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DNA & Genealogy

Can you identify this family from Staffordshire?

For many years I have wondered who the other family in this photo is, so I decided to publish it in the hope that someone might see it and be able to identify them.  There is a chance that it was taken somewhere in the Rugeley, Brereton, Longdon, Abbots Bromley, Colton, Armitage, or Lichfield areas.

Do you have any BROWNs, WRIGHTs or SANTs in your family tree?

Annie SANT (nee BROWN) with an unidentified family, circa 1917, probably Staffordshire

At the very left is my children’s great-great-grandmother, Annie SANT, and standing next to her is her son William Henry ‘Bill’ SANT (b1912).  At the far right is Annie’s daughter, Gladys Nellie SANT (b1906).  From the children’s ages, I estimate the photo was taken about 1916-1917.

The family in the middle of the photo is unknown to me, nor was it known to Bill’s late daughter who kindly sent me the photos many years ago.

Hagley Lodge in Staffordshire, circa 1912-13Annie, her husband Walter SANT, and their children Gladys & Bill lived at Slitting Mill, near Rugeley, and also at Hagley Lodge.  Walter was a blacksmith, possibly for Hagley Hall at that time, hence the family living at the lodge.  This rare photo of Hagley Lodge shows the family sitting on the porch, about late 1912 or early 1913.

Annie was born Annie BROWN in 1884 at Brereton, one of many children to parents William Henry BROWN and Sarah Ann WRIGHT, so it is possible the mystery family could be that of one of her 10 or more siblings.

Another photo, apparently taken at the same time as the first photo given the distinctive rope hanging in the background and the identical clothing worn by the children, shows Gladys and Bill posing in an elaborate toy push-car.  It would be terrific if someone could identify these photos by the unique push-car.

The number plate on the car is AD 1910, presumably signifying its year of manufacture.  Did blacksmiths make toy cars such as these?  Could Walter Sant have made it for the family living at Hagley Hall?

Annie’s mother was a WRIGHT from Abbots Bromley, daughter of Thomas WRIGHT and Elizabeth BRADBURY, who were both from the Colton and Newlands areas of Staffordshire.


William Henry BROWN was from the Longdon and Brereton area, son of Charles BROWN from Armitage and Sarah HODGKINSON from Longdon.

Walter SANT’s parents were William SANT and Mary STRETTON, and his grandparents’ surnames included BRIDGES and WELCH.  Walter is not in the photo, so perhaps that indicates that it wasn’t his side of the family visiting or being visited.

The last photo in the set that I was given is that of a baby in an antique pram.  We believe the baby may have been Bill Sant (b1912), and his squinty eye supports this possibility.  Can anyone identify the baby, the pram, or the setting with the meandering path and large tree trunk on the left?

Baby in antique pram, possibly Bill Sant, born 1912 Staffordshire

Perhaps you have inherited copies of one or more of these same or similar photos from related families?  Perhaps it has writing on the back telling you who is who?  I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can help identify any people or items in these photos, or the location, or let me know if you’re related to Annie or her family!  Thank you


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