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Topics - seemex

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Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / Doctor Bill from Ship QE 1947
« on: Friday 12 August 22 16:48 BST (UK)  »
I have this bill from from the Queen Elizabeth on a trans Atlantic Crossing in 1947. I wonder if someone can read the part below where it says $6. I would imagine its the amount in British pounds. I've tried to find the exchange rate for 1947 between US dollars and pounds and I think it may have been around US$1 = 2.70 pounds

Armed Forces / James William King, Royal Engineers army records
« on: Saturday 26 March 22 23:30 GMT (UK)  »
I'm trying to find service records for James William King, born about 1875 in Southampton, who joined the Royal Engineers at about 16. He was eventually posted to Hong Kong where he married Ellen Harriet Thomson. Her father had also been with the Royal Engineers, but passed away along her mother about 1901, I believe in a cholera outbreak. James William King and his wife had four sons, but he died in Hong Kong in 1912 at just 37. His widow raised the boys as best as she could. She worked at Wiseman's Restaurant in HK and also had help from her own brothers and sisters while they lived in HK. I did get some records for Ellen's father ( one of my great grandfathers ) from Fold3 but I think someone sent it to me. I looked at Fold3 and I can't see how one could tell if records are there or not.

Other Countries / American, British or European Colonial Families in China?
« on: Saturday 18 December 21 23:53 GMT (UK)  »
Do you have a colonial family link to China?
In the 1800s entrepreneurs from America, Europe and elsewhere, sought to make their fortunes in Asia. Wool and cotton imports and exports, tea and spices, dairy products, tobacco, manufacturing, shipping, printed media are just a few of the enterprises they began. Besides building their businesses in China, they often built their families there too.

From Shanghai and Tientsin in the north, to Foochow, and Formosa, Hong Kong and southward into the Malay Peninsula, some of today's largest companies got their start in Asia. P&O Lines, Hong Kong Shanghai Bank and Cathay Pacific ( a division of the Swire Group ) all began with these adventurous men.

My own great grandfather was from Manchester, England, and sailed to China. He arrived in Foochow the day after Abraham Lincoln's death in April, 1865. He was 21 and had been employed as a tea inspector for the W R Adamson Company.
In my own research, I've discovered many connections I'd never imagined. Many well to do Chinese, sent their sons to school in England and the United States. Some even married and returned to China with their spouses. I was surprised to see how many children were send to the US and resided in such diverse locations as Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Tennessee.

So, my quest continues here with my search for the origins of my great grandMOTHER. Despite knowing most of her details, I can't find a trace of her origins.
Anyway, maybe someone reading this will take a second look at they information that they thought surely must be a mistake! After all, how could we have an ancestor from China when all our family came over on the Mayflower?
So please don't discard that erroneous information. It might just be true! :)

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

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