Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


On a recent cruise through the Down Home Antiques shop in Orange, CA, I came across some wonderful Civil War era CdVs. Because of their worn condition, some of them were pretty inexpensive (for California) so I happily took them home. First is a man I think of as a distinguished ancestor of…someone. He looks a lot like a retired Colonel, doesn’t he? There are three sets of arithmetic here that tell a tiny piece of this story. Whoever this is sat for his portrait in 1865. In 1906, someone figured out he was 80 years old. The portrait had been taken 41 years prior, when the subject was 39 years old. He had been born in 1826. The corners of this CdV are worn off, not made rounded. The photographer was W. E. Lindop, in or on St. Thomas, C. W. I have no clue where that may actually be located.  C. W. is not an abbreviation I am familiar with, so is it possibly a foreign card?

UPDATE: Iggy found out that St. Thomas is in Ontario, Canada. C. W. stands for Canada West. Thank you!!

3 thoughts on “Distinguished ancestor

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    It is indeed a “foreign” card, but perhaps not what you expect. :)

    William E. Lindop was born in 1827 and lived in Saint Thomas, Ontario, Canada. The CW stands for “Canada West” (i.e., Ontario) and CE stood for “Canada East” (i.e., Quebec) back in the olden days. Saint Thomas is located outside London, or about midway between Toronto and Detroit.


  2. Excellent find! From this photo we can date mens clothing with that rolled sewn on trim to 1865. Interesting about the Canada West and East too:)


  3. IntenseGuy says:

    There is a “reasonable” chance that this is W. E. Lindop “himself” – he was born in “about 1826”. Given only 1700 people lived there in 1860…

    1700 * 1/2 (male/female) * (1/70 odds of being born in 1826 roughly) gives us only about a dozen men to pick from (making some big assumptions) :)


    On September 15, 1885, Jumbo the elephant, star of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, was struck and killed in St. Thomas by a Grand Trunk locomotive. It took 150 men to move the carcass. On the one hundreth anniversary of Jumbo’s death, the city dedicated a monument to Jumbo, a 38-ton statue of the animal some believe was the largest elephant ever in captivity, and certainly the best-known non-human that ever lived.

    W. E. Lindop traveled extensively taking pictures of and for the Canadian railroads. There are Lindop’s living in the Los Angeles, CA area today.


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