Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: My great grandmother Blanche Purdy's first wedding photo

Blanche Purdy, 15 and Frank Rhodes, 26
February 22, 1903 - Hubbard, Minnesota

It turns out that my great grandmother Blanche Purdy was married (and divorced) before she met my great grandfather Willard Calvin Moore. On the day this photo was taken, Blanche and Frank Rhodes were married in Hubbard, Minnesota. The amazing part is that I would never have seen this photo, nor would anyone else in my family, if it weren't for Ancestry.com and a little old-fashioned sleuthing. With a hunch and some hope and the help of Ancestry.com, I followed Frank's family line in every direction that I could. As luck would have it, Frank's sister Ellena Belle Rhodes Warren (1892-1998) lived until one month before her 106th birthday, greatly increasing the likelihood that her keepsakes might still exist! I was able to connect with her son through Ancestry's Member Connect and asked him if he, by chance, had any photos of Frank. He explained that his mother had left quite a few photos, but since most were unidentified he planned on donating them when he got around to it. He promised to take a look for me. Imagine my surprise when he wrote back to say that he had located Frank and Blanche's original wedding photo! Unbelievably, he offered to send it to me, along with a picture of Frank. True to his word, the original photos arrived a few days later.

Frank Abbott Rhodes (1876-1938)

As a tribute to this dear woman Ellena, who allowed me a glimpse of the timid-child-bride face of my great grandmother, I post this beautiful studio shot of her beloved older brother that she cherished all of her long life and that her son so generously shared with me.

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