The Smyths?

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Where: Unknown

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When: 16 September 1919

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Our catalogue tells us that this lovely family group was commissioned by Mrs. Smyth, 44 Poleberry, Waterford, which should help you with your deliberations. I always look forward to reading the comments on a photo like this one. It is fantastic that you can discover so much information about the people in the photos we feature here on Flickr, it really does bring them alive.

+++ UPDATE +++
Well, this family photograph led to a lively chase up and down Poleberry in Waterford, trying to match likely families, and likely dogs in online dog license records. But the main problem is the “unusual” house numbering of Poleberry. Our Bernard Healy is not usually given to cast asparagus at anyone, but even he was driven to this extreme: “I think we have to conclude that the census enumerator was drunk, or the houses were re-numbered at some stage”.

Photographer: A. H. Poole

Collection: Poole Photographic Collection, Waterford

Date: 6 September 1919

NLI Ref: POOLEWP 2819

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 3820
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland mrssmyth 44poleberry waterford munster dog poolephotographiccollection ireland saturday september 1919 1910s 20thcentury sergeant 1045

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  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 25/Feb/2021 09:19:59

    Nice little Dog

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 25/Feb/2021 09:23:45

    6 September 1919 was a Saturday ...

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    Swordscookie

    • 25/Feb/2021 09:26:56

    That looks like an early Royal Flying Corps uniform? lovely family group.

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    cargeofg

    • 25/Feb/2021 09:30:51

    Only WRENS that come to mind are Women of the Royal Naval Services. But the Wrens Association celebrated their centenary last year 1920-2020. So, dates are a year or two out for the magazine. The uniform of the young man who holds rank of Sargent is devoid of any other insignia or service markings.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2021 09:31:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Overtime for Mr Poole.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 25/Feb/2021 09:59:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I just looked that up - in 1919 it would have been normal to work on Saturdays. And two months later in November 1919, the eight hour day and 48 hour week became the recommended global standard as part of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of WW1 - youtu.be/zhywPtYYnTc

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    Rory_Sherlock

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:04:36

    Wren's was also a shoe polish company and they made 'Wren's Saddle & Harness Paste' which I think features in the advert in the magazine which the older lady is holding. wrens1889.com/blog/shoeshine-shoecream-shoe-polish-shoepo...

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    John Spooner

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:09:42

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] A letter from a Naval Chaplain to the Hampshire Telegraph on Friday 29 March 1918 referred to "the Wrens" and "their sisters the Waacs", so the term was in use before 1920, but i don't think the publication has anything to do with them.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:21:26

    If this is the Smyth family which seems likely, then this gorgeous wee dog was not their only pet. From Waterford News and Star on 20 January 1911:

    LOST–White Pomeranian Dog on 2nd January. Finder will be rewarded if brought to 44, Poleberry.
    Any of you have access to Find My Past? Would love to see what Waterford Dog Licence Registers might reveal...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:32:30

    No Smyths on Poleberry in the 1911 census.

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    cargeofg

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:49:10

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie Style does look correct for an WW1 RFC uniform but no wings which would have been on left hand breast.

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    cargeofg

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:53:11

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner It looks like it is an advert for saddle and harness paste. Can't read bottom line but horse is clear to see.

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    John Spooner

    • 25/Feb/2021 11:58:09

    The Waterford Standard of Saturday 28 November 1942 has a death notice of Mr Gerard Smyth of Osborne Villas, Poleberry, who had been in poor health for some time. He had been the manager of Breen's, The Bridge, for a considerable number of years, His remains were removed to Tullamore, suggesting that was where he came from originally.

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    John Spooner

    • 25/Feb/2021 12:02:16

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I looked for similar adverts but Wrens newspaper adverts just seemed to be "Wren's Harness Paste" in big letters.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 25/Feb/2021 12:29:41

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I did try looking earlier but I might have better luck with the pom in 1910/1.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 25/Feb/2021 12:56:07

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Oh great, thanks.

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    cargeofg

    • 25/Feb/2021 12:57:41

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner I could only see ads for latter day shoe and boot polish. Prompted a little light bulb moment I seem to remember they also did Dubbin for rugby and football boots.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 25/Feb/2021 12:59:01

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Gerard Smyth was thirty when he died (so probably born 1912, and not in the census). His wife Mary Anne Dunne was from Tullamore at least.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 25/Feb/2021 13:01:27

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie] If it is an RFC uniform, the guy is a Sergeant based on his shoulder patch. Wish we could see more insignia though... www.rafweb.org/Ranks-Uniform/Ranks7.htm Although by 1919 they formed the Royal Air Force. Still the same shoulder patches being used. Did a quickie search for Sergeant Smyth in RFC/RAF, nothing comes up.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 13:28:41

    It's 10:45

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2021 13:36:28

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Added that time to date taken, Eagle Eye! Don't often get to do that for portrait photos... :)

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    CASSIDY PHOTOGRAPHY

    • 25/Feb/2021 14:19:00

    The old gent on the right looks like my father. At least the dog is smiling.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 14:45:58

    This one has me baffled. I've been through all kinds of Smyth searches in the Census & the Civil Records and I can't find anything that jumps out at me. A few observations that might spark ideas: 1. From looking at streetview, Poleberry seems to consist of what I'd describe as artisans' cottages & modest terraced two-storey houses. The census records from 1911 show tradespeople of various kinds. So the address implies that we're looking at a family that's probably of a certain level of respectability, but not part of the professions or the merchant class. 2. The fact that we have a Sergeant of the Royal Flying Corps/RAF rather than an Officer says something similar about the kind of people we're looking at. 3. How are all these people related? It looks like we have a married couple - in at least their 50s or 60s. I can't imagine the baby being anyone other than a grandchild of that couple. One assumes that the baby is on her mother's lap. Is the girl who looks like she might be about 10 or 12 a daughter or a granddaughter? The tall woman at the back looks like she MUST be a daughter of the seated woman. The Sergeant and the mother of the baby - are they husband and wife? Or brother and sister? If they are husband and wife, then which of them is a Smyth? Do we think that the older couple are Mr & Mrs Smyth OR is the mother of the baby a Mrs Smyth, with the possibility that most or all of the other people in the photo have another surname. 4. I thought the easiest thing to do would be to find a record of the baby's birth - but I can't find a Smyth birth in Waterford that I'm entirely happy with. Of course, it's always possible that the birth is filed under Smith & I can't search all of those. Or the baby might not even be a Smyth at all. 5. We have an RFC/RAF sergeant in Waterford in 1919. Is he still in active service? There was a Seaplane Station in Wexford (Ferrybank) during the War. There was also an "Airship Mooring Out Station" in Wexford. Of course, he could have been based very far from Wexford, or might not even be on active service when the photo was taken. 6. I thought I might find the death certs for one of the two older people in the photo. However, there is no Smyth death in Waterford post-1919 that seems to fit the bill. 7. My suspicion is that the Gerard Smyth mentioned above _might_ be a red herring - although I could be very wrong. If he was part of the immediate family, we'd expect to see him included in this photo. There might be something that could pop up in a newspaper search, but I'm struggling to think of an approach to the census data or civil records that wouldn't take hours.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:08:11

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I am coming up blank on census and irishgeneology.ie searches too. But it is possible that Mrs. Smyth moved to Poleberry after 1911, ordered this pic with visiting relations and then moved away before anyone else was born or died...

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:12:58

    Fun Fact: The uniform worn by our Sergeant was known as a “Maternity Tunic” or a “Maternity Jacket” because of its similarity to clothes worn by expectant women. The photo from this thread shows how varied RFC uniforms could be: www.greatwarforum.org/topic/284533-rfcraf-uniforms/

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:15:14

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Very inconsiderate of her. ;)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:29:06

    Carols 1911 Pomeranian may have belonged to the 1911 occupants of #44, which might be stonemason Charles Henderson. Maybe not. Charles Jr. gives his address as Polberry getting married in June 1919, so the street numbers may not match the census house numbers.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:36:49

    The senior Hendersons both died in Barrack St, Bridget in 1926. They might have moved in 1919, just after Jr. got married and just before this shot was taken.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:37:41

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ I’ve come across a couple of Polberry numbers in other contexts & I haven’t been able to match them to the census house numbers.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:39:03

    Daughter Alice moved with them, and died in Barrack St too, in 1955.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:42:12

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley The senior Hendersons were running the Barrack St. Post Office. (Yes, I started running down the same Henderson trail). Alice worked there too.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:45:20

    Charles snr was a sailor/ stoker, not a Mason.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 16:46:05

    children Alice, Florence and poor George unhelpful.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 17:02:37

    So warefordcouncil.ie have a petition against conscription online from "during the first World war", which suggests the numbers do not match. Berchmans Moore at 51 in petition, 67 census. Mary Mccarthy 21 vs 36. John Prendergast 23 vs 39.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 17:06:47

    And then, we find John Coogan, #60 in census, is at #59 on his death record in 1916.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Feb/2021 17:12:43

    James Young, 48 petition, 43 census, 27 death record.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 20:01:17

    The house numbering is nuts. I came across evidence that the Harte Family were at 45 Poleberry during the war. House 69 per the census. So I go to look at House 68 in the Census and I find that the O'Shea family live there - but their "real life" house number was 50. 63 in the Census is 56 in real life 55 in the Census is 35 in real life 46 in the Census is 29 in real life.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 20:11:57

    Oh! I think I've found 44 Poleberry in the Census. It's the Casey Family: www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Waterford/Water... In 1905, Francis Casey was born at 44 Poleberry: civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth... I can't yet tell if there's any connection to the photo, but it was almost certainly the Casey family dog that went missing.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 20:17:50

    Okay - when Ex-RIC Sergeant Patrick Casey dies in 1928, his address is given as Poleberry House. civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/death... Is this Poleberry House? (Now No 72?) www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/22830... Per the 1911 Census he lived in a house with 5 windows in front and 3 outhouses... www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai003510047/

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 20:33:14

    But is this page is accurate, I think we're looking at a different family bmdnotices.com/remembrance-garden-book/viewremembrance.as...

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 21:01:05

    Okay - I've looked at the 1901 Census. Back then the Caseys were in a house with 3 windows in front. So they moved between 1901 and 1911, from 44 Poleberry to Poleberry House. IF the 1901 houses are in order, they go as follows O'Brien, Fitzgerald, CASEY, Fitzgerald, Buckley Can I find a sequence like that in 1911? Of course I can't! I did find one of the Fitzgerald families still in situ in Poleberry Street, BUT a death cert from 1923 (Mr White) civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/death... makes it look as though the Fitzgeralds who should have been nextdoor to No 44 actually lived in 52. I think we have to conclude that the census enumerator was drunk, or the houses were re-numbered at some stage.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 25/Feb/2021 21:11:19

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy The current house numbering is also a bit, um, unusual. There are (at least) two houses with no. 1, one apparently being Osborne Villas, the other Ozier Bank Terrace... The Dog License records have a Patrick Casey in 72 Poleberry in 1919. Earlier records just give "Poleberry".

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 21:24:04

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet I'm pretty sure that Patrick & family moved between the 1901 & 1911 censuses. The details of the 1911 census seem to match Poleberry House at No 72, whereas the details of 1901 don't.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 25/Feb/2021 21:25:37

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Before 1910, as they were already in Poleberry House at that point according to Poole's own records.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 25/Feb/2021 21:27:09

    Some more gleanings from the civil records compared to the 1911 Census... 55 in Census is 35 in real life 56 in Census is 23 in real life 60 in Census is 59 in real life 64 in Census is 54 in real life

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 26/Feb/2021 06:52:07

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley This is very strange indeed, I really like "I think we have to conclude that the census enumerator was drunk, or the houses were re-numbered at some stage"

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    Bernard Healy

    • 26/Feb/2021 08:49:28

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I'm pretty sure there was a re-numbering of the houses in Poleberry. My last stab at this is as follows: House 72 in the Census is home to the Peters Family. Death cert of Norah Peters in 1944 says she lived at 46 Poleberry. civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/death... House 73 in the Census is the Kennedy Family. Death cert of Kate Kennedy in 1920 puts her in 45 Poleberry! civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/death... One imagines the numbering in 1920 matches that of 1919, when the photo was taken. So House 74 is a good candidate for 44 Poleberry in 1919. We have the Youngs there in 1911. www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Waterford/Water... However, the makeup of that family does NOT match our photo. I can find evidence of them being in Poleberry (no house number!) in 1914 when their daughter Catherine was born. civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/birth... My intuition is that our Smyth family above have nothing to do with the Youngs.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Feb/2021 10:16:03

    James Young died in 1921, address 27 Poleberry. But might have moved...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 26/Feb/2021 10:22:40

    Mary Young just gives Poleberry when she marrys in 1925. John Young marries in 1927 in Kilkenny, dies in 1948, address 27 Poleberry on both records.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 26/Feb/2021 10:43:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Another hypothesis to be discarded!

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    sharon.corbet

    • 26/Feb/2021 10:53:54

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley At this rate, we're going to be doing it by a process of elimination. I can add that in 1919, Thomas O'Shea was at 37, (census seems to be 18) and R. McGrath at 34 (census 35?) according to Dog Licence info. Unfortunately I can only search by name, and not by address (or type of dog!), but I do get a full page that I can scan for other Poleberry adresses with numbers...