By Candice Lynn Buchanan
The first advice I give to anyone trying to identify a family photo is to display it for relatives and others who may be able to help. A couple of weeks ago this picture came off the wall and out of the frame to be scanned and shared with this goal in mind. Eighty-five nameless faces stared out at us on day one of the investigation. Gradually, and truly one-by-one, those faces have been taking on identities as genealogical research provides clues and relocated cousins point out the ancestors of their particular family lines.
Fortunately, this photo came with a few clues. The photo is owned by Katherine (Throckmorton) Toothman, daughter of Robert Lawrence Throckmorton and Ella May (Watson) Throckmorton who are pictured. A handful of Ella’s relatives including her parents have also been identified. Family resemblances combined with genealogical research and analysis of the photo make it quite reasonable to believe that the family pictured represents descendants of John Watson and Mary Anna (Almost) Watson, who had nine known children: 1) Harriet (1830-1910) who married Abraham Arnold; 2) Margaret (1833-1853) who married John Garrett; 3) James (1835-1908) who married Sarah Teagarden; 4) David Daniel (1837-1898) who married Sarah Smith and later Eliza Garrett; 5) Sarah Jane (1839-1926) who married Zenas Johnson; 6) John (1843-1926) who married Sarah Louise Baker; 7) Henry (1845-1916) who married Mary Weaver; 8) Robert (1847-1942) who married Catherine Anderson; 9) Samuel (1850-1905) who married Nancy Keener and later Ella whose maiden name is still being researched. This family had close ties to both Washington and Greene County families and even today descendants can be found at either location.
On 13 August 1931, the Waynesburg Republican published a recap of that year’s Watson Reunion. The article’s great value in genealogical material is rivaled by a single sentence that quotes reunion president Ross Leland Watson and very likely provides the time, place and occasion for our featured photograph, “the annual reunion of the clan originated at the home of Henry Watson, of Castile, in 1916, when Mr. and Mrs. Watson celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.”
The majority of those pictured are reasonably believed to be the children and grandchildren descended from the nine offspring of John Watson and Mary Anna (Almost) Watson. Of those original nine, only four were still living in 1916: John, Henry, Sarah and Robert.
The case is far from closed on this photo mystery – the goal is to identify every person. If you can help I would truly enjoy hearing from you. You can see more Watson family photos at www.greeneconnections.com in the Greene Connections: Greene County, Pennsylvania Photo Archives Project.
All material within this
web site has been compiled by Candice Buchanan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(63 W. Franklin St.; Waynesburg, PA 15370).
Data sources documented whenever possible. Contributors credited for shared information. Questions, feedback and contributions welcome.
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