Lisnahunchin, Portglenone Ireland 1936
Photo By George Morrow
My dead do not whisper.
They are not soft shadowy forms seen out of the corner of the eye at twilight.
They are not the simple black and white images framed and hung or saved and filed on my hard drive. Nor are they just the facts printed on documents found after long searches on-line.
My dead are so much more.
They stare at me. Locking eyes and daring me to discover and dish out their particular details…
How fitting that I managed to finally place the last piece of your story today, Annie Jane, on this your 142nd birthday.
Annie Jane Gamble, my grandfathers mother. I can tell you that she was the daughter of a weaver, born in Lisnahunchin, Portglenone Ireland in 1874. Annie Jane Gamble moved to Scotland where she married a man, George Morrow, 5 years her junior. They had five children, one of which was my grandfather, George Morrow who took all these photos and then left this treasure trove without markings or notations of any kind, and in the process drove me mad with curiosity for nearly 5 decades…
The woman in black velvet, is her mother, Mary Dempsey, who married said weaver John Gamble in the 1st Presbyterian church in Aghogill in 1871.
Today after years of searching I finally found the marriage license of the the younger woman, Agnes Morrow Howard, my grandfathers sister, and the birth certificate for her child, Anna Gamble Howard. Anna was born in 1932, which was the key. The child in the photo was long thought to be a grandchild, but nameless. I knew the photo had to be taken before Annie’s death on January 5th 1938, and the child looks about 4, so I guess this to be the summer of 1936.
Four generations. Mary, Annie, Agnes and Anna. Named and noted at last.
Happy Birthday Annie. I will keep writing and we will remember.