Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Bit More About Chris

Sometimes, we can march right into the unknown with our research, having the faith that adding just one more bit of information will lead to discovering another clue.

Sometimes, we keep adding...and nothing seems to materialize.

Try as I might to figure out who, from yesterday's photograph in that mystery album, Chris and Dolly might have been, I am uncovering no clues. However, we can learn a small bit more by observing another photo.

Included toward the back of the photo album, the writer—whom we now know was Alice Hawkes Reid of Bride Park House in County Cork, Ireland—inserted this detail about the woman she listed as Chris.

Chris, Alice, Dolly + Lizzie O'Malley with Tim Connell, in one of Chris' fields.

Though that one entry doesn't tell us much, it does provide additional information. No matter how infinitesimally small, we'll store each clue in the hopes it will lead to something. Whether that turns out to be the case, we can't yet know.

Let's take a look at what we've gleaned from the addition of this new photograph. Though we still don't know who Chris or Dolly were, we find they were joined in this photo by two other people. One of those people brings up that O'Malley surname we've run into in the past—once, back at the beginning of this chase, when we were introduced to Alice's traveling partner, Mr. W. O'Malley, and again for an H. O'Malley when we discovered the names of the witnesses to Harry and Alice Reid's wedding in 1927. Still, neither of those occurrences mentioned a Lizzie O'Malley. But knowing we've found other instances of that O'Malley surname may mean something about a connection between the O'Malley family and the Hawkes or Reid family.

The other name was for Tim—or perhaps Jim—Connell, the man standing atop one of the horses. Though the women seemed dressed for a pleasant outing, Mr. Connell appears dressed for work. It is my guess that he was the one who actually handled those horses. If, as was sometimes the case during that era, he was a servant residing on the family's property, he may become our one clue, through census records, to help determine just who Chris might have been.

The other clue, of course, belongs to Chris, herself, in Alice's note mentioning the place they were visiting in the picture was "one of Chris' fields." Chris, apparently a landowner, was likely situated in County Cork, perhaps near the Hawkes' own Bride Park House. Although I have yet to find any such indication, perhaps she was another Hawkes cousin.

Alternately, she could have just been a good friend of Alice Reid. This last thought, however, I tend to doubt, remembering the voice Alice would have been employing for the intended recipient of the album. If the album was intended for someone who knew both Alice Reid and her brother, Penrose Hawkes, it seems more likely that offering photos of Chris and Dolly, sans surnames, suggests a familiarity with all those named by the album's intended recipient.


  1. Replies
    1. Isn't it? Makes me wish it were somewhat bigger. And I would love to learn more about that Tim Connell!


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