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Topics - seemex

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Free Photo Restoration & Date Old Photographs / Painting of William Leyland Hunter
« on: Sunday 27 September 20 20:46 BST (UK)  »
I know this section is for photos mainly, but I hope maybe there's also some art historians around. This painting was given to my mother, about 1965, by someone ( I'm assuming a family member  bt don't know who)  in England. She was told it was her grandfather, and therefore my great grandfather, William Leyland Hunter. She had it shipped home to Canada and had it reframed. The painting is oil, and I assumed it was on canvas, but because the surface was hard to the touch, I figured it had been backed to protect it. I've recently come to question whether or not it is William Leyland Hunter who died in 1894 in London or maybe his father who died in 1882.
So, I removed the paper on the back side of the frame to see what was underneath and it appears to be Masonite board, which was commonly used for paintings in the 1930s and 40s ( Masonite having been patented in 1924 in the USA ) If so, then the painting is much newer and brings into question, who the person actually is, and who painted it? I've not removed the painting from the frame at this point, but on close examination of the painted surface, one can detect what looks like canvas weave beneath the paint. There's also a couple of small chips in the painting that seem to reveal a weave under the paint.
  William Leyland Hunter died broke at the age of 49 so it's unlikely h'd have commissioned a portrait of himself and the portrait looks like and older gentleman, but men aged more in that era. There's also a possibility that the painting may have been done in the USA by his niece's husband Harry Valentine Shellard. They lived in New York and New Jersey from about 1917 until 1936. The panting could also have been of her father, Edmund Southam Hunter ( one of William Leyland's brothers ) I'll attach a photo of the painting and maybe if I can, a close-up of the chipped part. Any ideas would be appreciated. My goal is to find out if it's truly my great grandfather.

Free Photo Restoration & Date Old Photographs / William Leyland Hunter or John Hunter?
« on: Wednesday 26 August 20 20:08 BST (UK)  »
I have a painting of who I was told was my great grandfather, but I'm now thinking it may instead be my great great grandfather ( a generation earlier ) I'm wondering if someone can tell by the clothes or other details which t might be? 
The choices would be GGF  William Leyland Hutner 1844-1894 died at age 49 in England
Second choice,  John Hunter GGGF born 1815-1882 died at age 67 in England

Other facts are, my GGF died bankrupt with a wife and two young children and I wonder if he'd have had the money to have a portrait of himself done under those circumstances? Also the man in the picture looks older than 49 and I know in the UK portrait photography was readily available, as there are photos of his brother in the same era.

One the other hand, if it's his father, who died in 1882, aged 67, the painting would seem a more logical choice, not to mention the father would have had considerably better finances and more able to afford a commissioned portrait.


Free Photo Restoration & Date Old Photographs / Clarence Studios, Birmingham?
« on: Saturday 14 March 20 01:35 GMT (UK)  »
This stamp is on the back of a photo dated Sept 24, 1945. It looks like Clarence Studios and the lower line is Birmingham. I'm stumped on the word before Birmingham if anyone knows. Also does anyone have info on this photo studio

World War Two / William Gosnold record
« on: Monday 07 October 19 19:15 BST (UK)  »
I just ordered a Military Medal record from the National Archives and this is what I received. The line is a crop from a page with other names and similar markings but there's no explanation f what any of it means. There are no headings or side marks...nothing. William Edward Gosnold was a third engineer on the Swires, China Navigation ship SS Kwangtung in 1938 on and before that was on the SS Hupeh both running along the China Coast and maybe to Malaya. Does anyone have any idea what these codes mean?

Armed Forces / Mitchell Thomson Royal Engineers Records
« on: Wednesday 11 September 19 06:09 BST (UK)  »
I'm hoping someone can tell me how I might find the rest of this record? It appears to be maybe the last page of his record at the end of his service. I have his son's record and it's about 11 pages and lists all his postings as well as his wife and children, with dates  and places of birth. His number looks to be #5079 from what I can make out. I believe he retired and died in England, about 1912, but his service record could give important details of his life's movements. He enlisted about 1857 according to this page and served until 1878. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Brian Beesley

Copyright image removed.

Other Countries / North China Herald
« on: Wednesday 26 June 19 17:59 BST (UK)  »
I'm wondering if anyone has a working link to the archives for the North China Herald newspaper? I've seen a few posted but all seem to be dead ( 404 ) I know there are subscription accesses such as and Brill, but there is supposed to be a searchable index someplace, to narrow the focus a bit.
Brian Beesley

Occupation Interests / Citizen and Skinner
« on: Saturday 18 May 19 17:37 BST (UK)  »
What does the term "Citizen and Skinner" mean? It seems to have been granted after a seven year apprenticeship.


Other Countries / Who is Goot Choy?
« on: Tuesday 30 April 19 05:26 BST (UK)  »
Help! Who is Goot Choy, Kot Choy? Despite all that is written in this newspaper item, that ran in the Hong Kong Daily Press, Feb 20,1937, and the fact that she appears to be my grandfather Tobias Hunter's mother, I have no idea who she was, or where she came from. She was Eurasian and probably 50% Asian or more. She's buried at St Michael's Catholic Cemetery at Happy Valley, Hong Kong. I have found no records other than her burial listing and this and one other obituary, although it does not look like something that was put in the paper by her family. It's more of a news item. On my GFs death certificate, his mother is listed as Catherine Coutes ( information supplied by his daughter at the time of his death ) There must have been many British and other European men who had families in China during the 1800s and 1900s. Somewhere, records must exist? BTW she owned several properties in Hong Kong starting in 1887. Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcomed. Thanks!

I wonder if any of the experts on Rootschat can figure out the highlighted names. They appear to be Chinese names, like Yue Kew and maybe Chong or Dong? The quality of the document isn't very good.
Any suggestions are helpful. I did manage to find that A. G. Wood is the Alexander George ( Wood ) mentioned and the company he represents is Gibb Livingston.
Thanks in advance

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