The Dorothy (Zastrow) Grimshaw Photo Album
Source of Invaluable Photos of Descendants of John James and Mary Ann (Mahoney) Grimshaw
John James Grimshaw (see companion webpage) was the third child (first son) of George and Charlotte (Menard) Grimshaw, who raised their family on Wolfe Island, Ontario, at the head of the Saint Lawrence River. John and Mary Ann emigrated to the area around Richland Center, Wisconsin in about 1862, perhaps at the same time as John’s father, George, and two brothers, Alexander Eli Grimshaw and Eli George arrived at the Oakdale area, further north in Wisconsin.
George Thomas, oldest son of John and Mary Ann, and his wife, Aris (Ladd) Grimshaw (see companion webpage), were married in Wisconsin on December 5, 1869 and, at an unknown date after their marriage, left the state and migrated westward. They eventually settled in South Dakota, where they lived out their lives; they are buried at Presho. Their oldest son, William Allen also lived out his life in South Dakota and is buried with his wife, Hannah Jeanette (“Nettie”), at Reliance. Their son, Walter (Doc) Grimshaw, was also born and lived his life in South Dakota. He married Dorothy Zastrow, and both are now buried in Mission, SD.
A photo album now in the possession of Kernit Grimshaw, son of Walter and Dorothy, was apparently put together by William and Nettie Grimshaw (or possibly by Walter and Dorothy). The vast majority of photos in the album are of people and scenes in South Dakota. It has a total of 46 pages; unfortunately, with one or two exceptions, the photos are not labeled. On at least five of the album pages, the character of the photos (some of them being miniature sepias rather than normal black-and-white photos), and the people in them, differ from the rest of the album. These photos are inferred to be pictures from ancestors back in Wisconsin, probably sent to George and Aris or to William Allen and Nettie from relatives there. An attempt has been made on this webpage to make “educated guesses” (but guesses nevertheless) on the identities of the relatives shown on these older photos.
The album was in the possession of Dorothy (Zastrow) Grimshaw when it was obtained by the website author in 2000 and is designated as the “DZG Album”.
The photo “album” is actually a catalogue of men’s shirts on whose pages the photos have been glued. It seems apparent that the photos were not well sorted before being glued into the album. One has the impression that a box of photos existed and someone (probably Nettie) decided to put them into the catalogue, perhaps for better presentation. Dorothy has said that Doc was in the clothing sales business at one time, and it is likely that Bill and Nettie got the catalogue from him.
Thanks go to Kernit Grimshaw and his mother, Dorothy (Zastrow), now deceased, for making the DZG Album available for scanning and restoration.
A photo believed to be of John and Mary Ann (with their daughter, Lida) is shown in Figure 1 below. The origin of this photo is described further down on this webpage. [Note: Figure 2 is not used].
Figure 1. John and Mary Ann (Mahoney) Grimshaw with Their Daughter Lida in the Center (tentative identifications).
Figure 3 is a copy of Page 24 of the DZG Album; it contains nine photos, six of which are scenes of a construction site in South Dakota and three of which are portraits (note a, b and c on the figure). The men in the left portrait (Figure 3a; see also Figure 4 below) have been previously identified as Michael Henry and George Thomas Grimshaw on an identical photo in the possession of Bob Grimshaw. Bob, the son of William Clarence Grimshaw (see Figure 1), obtained the photo from his aunt, Irene, who identified the two gentlemen4. This photo, and the identification of Michael and George, provide the “key” for the interpretation of the other photos in the DZG Album.
Note: Irene actually identified them as Michael Henry and William Alexander Grimshaw; however, as shown in a subsequent section, she was apparently mistaken about the man on the right.
The arrangement of the three portrait photos on the page in Figure 3 suggests that the creator of the album may have intended to show the entire (surviving) family of John and Mary Ann. The central position of Figure 3b suggests that the individuals may be John and Mary Ann, probably with their only (surviving) daughter, Lida (see also Figure 1). In this interpretation of the page, the boys (young men) in Figure 3c would then be John Etimer and William Alexander Grimshaw (see also Figure 5), although the photo is earlier than that of Michael Henry and George Thomas in Figure 3a. Although the photo is earlier, it seems clear that the two boys are not the same as the individuals in Figure 3a.
Figure 3. Photos of the family of John and Mary Ann Grimshaw? (From page 24 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 5 (below). John Etimer and William Alexander Grimshaw (From page 24 of DZG Album. The identities are inferred.)
Besides the known identities of Michael Henry and George Thomas, the probability seems very high that the girl with the couple in Figure 1 would be their daughter, Lida, and that the couple would be the parents of all the children shown on the page in Figure 3. There is another thread of evidence, also – the short stature of the apparent mother, Mary Ann.
One of the grandchildren of George and Aris Grimshaw was Lyra (Albert) Hodgin, who took a great deal of interest in the Grimshaw family history and served as the “chronicler” for the South Dakota Grimshaws before her death in 1996. The following quotations are from three of Lyra’s chronicles, written at different times5:
5Writings of Lyra Hodgin, undated, in the files of Francis (“Al”) Hodgin and Thomas W. Grimshaw
The first we know of the Grimshaw family is of John who was born in Canada as near as we know. We were told by our Grandfather, George Grimshaw, that his father was a sailor on the Great Lakes. Grandfather was born in Canada and we have reason to believe eastern Canada. Wolf Island the place given on a document we have. Possibly one of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. Grandpa told us his mother was a very good ice skater and use to skate across the St. Lawrence and shop in the US and then could out skate the revenue men to avoid paying duty. He also said she was a tiny lady. When she carried two pails of water they almost touched the ground. We know nothing of Great Grandfather Johns family, but Great Grandmother was from Ireland, County of Cork. She was Mary Mahoney. Her husband and baby died aboard ship and were buried at sea.
To go back to John G., he married Mary Mahoney. They pronounced Mahoney with accent on the first syllable. She was born in Ireland in County Cork we were told and her husband and baby died coming to Canada and were buried at sea. She must have lived in Ontario, Canada, as we were told by our grandfather that his mother was a very good ice skater. She would skate across the St. Lawrence River to buy things in the U.S. and could skate faster going home than the revenue men to keep from paying duty. She was a very tiny woman he said. When she carried two pails of water they almost touched the ground. We dont know when or where she met John G(rimshaw) but I think George was born at Richland Center, Wisconsin. She must have died fairly young. Her death date is 1880 and Johns 1907.
John G. married Mary Mahoney, who came from County of Cork in Ireland probably about the time of the great potato famine in Ireland. Her husband and baby died on the trip over and were buried at sea. She was a tiny person Grandpa G. (her son) told us. He said when she carried two pails of water they almost touched the ground. He also told us that she was a fleet skater. It could be that they lived in Eastern Canada then as he said she skated across the St. Lawrence River to buy things in the U.S. He said she could out skate the revenue men to keep from paying duty on things. They would have had to live in Ontario Canada then, but I dont know if this was after she was married or not.
The age spread of the men in Figures 3a and 4 cannot be reliably estimated (it would be 7 years according to Figure 2), but the four-year separation of John Etimer and William Alexander seems very reasonable (say, ages 8 and 12) for the boys in Figures 3c and 5.
Although the evidence is clearly “circumstantial”, the interpretation of the photos in Figures 1, 3, 4, and 5 seems the most reasonable, given the source of the album, its likely creator(s) and the arrangement of the photos. The following pages carry this interpretation to other photos and individuals in the DZG Album.
Page 9 of the DZG Album contain two portraits that seem to be of the same vintage or origin as the ones described above (Figure 6 below; note a and b). These portraits tempt further “educated guesswork” on the identities of the four women shown in the two portraits as members of the family of John and Mary Ann. In Figure 6b (see also Figure 7 below), the girl on the right appears to be the same as in Figures 3b and 4, namely, Lida (if the previous guess is correct.) The most “logical” candidate for her companion would, then, seem to be her 10-year-older half-sister, Eliza Mahoney – possibly they could be about 13 and 23 years old, respectively, in this photo.
This guess would then leave as the best candidates for the young women in Figure 6a (and Figure 8 below) two of John and Mary Ann’s daughters-in-law. Again, “logical” association would indicate that they may be the two Norris sisters who were the wives of John Etimer (Eliza, the older by 5 years, on the right) and Michael Henry (Maria, on the left.). As shown in a subsequent photo (see Figure 22 below), daughter-in-law Aris Ladd, wife of George Thomas, is not a candidate for these photos. The only other daughter-in-law candidate is Jane Turner, wife of William Alexander.
Figure 6. Daughter, Stepdaughter and Daughters-in-Law of John and Mary Ann (From page 9 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 7 (below). Eliza Mahoney (Left) and Lida Grimshaw (From page 9 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 8 (below). Maria W. Norris (Left), Wife of Michael Henry Grimshaw and Her Sister, Eliza Norris, Wife of John Etimer Grimshaw (From page 9 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 9 (a to e), from page 35 of the DZG Album, contains more candidate photos of John and Mary Ann descendants. The boy (middle right) and young child photos are also candidates, but they are too young to identify, even by “educated guesswork.” Figure 9a (and Figure 10) again shows Lida with her distinctive face and naturally wavy or curly hair, but at a considerably younger age than in previous figures. Figure 9e (and Figure 11) is clearly the same individual, probably John Etimer Grimshaw, as shown in Figures 2c and 5, but somewhat older.
The best candidates for the individuals in Figures 9b, 9c and 9d (see also Figures 12, 13 and 14) seem to be Eliza Norris, Maria W. Norris, and Jane Turner, the wives, respectively, of John Etimer, Michael Henry and William Alexander Grimshaw. Comparison of these portraits with Figure 8 indicates that Figures 12 and 13 are most likely the Norris sisters, Maria and Eliza, respectively. That would leave, then, Jane Turner as the best candidate for Figure 14. A “nice feature” of these interpretations (thus far) is that there appear to be the “right” number of spouses shown for the sons of John and Mary Ann.
Figure 9. Lida (a) and John Etimer Grimshaw (e), with More In-Law Photos (b, c and d) (From page 35 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 10 (below). Lida Grimshaw (From page 35 of DZG Album. Identity is inferred.)
Figure 11 (below). John Etimer Grimshaw (From page 35 of DZG Album. Identity is inferred.)
Figure 12 (below). Eliza Norris, Wife of John Etimer Grimshaw (From page 35 of DZG Album. Identity is inferred.)
Figure 13 (below). Maria W. Norris, Wife of Michael Henry Grimshaw (From page 35 of DZG Album. Identity is inferred.)
Figure 14 (below). Jane Turner, Wife of William Alexander Grimshaw (From page 35 of DZG Album. Identity is inferred.)
Figure 15, from p. 27 of DZG Album (see a; also shown in Figure 16) shows another photo of Eliza Norris (inferred) with a child who seems most likely to be her daughter, given how much they look alike. It could be her older daughter, May, but could also be one of the other four daughters, Anna, Sarah, Alice or Maud.
Given their closeness in age, it seems likely that the boys in Figure 15b are two of the four sons of William Alexander and Jane Turner, Thomas, Turner, Bert and Frank.
Figure 15. Eliza (Norris) Grimshaw and Daughter (a) and Two of Four Sons (b) of William Alexander and Jane (Turner) Grimshaw (From page 27 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.).
Figure 16 (below). Eliza Norris and Daughter (From page 27 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 17, of p. 44 of DZG album, has six photos (a to f) that are probably of Wisconsin relatives of George and Aris. Figure 17b (see also Figure 18) is clearly the same woman identified in Figure 1 as Mary Ann (Mahoney) Grimshaw. The rest of the photos on Figure 17 (see also Figures 19 to 23) are group photos of people believed to be Grimshaw ancestors in Wisconsin. Comparison of the individuals in these photos with previous figures leads to the following tentative identifications (a to h below refer to individuals identified on Figures 19 to 23):
a. Jane (Turner) Grimshaw, based on comparison of Figures 19 (lower) and 21 with Figure 14.
b. Probably a son of William Alexander Grimshaw and Jane Turner, and brother of individual e. (but not same brother as in Figure 15b (right), given their different appearance and greater age difference). Probably Thomas, Turner or Bert.
c. Maria (Norris) Grimshaw, based mostly on comparison of Figure 19 with Figure 13.
d. William Alexander Grimshaw, assuming he is the father of the two boys. Also, he does not look like the other sons of John and Mary Ann shown in other photos in this album.
e. Probably a younger son of William Alexander and Jane (Turner) Grimshaw. Same individual as in Figure 15b (left). Most likely Turner, Bert or Frank.
f. Eliza (Norris) Grimshaw, based on comparison of Figures 19 and 20 with Figures 12 and 16.
g. Unidentified woman.
h. Unidentified woman; could be same individual as in g. Could also be Aris (Ladd) Grimshaw, wife of George Thomas (see photos in subsequent section.)
The clothing indicates that Figure 21 was probably taken on a different day than Figures 19 and 20, which were apparently taken on the same date at two different locations.
Figure 17. Mary Ann (Mahoney) Grimshaw and Four Group Photos of Grimshaw Ancestors in Wisconsin (Note locomotive and train on trestle in Figure 17e; from page 44 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 18 (below). Mary Ann (Mahoney) Grimshaw (From page 44 of DZG Album. Identity is inferred.)
Figure 19 (below). Group Photo of Unidentified Probable Grimshaw Ancestors in Wisconsin. See text above for key to identifications. (From page 44 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 20 (below). Group Photo of Unidentified Probable Grimshaw Ancestors in Wisconsin. See text above for key to identifications. (From page 44 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 21 (below). Group Photo of Unidentified Probable Grimshaw Ancestors in Wisconsin. See text above for key to identifications. (From page 44 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 22 (below). Group Photo of Unidentified Probable Grimshaw Ancestors in Wisconsin. See text above for key to identifications. (From page 44 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Figure 23 (below). Group Photo of Unidentified Probable Grimshaw Ancestors in Wisconsin. See text above for key to identifications. (From page 44 of DZG Album. Identities are inferred.)
Webpage posted June 2008, from information previously posted on webpage on John James and Mary Ann (Mahoney) Grimshaw, posted September 2000.