blogger profile, and also near the top right of the blog.