Discovering Family

t15217While looking into my family history I discovered this photograph amongst others that my parents had when they died. The writing on the back is like my mother’s handwriting and it clearly says the word “Mother”. My mother was born Ethel Dwyer and if the little baby is my grandmother she would be a “Kilvington” at this point and lived in Clarence Row (Portrack). The date of the photograph is the key which I don’t have. The photograph also has the name of the photographers, Charles W. Sterling, Bridge Street, Stockton.
I’d be grateful for any clues.

Photograph and details courtesy of Frankie Hatton.

12 thoughts on “Discovering Family

  1. I remember your mother as her sister Philomena lived next door to my mother in Tilery, she used to visit her sister with her boyfriend Tommy Hatton which I assume she eventually married.

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    • Yes indeed they did around 1958 is this Aunt Phil’s house on Craister Street? I think she lived in number 10 I had a bath there once in the tin bath by the fire.


  2. The style of the boy’s clothes is from the 1880’s 1890’s, by the 1920’s shorts were shorter and socks were normally below the knee. The heavily laced boots on the lady are also more common in the 1890’s.

    I believe that this this would make “mother” the baby.

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  3. Do you have your mother and grandmothers dates of birth and wedding dates? Who are the other children, uncles? Looking at picture I have seen of my family I would guess the picture was taken 1920s/1930s.

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    • My mother Ethel Hatton (nee Dwyer) born May 1930. My grandmother Ethel Dwyer (nee Kilvington) was born in June 1890. If your dating is correct re the photo then this could be my grandmother.


      • I am fairly sure 1920/30s but am not an expert on photo dating. Another approach would be to check Teesside Archives? or a local history library for trade directories for when Charles W Sterling was in business. When I left it was still Cleveland so I am not sure who has what archives.
        Also the Evening Gazette for that period may have published adverts.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Frankie, It may be just me but your post is a little confusing. Are you suggesting the baby in the photo is your grandmother and therefore she is in the arms of your great grandmother. Or is the baby your mother in the arms of your grandmother.


    • Apologies. As the writing on the back is similar to my mother’s writing I assume the photo is of her mother. Depending on the date of the photo which could be narrowed down to the photographers on Bridge street, I assume they were open around a certain time. If the photo is from the 20’s/30’s then the lady standing would be my grandmother if it was late 19thC then I imagine she is the baby.


  5. We lived in Princess Street until 1955 ish. The Dwyers including Ethel lived a few doors away. I knew Ethel but her mother was always Mrs Dwyer to me, so sorry I can’t help.
    Kay Allinson – now Naylor


    • I remember her telling me they lived there, irony is we lived in Maritime Road before moving back to Portrack then they ended up in Princess Street where they lived until they passed away.


      • Hi there Francis… I must have tunnel vision as I never noticed straight away your name as I never knew your mum as Ethel Dwyer, only as Ethel and Tom Hatton. I was going to suggest you come along to the Family History Group at Stockton Library where you would get a lot of help but it turns out you not only no longer live 3 doors away but you are not even in the same country. Let me know if you need anything looking up. All the best Moira

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