Athol Daily News – A page of North Quabbin history: Photo in search of his family

Posted: 09/13/2022 09:36:01

Modified: 09/13/2022 09:35:30

A photo of Norman Johnstone, found in a former retirement home in Attleboro, hopes to find his way back to his family in Athol.

Johnstone was born in Kirkwall, Scotland on December 4, 1919, to Janet (Ross) and Archibald C. Johnstone and arrived in Boston on May 31, 1925. He served in the Navy during World War II with his draft map indicating that he had worked at Union Twist Drill as a lathe operator. In 1946 he married Ruth (Bisbee) Johnson, according to Kate Kelley, known as the Photo Angel.

Johnstone is listed in the Athol Census in 1930, 1935, 1940, and 1941. In 1986 they lived in Newport, Rhode Island, moving to North Attleboro in 1993 and living in the Attleboro area until their deaths in 2003.

Kelley explained that Photo Angel began about a year ago when she and her mother were going through old family photos, separating them into two piles, those of family members and those of neighbors and other non-family members. family. Kelley began researching genealogy websites for neighbors’ family members and non-family photos. “I had success and sent lots back to their family members. Some of them were photos they hadn’t seen of their ancestors, which was cool. It was really good.

Kelley then decided to start visiting antique stores looking for pictures with names and places in hopes of returning them to their family members as well. “I then created a Facebook page (with the photos). This is how he began to gain popularity. He grew beyond my expectations.

Photo Angel was highlighted in a segment on The Today Show and The Boston Globe and several other outlets also wrote about Kelley’s efforts to reunite Photos with their family members. When Kelley is not working on the Photo Angel project, she is a special education teacher in Plainville.

On her photo angel YouTube channel, she posts photos of her stack of challenges, where the photo has been there for a while. Johnstone’s photo is one of those featured on his channel.

Johnstone’s photo was found when Grace Baptist Church purchased the former Bristol County Nursing Home which had been unexpectedly closed by the state. The photo was found by Lorraine Bailey, the wife of Pastor Jeffrey Bailey and a history teacher at Grace Baptist Christian Academy, located in the same building. Bailey said she used the photo to teach her history class. A year ago, Bailey mentioned the photo to church member Ron Goyette. Goyette knew Kelley and knew of her Photo Angel project and brought the photo to her in hopes of connecting her with her family.

“The family should have the picture,” Goyette said. “I hope we find his house. I know the photo is something I would cherish if it were part of my family,” Bailey said.

Kelley can be contacted about the photo via her email [email protected]

Carla Charter is a freelance writer from Phillipston. His writings are on history with a particular interest in the history of the North Quabbin region. Contact her at [email protected]

Comments are closed.