Photos of great great uncle Sam, farmhand

So the ‘major scanning exercise’ is done, with about 100 old family photos digitally processed. Not quite as good quality as I hoped as Dad’s HP all-in-one scanner didn’t want to budge from 200 dpi but should be adequate.

It will take some time to check them through, clean up and arrange all these, but images have already started appearing on old posts. I’ll try to include all of them in gallery pages eventually. This is a gallery test post, for which I’ve taken the family group which I couldn’t immediately pin down – Uncle Sam and Aunt Polly with family.

On checking the family tree data, this is Samuel Myhill (born about 1857 Dilham, Norfolk) and wife Mary Watts (born about 1855 Worstead, Norfolk). Mary is sister of Nellie (Ellen) Watts, my great grandmother, also in the first picture, second from right (born 1852 Worstead).

Sam is an ‘ag lab’ in the census returns but is more specifically described in 1901 as Yardman on farm (Laceys Farm), then 1911 as Cowman.

Only four of the people were sam_polly_nellie_ethelemilyidentified in the caption in the photo album – “Ethel, Uncle Sam, Aunt Polly, mother Nellie”. I did wonder whether mother and Nellie might be two people, but of course as the caption was written by gran – Emily Neal – she hadn’t bothered to identify herself, the last one on the right. I was also fooled by her expression, not one that is seen elsewhere! The young women on the left is her cousin niece {1} Ethel Williams, born 1898 Norwich. She’s eight years younger than gran (also born Norwich) but the two of them appear together often in the photo collection. I have just noticed they shared a birthday – 15th November.

sam_laura_syd_emma_katePhoto two features the children of Sam and Polly (Mary) Myhill – Laura (Anne Laura born 1883 Dilham), Syd (Sidney Frederick b 1888 Dilham), Emma (Emma Sarah b 1886 Dilham) and Kate (Katie Jane Watts, b 1875 Worstead, so possibly not Sam’s child as the couple married June 1879). Mary Ann Elizabeth, born October 1879 Worstead, is missing – last seen in 1901 census visiting in Tottenham London (although that’s only a possible record for her, not definite) {2}.

Place of photographs presumed to be outside Sam and Polly’s cottage – 1911 census gives this as at Lyngate, Worstead. Date: a few years before gran married in 1919.


See Making a Case for the Myhills (Feb 2012). This concludes that the photo with uncle Sam sitting down is likely to be taken on a separate occasion, namely on the funeral of his wife Mary in 1922.


  1. Another daft mistake. Ethel Williams is the daughter of Ellen Harriet Neal, gran’s oldest sibling (born August 1872 and known as Nellie, not to be confused with gran’s mother Nellie). So gran’s niece, not cousin.
  2. Further research on Mary Ann Elizabeth finds her married to Joseph Edward Alfred Harris in 1905. Daughter Violet Mary born 1906 Tottenham (and married Robert George Stokes in 1935). Mary Ann possibly died 1912 – Joseph remarried in 1915 – so clearly wouldn’t be around for her mother’s funeral in 1922.
  3. An additional child for Polly/Mary Watts has been identified – see Watts family page.

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