Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Vintage paper with plenty of copyspace for text

John and Harriet Arthurs lived nearly all of their lives in Sampford Peverell, Devon. In a previous Weekly Photo Challenge I used a photograph of John and Harriet’s gravestone to explain how I use a digital camera to record family history information such as gravestones, churches, places the family lived.

Born in 1817 in the tiny village of Uplowman, Devon, He married Harriet Dunster at the parish church of Taunton St. Mary in 1843. John and Harriet moved to Sampford Peverell where he worked as a farm labourer until his death in 1892.

Nothing remarkable here, but John and Harriet had four children, three of whom moved to the industrial north to work.

First of all Richard Arthurs, the eldest son, moved to Bolton to work in the coal mines. Think about it. Why would anyone swop fresh air and working in the open for the dark and dusty coal mines? Simple really, through necessity.

The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain signalled new manufacturing processes, using machines instead of the previous hand production methods. Increasing use of water and more importantly steam power meant greater demand for coal.

Agricultural improvement had already begun prior to the Industrial revolution and more and more farm labourers were no longer able to work on the land. As the revolution in industry progressed a succession of machines became available which increased food production with ever fewer labourers being required to work the land.

Richard had no choice, He had to work and the main employers of the time were the industrialists of the north.

Later Edward and Emma followed their brother, eventually settling in Manchester, one of the greatest industrial towns of the North.

Normally the photographs I use in my blog are mine, all mine but today I used a stock image as the background for the photograph of John and Harriet. The Terms of Use mean that i must notify you that the background image is © Sandra Cunningham / Fotolia 


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19 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

    1. Hi Tina – It worked in just nice with the challenge from a couple of weeks back. I’ve had teh stocjk image sitting on my hard drive for ages and it seemed a good time to use it.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. By photographing my family history, not only do I have a pictorial record that I can look at again and again. I can also use the photographs with family tree software.


  1. Good looking sepia vintage photo. Love the color. Also, I continue to enjoy the info that you write with each post. Nice work by you. Poor kin folks. Such a rough life.

    I’ve never used any stock photos. Maybe one day I’ll investigate if the need arises.


    1. Hi Yvonne. The original photograph is not that great and I couldn’t really improve it in photoshop. That’s why I blended it with the stock image. If you ever decide to look for stock images, never pay for them. There are plenty of Creative Commons images available that you can use in projects. Nowadays all of my photograph are licensed with a Creative Commons license. I gave up trying to fight copyright infringers, I was spending more time doing that rather than taking photographs.



  2. My grandfather also gave up working on the land. He lived in Mid-Wales and went to Llanbradach, South Wales. Why? Coal. He helped build the miners’ terraced houses and even the village swimming pool. Green fields for slag heaps. Early 20th century life. Sad but yes, necessary.


    1. I thgink many of us can trace our ancestors back to pre-industrial times. Nearly all of mine were lace makers in Nottingham who had to move to Manchester when the industrial machines could produce lace far faster.


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