This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The mysterious wedding photo of Grandma Steele


I like old photos, especially of my family. And I've collected a lot of them, and worked hard to figure out exactly who are in them, and when the photo was taken. But one of the most difficult things I ever figured out was the mysterious wedding photo of Grandma Steele.

The lady in the photo there is my Great-great grandmother Susan (Hume) Steele. The man seated on her left (on the right of the photo) is her husband, Andrew Steele. But take a closer look at the photo. Why would there be those people back there? And Susan is about the same age as the people in the background of the photo, and Andrew is clearly of the older generation. But I eventually figured it out.

I got this photo from my Grandmother Scinto, and it had the names of Andrew and Susan, and the date 1881, and that it was their wedding portrait, on the back. And my Grandmother and my mother both remembered Grandma (Susan) Steele.

It took a long time, and a lot of detective work, but the answer was that this was Andrew Steele's second marriage, and those people in the background were his grown children from his first marriage.  He was in his forties and his new bride was in her twenties. I didn't research the children of his first marriage, but they were probably about the same age as the bride.

My bias was obviously that I only imagined that people of the same age got married. If you've done genealogy, you kind'a figure a new generation every twenty years or so, so people getting married should be in their twenties, as a general rule. But there are exceptions! Mystery solved.

Grandma Steele (at right) in 1922 with her daughter Isabelle (holding my Uncle Robert Scinto) and Grandma Steele's granddaughter Marcellaine Scinto (standing). Four generations.

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