hrog

Amelia’s Wedding

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c1887

These two photos are from Lavinia Shaw‘s album. Both seem to have been taken on the day of her sister, Amelia‘s wedding. The wedding was held on the 25th April 1887 at her father’s home, “Old Hiawatha“. Both groups are posed around the left hand end of the verandah on the north west corner of the house. Lavinia’s caption for both photos is “Wedding Group”. Much later Mary Shaw added names for some of the subjects.

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“Wedding Group”

With Mary’s identifications in quotes, standing from the left are “Lavinia”, “Herbert”, one of the Thomas cousins(?), “Amelia Shaw & John Moore” and “Alfred Shaw”. Seated again from the left are “Eva”, “Arthur”(?), Margaret Shaw (nee Wilson), “Effie” and “Alfred (junior)”(?).

Mary didn’t identify Alfred’s second wife Margaret and for some reason she appears blurred or turned away whenever she appears in photos in the albums. I do have one clear portrait of her probably taken a little later so considering it and the dates and her placement in the album photos I don’t think there’s much doubt it is her.

I still have some doubts about Mary’s Identifications of the three older Shaw sons. To me the boy on the right looks like Ernest.

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“Wedding Group”

Across the back are John Moore’s father, William Moore, 2 unknown women (although the woman on the left may appear in an earlier 1884 photo), Lavinia, Margaret Shaw, Alfred Henry Shaw, John Clarke (husband of Mary Jakeman Clarke (nee Heywood), Effie Shaw and Amelia. At the front a Thomas cousin, Eva, Arthur(?), two women (is that the other Thomas cousin on the right?), Herbert and Ernest.

There is a possible identification for one of the “unknown women”. William Moore was a Baptist minister and would have travelled from Brisbane for the wedding. a long and ardous journey in 1887. I have a 1903 photo of his wife, Margaret, who would have been about 64 at the time and it is pretty certain that she does not appear here. William and Margaret had one daughter, Elizabeth, who would have been about 25. Could this be her at with the hat (and very pinched waist) at the rear.

The women’s clothes are a clue too. Amelia, Effie and Eva are in bridal white but most of the other women are in what look like very sumptuous satin dresses with strips of velvet at cuff and lapel. Only two vary from this, the possible Moore daughter and the woman in white and black at the front. The latter rests her hand on Margaret Shaw’s lap and seems slightly distracted. Margaret had only been in Australia for six months so who other than close family would be this familiar? Her sister’s Hannah family had no girls of this age so is this the other Thomas girl? She doesn’t appear with her sister in the other wedding group so maybe she was unwell? This may explain why she is dressed so differently to to her sister. I did consider that the other seated girl might be the other Thomas sister but even though the dress conforms her features don’t seem to fit with the earlier photos.

Rebecca Thomas married a year later and lived on until 1959. Her younger sister Elinor never married and died in 1927. I’m guessing that it’s Rebecca on the left and Elinor with Margaret.

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