Really Old Cuteness: Willie Watson

abt-1926-william-john-watson
William John Watson about 1926

On Christmas Day in 1871 a little boy was born in Edinburgh, named William John Watson. His parents were George (born in 1840) and Ann (Sinclair) Watson (born in 1839). William John (seen at left at about 54?) was the father of Melville Alexander Watson.  OUR William John was called “Willie” all his life.

Ancestry.ca, the genealogical search program we are using to discover what we can about our ancestors, allows photographs to be uploaded and, when the manager of a Family Tree grants permission, these photographs are available to be discovered by other searchers.

So, one day a few weeks ago, I was searching for more info on William John, trying to fill in some blanks in his life, and I came across the attached photographs of a child named Willie Watson identified with a “William Watson born in 1871. Notations with the photos read “Taken 15 March age 18 months pencilled on back“. Might this be OUR Willie Watson??

1872-mar-15-willie-watson-attached-to-william-watson-born-1971 1872-mar-15-willie-watson-attached-to-william-watson-born-1871   1872-mar-15-willie-watson-attached-to-william-watson-born-1871-b

Well, it is possible!

Cameras back in 1872 were not generally in the possession of individual families but tended to be owned only by professional photographers. Unlike today, a “backyard shot” like this one would be very rare, probably only possible for someone with enough money to purchase their own camera or to hire a photographer for an afternoon.  As it happens, OUR William John’s father George was the manager of the distinguished Caledonian Distillery in Edinburgh and was very well off (one of the only people among our forebearers of whom that could be said). It is conceivable that he might have purchased a camera or the services of a photographer.

And the photo is of a child who looks a little older than one years old.

And the photo was attached by another researcher to a William Watson born in 1871.

We may try to make contact with the person who posted this photo to confirm it but in the meantime, I think it really is possible. And what a cute (Great or even Great-Great) Grandpa he was, if this is truly him.

Linda's Siggy

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