Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Third Great Grandfather

This is one of my oldest family photographs.

Thomas Jefferson Gorin (January 27, 1808 - January 11, 1883)

This is an ambrotype, a type of photograph that was used mostly from the mid-1850's to the mid-1860's. The Ambrotype is a negative image on glass made positive with a black backing.  Most often it is cased, as you see below, where I took a picture showing the decorative liner.

Because an ambrotype is a cased image, you can't just turn the picture over and see if someone has identified the person in the picture. Wonderfully with this picture, enclosed is the following:

My Grand Father
Thomas Jefferson Gorin
son of Gen'l John Gorin
who gave the land
where town of Glasgow was
guilt - My Grand
Father, A Banker in

Glasgow - married
Mary Ann Bowman -
daughter of Edward Bowman
A Banker, and richest
landowner in
Edmonson Co. Kentucky

This note was written on two sides of a small envelope that has been kept in this ambrotype case. This was written by my great grandmother, Mary Bowman Ashby. 

My descent from Thomas Jefferson Gorin and Mary Ann Bowman > Mary Elizabeth Gorin > Mary Bowman Ashby > Elizabeth Adsit > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me.

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. What a handsome man-- reminds me a bit of Christopher Reeve.

    How lucky you were to also have your great-grandmother's note so you know who it is!

  2. I do love that there is a note with this cased image. I have a few other ambrotypes that I think are photographs of members of the same family, but without notes, I'll never be sure.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.