Saturday, January 1, 2011

His Father's Place

Family pictures are always fun to see, especially if they are over 100 years of age. Can you imagine what it took to round up 15 folks, get them dressed, and seated for a photograph taken in 1900! George Washington and Susan Cole Ewen appear to have accomplished this task, for the photography to the right is of such a gathering. It shows the family; husband and wife, children, and a couple of folks that have not been identified. There are numbers written above the Ewen children starting with the oldest male child Clifton (Cliff) at number one, and moving to number 9, my grandfather Sidney Brent (Brent). The daughters, numbers 10 and 11 follow the males. There were 11 children, thus by 1900, Susan Cole Ewen would have spent at least 11 years of her life pregnant. [roughly 46% of her married life!]

G.W. and Susan Cole were married 5 Dec. 1876. Their oldest son "Cliff" stands proudly between and behind the sitting parents. Robert (Bob) stands directly behind his father, and his birth year 1881 is known. Cliff looks a number of years older, making him born around 1878. Asa Books is number 3 [b.1883-d.1943] standing somewhat awkwardly leaning to his right. Moving to the other end of the line, Green Ewen stands slightly bend to his left with a hand held on his shoulder showing some affection from the unidentified women to his left. [She has that Ewen look about her, and I suspect she was a sister to G.W.?] On down the numbers: 5) Jake (J.C.) b.1887, 6) George Earl, 7) Carlton, 8) Edward, and baby Sidney Brent Ewen held on his mother's lap. Grand Dad Ewen a little baby! Never thought I would see a baby picture! The two daughters, 10) Earsef (Ursula) and 11) Minnie were numbered youngest to oldest. Who ever numbered this family picture sure wanted to count the boys.

George Washington Ewen was to die some six years after this picture was taken. My grandfather would never get to know his father. I wonder how his life was lived with eight other older males to help take his father's place.


  1. Hello Kennard Jr. Your Dad and I spent time growing up together in Winchester. Good memories.

  2. I heard an explanation as to why the folks in those days didn't smile when their photo was made. #1) It was such a rare occasion and thus one of great solemnity. #2) Their teeth were very bad (if not missing) which they hid by not smiling.

    In today's world of photos, we try to put on the perfect smile. I wonder what we are hiding many times?

  3. Hello,

    Sidney Brent was my grand-father; Kennard Ewen was my dad. I am very interested in seeing any additional Ewen family picures! Many thanks for posting this photo. Patrick Ewen

  4. Hey Patrick,

    A lot of Ewen pictures and family stories are given in prior post. You will have to check old posts.

  5. I've seen this picture before and not on this website. George Washington Ewen was my great-grandfather. One of his sons, Jacob Clay, was my grandfather and his brother, Sidney Brent, was my Uncle Brent (which is what we always called him.)
    I saw the pictures titled "Granny Ewen" also and am sure she is related to me in some way.

    Rick Ewen (

  6. Hello cousin Rick, Granny Ewen was Stella Morton who married Sidney Brent in 1918. Where did you see the picture? Must be lost of Ewens out there with this large number.

  7. Hello and Thank You!!!!
    I believe Ursula is my great grandmother. My grandmother Ula L. Adams is listed on a 1920's census as Susan F. Ewen's grandaughter. Susan is also listed as the midwife on my mother's (Geneva M. Brewer) birth certificate.

    Do you have any information regarding Ursula you can share with me? (Do you know the first name of the Adams she married) I will be so very grateful if you can help me as I have been searching for such a long time.

    Thank You,
    Susan O'Neill (

  8. Hello Susan, glad you were able to make these connections. Susan (nee Cole) was a midwife and around a lot of deliveries in these parts. What county was your 1920 census? Susan died 1934. What year was your mother born? Was all this in Powell county? Lots of Adams buried there. I have Susan's picture over my mantel. Jerry