Strachan relatives in 1920s: photographic mystery

I have two old photos have puzzled me for a long time. The first one is of my father who was born in 1916 in Cambuslang, south of Glasgow. No date on the back but he looks to be around 5 or 6, so it must have been taken in about 1922. Unfortunately there is a tear over where the name of an electrician is, but looks like T. E. HEYS or T. E. KEYS.

Robert in 1920s

There’s only one T Heys in the 1911 census, and that’s Thomas Heys in Dundee, which somehow doesn’t seem to fit, but there was a Thomas Keys in Bellshill in 1911 (Bellshills is next door to Cambuslang). He was age 47 and a coal miner with a son Thomas Keys age 15, also a coal miner. Could son Thomas have become an electrician by the early 1920s? But despite a good search, I can’t find anything else that identifies the electrician who was related to my family, or at least knew them. And know them he did because:

Group picture

There’s this, taken outside the same building, and from the women’s dress and hairstyles I’d say it’s 1920s too. No names on it, but the woman centre front is my grandmother Helen Strachan ms McCrae.

I think the young woman to my grandmother’s right is Sophia Strachan nee Sweeney who married my Uncle John in 1921, and the young woman to my grandmother’s left could be my Aunt Mary, who was Mary McBride by then. The woman on the far right is on some other photos taken in the 1930s and I think she’s my grandmother sister. I’ve no idea who anyone else is, but I don’t think the young boys include my father.

So it’s another mysterious group family photo! Don’t you just wish someone had thought to write everyone’s names on the backs of them?

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3 responses to “Strachan relatives in 1920s: photographic mystery

  1. Mysteries, but what wonderful photos to have!

  2. I know what you mean! My grandmother has boxes of photos from the 1920s-1950s that are all completely unlabelled. I spent many hours this weekend holding them up to her and saying “who is this??” and writing notes in hopes that I could keep it all straight!

  3. Isn’t it frustrating. I don’t have many photos, so it’s particularly annoying when I don’t even know who is in them. My husband’s aunt gave us a photo of two young men probably taken around 1900. We know it was a studio in Melbourne, Australia, but no-one in the family has the faintest idea who they are? I sometimes think I should just make up stories about the pictures and run a parallel blog of my “fake” ancestors’ lives.

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