By Patricia Sherlock

His nose was hawk-like and strong, jaw fixed, raven haired with eyes smouldering like a Hollywood star from a bygone era, wearing a soldier’s garments.

“Is it the same man?” I enquired enthusiastically of my parents, as we peered at this rather distinguished profile on the laptop.
“Yes, seems to be”, replied my dad.

I had stumbled upon a vintage sepia wedding photograph, in a box of old pictures, whilst researching my family tree. There was no inscription; the only scrap of information volunteered by my mum, was that the bride had been a cousin of my granny’s.

My curiosity got the better of me. I was determined to identify the couple and using today’s modern technology, proceeded to study images of possible candidates on a genealogy website. The photo appeared American from the wedding party’s style and they were attired in what looked like beautiful 1920’s fashion.

Eventually, I uncovered a pair of petite plucky sisters, first cousins of my granny, who had emigrated to the US. The husband of one, resembled our mystery groom…

His online portrait showed him clothed in World War 1 uniform and whilst undoubtedly more sinewy and youthful, bearing the same striking raptor-like facial features as the unknown man in the wedding picture. I decided to take a gamble. The photography was scanned and uploaded to the genealogy website, where I labelled it with their names.
I felt instinctively that the couple’s descendents would absolutely love to see the old wedding picture and especially enjoy the glamour of that period.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own