Someone in 1912 Ohio is having a bad day. I can’t identify anyone in this photo; I just thought it was interesting. It was in the collection of photos that came to me through my mother and my grandmother. I don’t know whether this actually involved the Patterson family somehow, or if my great grandfather just came across this scene and took a picture. Judging by the sheer number of photos I have from that era, he must have been an avid photographer!

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My great grandfather, James Layton Patterson was a builder and inventor. This photo shows an installation of an air conditioner that he built. It was installed in the Charles Restaurant in Fremont, Ohio. I don’t think his air conditioner ever made it big. Instead, he was known as a builder in the Tiffin, Ohio area. He built a number of commercial buildings and homes, at least two of which were his own homes.

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Researching family history is enjoyable and interesting, but it is also a bit sad because, well, most of your relatives are dead and you never got to meet them. Many of them lived full, and presumably reasonably happy lives, but often there are those who died at a young age. The death of William Hillery is particularly sad. William Sanford Hillery was my 2nd great grandfather. He was born in Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1846, and he married Margaret Ann McKee in 1872.

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Since one of the purposes of this site is to show the many old family photos I have collected, I’m going to write about one photo every Friday. This photo is from the collection of my grandmother, Gail (Patterson) Joachim. I see her and my grandfather in the picture. From their apparent age, I’m guessing the photo was taken around 1935 or 1936. I also see Gail’s parents, Layton and Lillie Patterson.

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Fellow Bakers, I discovered a possible new family name today. It appears we have a 5th great grandmother named Joan Jennings (or possibly Jening, but I am assuming Jennings is correct for now.) She lived in Somerset, England from 1700 to 1785, and married Thomas Knapton, the 2nd great grandfather of my great grandmother, Elizabeth Ann (Annie) Knapton, who of course was the wife of William Henry Baker. The records on her and the couple of generations of Knaptons following her are a bit tenuous, so I’ll be on the lookout for better documentation.

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I ran across this photo in one of the Patterson albums. It is badly faded, and I can’t tell who is in the picture, but it is very clear that the Pattersons took their snowball fights very seriously. This is one of about a thousand family photos on the site. There is no overall index of photos; you can see them by visiting the page for someone who has photos.

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Those of you with long memories may remember my first family website, which was taken down some years ago. I have finally loaded all the pictures from that website onto this one! This took some time, since I wanted them to be larger and had to regenerate each one from the original scans. Many of them were in bad shape and required quite a bit of work to make presentable.

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The Idris Project is my experiment to present the information I have collected about my ancestors and extended family over the years. The project is named after my grandfather Idris Charles Baker, pictured to the left, and also after my father, Robert Idris Baker. I started researching my family several years ago after I found and rescued several boxes of hundreds of family photographs that my mother was storing in her garage and was planning to throw out.

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