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100-year-old photo found in house reunited with long, lost family

todayOctober 20, 2021 25

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A 100-year-old framed photograph, abandoned in an empty house at West Lynn, has been re-united with its long lost family thanks to some clever detective work.

The picture of a mother and two children was discovered by Angela Gromoff when she started renovating the property.

She said: “It had been left hanging on the wall but I felt it would have been such a shame to throw it away. There was something about it and the people in the picture that made me want to find out more.”

Maureen Wadham with the long lost photo, Simon Howard who tracked her down and Angela Gromoff who found it. Standing at Grace Ebbs' grave at West Lynn
Maureen Wadham with the long lost photo, Simon Howard who tracked her down and Angela Gromoff who found it. Standing at Grace Ebbs’ grave at West Lynn

Angela contacted Simon Howard, also of West Lynn, asking him to try to trace the history of the portrait.

Simon is a family historian whose Facebook business, Find My Family, traces and records family histories and backgrounds.

Starting with information about the person who previously lived in the house, he trawled through family trees and eventually established that the mother in the picture was Grace Ebbs, born in 1890 and buried in West Lynn churchyard after her death at 91 years old.

Maureen wadham collects photo (52410262)
Maureen wadham collects photo (52410262)

He said: “I found there was a family connection in Sutton Bridge so I went to Sutton Bridge History Group, found a name and basically went through the phone book.

“Eventually I came up with the name and contact of the daughter of the little girl in the picture and was able to organise for her to come to West Lynn church to collect the photo and take it home where it belongs.”

It will soon take pride of place on the wall at Maureen Wadham’s home at Long Sutton.

“Maureen said: “It was a wonderful surprise. The lady in the picture is my grandmother Grace. We knew her as Grandma Ebbs and used to visit her at West Lynn. I was christened there.

Maureen wadham collects photo (52410256)
Maureen wadham collects photo (52410256)

“The little girl standing next to her is my mother Maud Grace Mary and my brother Frank is on his grandma’s knee.

“The photo would have been in the house where my cousin Frank lived before he died but I had never seen it before. It probably dates back to around 1917. We are going to get it cleaned up and then I am going to organise a family get together so that everyone can see it and relive some happy memories.”

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