It has been a long time since I wrote a column about my ancestry, and there's one that I've been thinking about for quite a while. A couple of years ago, my cousin Esther sent me a photo of the Counts family from around 1901. The quality is okay, though not the greatest as it's a photo of a photo. I'm not sure who has the original, but I'd love to see a clearer copy someday, perhaps one that's computer-scanned.
So, in this photo we see my great-great grand parents, James Wilson Counts (b. 14 Nov 1856 /died 16 March 1931) and Mertie Florella (Gamble) Counts (b. 23 June 1864 /died 18 April 1946), along with their 6 children:
Florella T. Counts (b. 8 February 1886 /died April 1969. Married Walter D. McKittrick)
Hugh Wiley Counts (b. 16 January 1888 /died 20 September 1975. Married Ada Bartlett, later Charlotte Law)
George Sylvester (my great-grandfather, b. 9 December 1889 /died 10 November 1974. Married Lois Hazel Bailey)
Wilson James Counts (b. 11 June 1891 /died March 1979. Married Wilma B. Crossan)
Mary Counts (b. 30 April 1895 /died 30 November 1993. Married O. Boone Morgan)
Milton Irwin Counts (b. 24 February 1899 /died 10 July 1974. Married Clara Eugenia Van Vleck)
The other people in the photo are at present uncertain. Esther initially suspected that the old couple in the middle could be Mertie's parents, Theodore Beza Gamble and Florella Amanda (Tucker) Gamble, but this is quite impossible, as both of them died before this photo was taken (1893 & 1895, respectively). The Counts kids are far too old for this to be the 1890's.
|Confirmed S.T. Counts|
|Suspected S.T. Counts|
I suspect that the old couple in the photo are actually Sylvester Tobias Counts and his wife, Mary Ann (Wilson) Counts. I also suspect the lady on the far left of the photo is their daughter, James Wilson Count's sister, Jennie Hannah (Counts) Marcy. This is pure speculation, as I do not have other photos of them, except for Sylvester's old Civil War photo. It's hard to make out his facial features in that grainy photo, so it's not enough for a positive identification.
I would love to find an attributed photo of Sylvester, Mary, or Jennie, for comparison, but thus far such photos have proven elusive. So, the search goes on.