Tag Archives: Photography

Wordless Wednesday – Sophia and Leroy Utton

Sophia and Leroy Utton, digital copy, original photo held by C. Cull ©2010

Tombstone Tuesday – Sophia Utton

Sophia Utton was born Sophia Springer in March of 1883 to Alexander Springer  (known as Hilaire Fontaine, before 1880) and Mary Cote (known as Marie Cote prior to 1880). Sophia was one of seven children.

Sophia married Leroy Utton of Vermont around 1901 according to the 1910 census, at this point they had already moved to Chicago, Cook Co., IL. Where they remained. Sophia and Leroy owned and ran a small grocery store in the city of Chicago.

According to the stories I have recently heard, Sophia was a kind woman with a heart of gold. She gave jobs to family members who needed them, a place to sleep to those who did not have one and money to family members who really needed it.  Sophia died in 1955, I am still searching for an obituary or anything in SSDI. 

Sophia Utton gravesite, Acacia Park Cemetery, Chicago, Cook, IL © 2010

This is the earliest of my family, on this side, to be in Chicago. I wonder if they were the driving force for the family to move this way, little by little. 

Last Wednesday, I went to the cemetery to photograph the headstone of Sophia and Leroy at Acacia Park Cemetery. I went into the office to find out exactly where they are located. All I knew was in the mausoleum. They ladies informed that they are located in the “old” section (I did not really think of the 1950’s as old) and it was not accessible to the general public, only immediate family members are allowed in this section. They wanted to know how I was related, so I advised them she was my second great-aunt. They were not to impressed by this and said that was not immediate family. But, they would allow me to go up there. It seems that the steps to the third floor of the mausoleum collapsed years before and they have not been fixed, the only way up is by elevator. They asked an employee, Angel to take me up there. Angel met me at the mausoleum and we walked through the first floor, which was the most beautiful mausoleum I have ever seen. In the “old” section on the first floor, it was all marble with many roman columns and stained glass windows. It was absolutely gorgeous. If I was alone, I probably would have taken many pictures there. Once Angel and I made it to the third floor of the old section, I was glad to have someone with me. We exited the elevator and stood in a room about 10′ long and 5′ wide. Could be spooky if I was alone. 

Thanks to Angel and the staff at Acacia Park, for permitting me into the “old” section of the mausoleum.

A New Surname to Search, Cote

My exciting weekend with a new cousin has proved to be insightful. She has shared some family stories and has passed on information to help me search. Today, she asked me this question, “At this point I need to ask if you want the details of all the family, Or do you want the thrill of the “Chase”, doing the research On your own with guides as to local and dates.”

My reply was, that I like the hunt as well. She very excited and gave me some information on Marie Elizabeth Cote to start with. She was 1 of 12 children born to Francios Xavier Cote and wife Felicite. 

Here are their children:

Joseph b. 11 Nov 1849 St Antoine, Quebec

Louis b. 15 Dec 1850, St Antoine, Quebec

Marie Rosalie b. 2 Feb 1852, St Antoine, Quebec

Marie Emilie  b. 26 Dec 1854,  St Antoine, Quebec

Marie Henriette  b. 9 June 1856, St Antoine, Quebec

David b. and d. 10 July 1853 St Antoine, Quebec

Marie Eilzabeth b. 21 Feb 1858, Apollonaire, Quebec (married Hilaire Fontaine)

Ferdinand b. 19 May 1859, Apollonaire, Quebec

Marie Arthemise  b. 8 Sep 1860, Apollonaire, Quebec

Xavier  b. 21 Dec 1862,  Apollonaire, Quebec

Marie Delima  b. 5 Sep  1864,  Apollonaire, Quebec

Rose DeLima  b 9 Apr 1866, Apollonaire, Quebec

This gives so many collateral lines to work on,  to try to find as much information as possible on this line. Beyond name and date of birth, I have nothing else on this family.

Photo believed to be of the Cote sisters, Mary is second from right.


Digital photo, original held by C. Cull, believed to be taken in Rumsford, ME
©Terri O’Connell 2010


Marie Lustgens Jonas

© Terri O’Connell 2010 Digital copy, (original held by Terri Foote)
Marie Lustgens Jonas b. abt 1863

Wordless Wednesday, The Richmonds

On the right side of the table are my maternal Grandparents,

Zedith and William Richmond, June is the lady in white on Wm’s left.

Left side of table is Lawrence Lachney in the middle with wife Charlotte on his left.

December 17, 2009 Another Grab Bag

Today’s posting for the Advent Calender of Christmas Memories in a Grab Bag. Genea Bloggers has asked us to post anything that helps us think of Christmases past.


For today’s Grab Bag post, my thoughts go to looking at the store holiday window displays. Growing up in Chicago has definite perks. As a child, one of my favorite parts of the holiday was to go downtown and look at all the shops holiday window displays. State Street was always brightly lit. I continued this tradition with friends once I was in high school and had friends who were able to drive.


Marshall Fields always had the best windows. It was always themed around some holiday story. Below is a photo of one window from last years display, which I believe was centered around the Nutcracker.

Sometimes we would also take a horse and carriage ride from the Old Water tower around downtown looking at the lights as well. I prefer this method of checking the lights out. With the blanket inside the carriage, it is much warmer then walking in the snow, with the wind and below zero temperatures. 


 This photo was taken a few years back on one of our trips downtown with the whole family.

Tombstone Tuesday – John and Nettie Richmond


© Copyright 2009 Terri O’Connell

My son and I recently took a trip East to look at colleges. On our way home we stopped in Beckley, WV to visit a few cemeteries and to show him where his Grandma was born. We only had a short period of time to visit, but we made the most of it. I believe we saw about 4 cemeteries that day. My son got to stand at the grave of his 6th, 4th and 3rd Great Grandparents. It is all in a days work. I am grateful to Bob, who is  a distant relative on my Warden side, for taking the time to show us  the many different cemeteries. 

John and Nettie Warden are my Great Great Grandparents. They are one of the main reasons I made sure we stopped in Beckley on our way home from this road trip. I have recently found out that John Richmond was a 3rd degree Mason and Nettie was in the Order of the Eastern Star. I wanted to see of their tombstone had any symbols on it. Unfortunately, there were none. 

Though there were no symbols on the stone, the trip was well worth while. I met a few relatives and enjoyed my breif stay. I have learned that the Warden side of the family has a yearly family reunion, down the road from John and Nettie’s house. I hope to be able to attend one soon.


Wordless Wednesday – Richmond Homestead

100_4034Home of John and Nettie Richmond, Stanaford, Raleigh Co, WV

©2009 Terri O’Connell

Tombstone Tuesday – S Martha Warden

100_3995©2009 Terri O’Connell

S. Martha Warden is the wife of Thomas. Thomas Warden’s headstone was featured in my last Tombstone Tuesday post. Both are buried at the Warden Family Cemetery in Raleigh County, WV.

Many of their descendants still live in Raleigh County today. 

To pay, or not to pay

Over the past few days I have been looking through Ancestry. com’s service of Expert Connect. Where someone can hire an “expert” to help them with their research. I am all for them having professionals who are looking to find clients to assist. I mean it is only to make it easier for those of us researching our families. I myself would be inclined to ask for a bit of help here and there. But, what has me questioning this service is some of the pricing they are asking for. For instance,  to have someone take a photo of a gravestone could cost you anywhere from $5 to $709. (The $709 will allow this group of experts to travel 999 miles to take this picture.)

 I would pay $5 for a photo, that does not seem unreasonable. Plus, to be able to get the picture quick. This is a definite positive. But $709, why would a person want to pay that amount of money for a photo? I mean, we want the photo’s.  I am sure most people are either willing to wait for some kind person to be able to take this photo, with the services of Find a Grave , Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness, do not forget the message boards on Ancestry or even the groups on GenealogyWise. There are many places one can find assistance with a photo they are looking for. 

I mean for $709 I can drive to the cemetery I need the photo from and take it myself. I mean, same amount of money and I get to see the places my ancestor lived. That would mean more to me, then just having the photograph of a headstone for me.

What does an “expert” mean? According to the FAQ’s on the Expert Connect site, it is a researcher or a professional. A researcher is someone that can go pick up a record or take a photo for you. Professionals must have advanced qualifications, like certifications, education and membership in professional associations.

It comes down to this, anyone of us could be the expert. I know I would not pay an expert $999 for any photo.

So, after some thought. I have decided that I will be this expert and see what happens. If any one needs pictures in the Chicago area, look me up on Ancestry. We will see how this goes. I do not expect to see much here. The jobs that are out there for Chicago at the moment are for research, which I am not a professional, which means I cannot assist.

I wrote this post about a month ago and held off publishing it because I wanted to see if I could find any photography jobs I could assist with. At this point, there have been none. I have even looked in other states and nothing at this point. I will update the post if at any point I find a job for taking photo’s.

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