Breathing new life into old photos since 2012.

Tag: Irish

52 Ancestors, No. 25: Denis Graham, a Link to the Past

Graham - Boland - New Cathedral

Because this website, and the business it represents, are image-oriented, I try to have some sort of stimulating GIMP work at the top of each post. The cost of this self-imposed policy is that many fascinating family history stories will go overlooked—unless I manufacture some visually stimulating way to represent the story.

Having recently made a bit of a breakthrough on today’s features ancestor, I wanted to write-up here what I had found. I don’t have a photograph of him, though, so I had to get resourceful. Here before you is the grave of Denis Graham, who was the uncle of my great-great-grandfather, John C. Graham. I’m not really one to doctor gravestone images, but since I recently picked up a few new tricks, I thought I’d see how far I could take them.

In this image, I’ve attempted to remove the rain-induced dampness in the original photograph to present the gravestone as if it were dry. The results were middling, in my opinion. Had I attempted this project for a client, I would have given it more time. Since I’m already a week overdue on Ancestor #25, I figured I’d post what I have and move along. The hardest part of this project is putting life back into the engraved flowers. There wasn’t much left in them after removing darkness of color.  Continue reading

52 Ancestors, No. 20: Julia Corr Graham, a Proper Lady

Baby Julia Corr Sample

Here is another of my earliest attempts at photo restoration—a “Throwback Tuesday”, if you will, from early 2012. Looking back, it turned out okay. I posted it as I fount it. What you see is what you get. On the left, the baby’s face had some sort of darkness across it that seems like it shouldn’t be there. A little digital wizardry, and poof! Bye-bye darkness. A little contrast boost, and there you have it. Not bad.

Young Julia and her sisters, Helen (standing) and Mary (seated).

Young Julia and her sisters, Helen (standing) and Mary (seated).

This is an image of my great-grandmother, Julia Corr, when she was a wee babe. She was born in Philadelphia on October 6, 1904 to John and Julia (Foley) Corr. John was an Irish immigrant who built a successful wool recycling business from the $1.25 he brought with him to the New World. The elder Julia was the daughter of Irish immigrants Edward Foley and Mary Mahoney. After the elder Julia died of stomach cancer in 1906, baby Julia and her siblings were raised by their stepmother, Mary (Comey) Corr.

Young Julia Corr was the baby of the family. Her eldest sister, Mary, was about seventeen years her senior. Julia also had these other siblings: Helen, John A., another baby Julia who died in infancy, Edward, and Joseph. Like her descendants, Julia grew up in Philadelphia, but enjoyed summers by the Jersey Shore: Atlantic City, I believe, in her case. Julia married my great-grandfather, Joseph on April 10th, 1928. Their original marriage certificate is the only one I have yet to see.  Continue reading

52 Ancestors, No. 14: Patrick McShane, Irishman. Boatman. Milkman. Watchman.

Chapel Sample
I’m continuing McShane research this week for my great-uncle, Gabby. He had asked me a few weeks ago to build him a CD of McShane family history in anticipation of his Grand-daughter’s wedding. I went to the Philadelphia Archdiocese Historical Research Center about a week and a half ago to learn more about Fr. Francis J. McShane, and Augustinian priest and one-time president of Villanova University. I copied some articles of interest there, including a published history of one parish where Fr. McShane was pastor, and I have spent the past several days compiling these articles into easily readable PDF files. I’ve probably spent more time on this than I should have, but hey. I’m a data miner. I’m a family history completist. If Fr. McShane’s name is on it, I want it for this collection. Continue reading

52 Ancestors, No. 13: Fr. Francis J. McShane, Augustinian Priest and Villanova University President

Ancestor No. 13 is the Reverend Francis J. McShane, O.S.A. (of the Order of St. Augustine). My great-uncle wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and asked me to clarify our relationship to Fr. McShane. You see, their granddaughter, my second cousin will shortly be getting married at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Philadelphia. St. Nicholas was an Augustinian, like Fr. McShane, so they are looking perhaps to tie our family’s Augustinian heritage a little more tightly into the celebration. Well, Uncle Gabby came to the right place, because I happen to know the answer to his question. Fr. Francis J. McShane, O.S.A., was the uncle of my great-great-grandmother, Anne (McShane) Graham. That would make him my third-great-granduncle, and the same for the bride, who is also in my generation. Continue reading

52 Ancestors, No. 11: John C. Graham, and Celebrating My Family’s Irish Heritage

This photo didn’t really need a lot of work, but I gotta do what I gotta do to get a legit 52 Ancestors post up on here, and there is no better way to do that on St. Patrick’s Day than to honor John C. Graham, my great-great-grandfather along the paternal line. He is the Irish ancestor of my surnamesake. Although I’ll never hear his brogue, it still reverberates in the memory of my grandfather, who has done his best to help me preserve the family’s history. Continue reading