Tuesday, February 02, 2021

The Throckmortons and their photograph album

This dimunitive leather-bound photograph album, tightly bound by a corset-like clasp, is turning this week into my equivalent of those elaborate jigsaw puzzles that social media friends have been spending countless lockdown hours with. 

It arrived at the Lucas County Historical Society Museum recently with an obscure provenance, identified only as "Throckmorton." Its 20 overstuffed album pages contain 40 images, a mix of carte-de-visite-sized photographs and tintypes, the earliest dating from the 1860s and the latest, I'd say, from the 1880s. There's no indication of who assembled it or to whom it belonged.

So, using extreme caution and a pair of tweezers, I've removed the images from their album pages, found at least partial identifications for a few written on backs, then returned them to their appointed places. Thanks to the miracles of digitalization --- and the fact the Throckmortons and their kin had their images recorded frequently --- I was able to identify others by comparing them to examples shared online by descendants via Find A Grave and Ancestry.com family history files.

That ability to compare allowed me to idetify the gentleman in uniform as John Throckmorton (1826-1907), who arrived in Lucas County from Pennsylvania during 1855 with his brother-in-law, Michael Crow Lazear, and half-brother, Morford Throckmorton, to establish the Throckmorton outpost in southwest Lucas County, including the site of what during the 1870s became the village of Derby. John was joined by his wife, Nancy (Lazear) Throckmorton, and their children during 1856.

Michael Lazear moved on during 1859 to California, settling eventually at Marysville; and Morford died during 1863 in Lucas County leaving behind a young family. So the Lucas County Throckmortons who came along later descend from John and Nancy or Morford and Agnes. Several of John's descendants were physicians, which is one of the reasons why the name has been so widely known in the county.

John is in uniform because he left his family behind during 1862 to enlist in Co. E, 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry,, even though he was 36 at the time.

Among the images in the album are these two of Eliphalet Reed Throckmorton, younger brother of John and Morford, who never made it to Iowa, living out his relatively long life (1840-1924) in Greene County, Pennsylvania. But I'm fascinated by that untamed mountain of hair atop his head that must have taken considerable effort to maintain.

Whatever the case, we're happy to provide a safe home for the little album at the museum where it will  join a collection of John Throckmorton's early papers, dating back to the 1850s, and a magnificent prize-winning quilt created by his granddaughter, Dr. Jeannette Throckmorton. 

The early Throckmortons and many later ones, too, are buried in the Throckmorton section in the far southeast corner of the Derby Cemetery --- in case you'd care to visit.

1 comment:

Lois Hutchison Schleuter said...

My family doctor years ago was Scott Lazear Throckmorton, MD. Now I know where that middle name came from. He used that name is read if his first name.