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This collection of family photographs were donated by Dolores May Arias, great grand daughter of James Keir Hardie. They belonged to her mother, Jean Stoddart Keir Hardie Scott, who lived in Rhode Island (USA) but had close Cumnock connections her whole life.
Dolore's grandfather was James (Jamie) Keir Hardie Jnr, James Keir Hardie's eldest son. He married Marion Stoddart (or May as she was known to family and friends) from Cumnock in America in 1912 where they settled. Their daughter, Dolores's mother was Jean Keir Hardie.
May and her daughter Jean travelled back and forth between America and Cumnock several times and Jean spent her adolescence and early adult hood in Scotland living in Townhead Street with her maternal aunts (the Stoddarts) while attending Cumnock Academy and Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
These photos show some very early family photographs mostly in Cumnock and some from America dating from the late 1860's right through to the 1930's. Dolores herself has also been a regular visitor to Cumnock and she is now a member of the group.
Patented in 1854 by the French photographer André Disdérii, the carte de visite portrait involved a multi-lensed camera taking a number of small images which were then cut up and pasted onto small card mounts measuring 6.5 x 10cm.
These portraits were all taken in the artist's studio at 23 Ayr Road, Cumnock - which is now a private house. They were taken between 1860 and 1890. Most of these people are unidentified and If you can identify anyone or if you spot an ancestor please contact us and we will give you a free copy!
Read more about John Ballantine HERE