I really ought to be saving this photo for later, doing a big build up for an important item. But that’s not really my style. So without further ado, the entire Neal family, bar one, in 1902.
The extended caption written at some point by gran (Emily) reads:
“Taken 1901 or 2. The Neal family
Laura (7), Henry (5), George (6), Eliza (4)
Edith (8), Ellen (Nellie) (1), Mother, Father, Robert (2)
Mary (Polly) (10), Emily (9)
No 3 Alice in Canada”
That last line explains the remaining mystery for this lot, with Alice Neal now located in Winnipeg. The numbers give the age order of the children.
Father – Robert Smith Neal, mother – Ellen (Nellie) Elizabeth Watts.
This, with a related photo which includes in-laws and grandchildren, is the only one we have for Laura (died 1904) and Albert (died 1915?). Polly also died young in 1912. George Neal also disappears from view, but that seems to be down to some falling out between the siblings, as he lived until he was 80.
As Earl Neal is missing from the second snap, I take this to be 1902, since he died early 1902 before reaching his second birthday. Indeed I think the photos were probably taken at the time of his funeral. It’s always possible that he is missing for a different reason but the sombre clothing is another indication.
UPDATE: I have now discovered that Alice married Alexander Reid on 9th May 1902 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A small possibility that a photograph was commissioned of the whole family to mark the occasion (and send to Alice) as they couldn’t be there?
“Taken 1901 or 2. The Neal family with in-laws and grandchildren
Edith, George, Robert, Henry, Laura
Harry Williams, Nellie, Mother, Father, Mary (wife of Robert), Eliza
Harry (junior), Ethel, Albert, Harry Neal, Willie Neal
Emily, Mary (Polly)”
See Neal Family page for more data.