Family history buff Mandy Wenn admits she was dumbfounded when she stumbled across a long lost photo of her great grandparents.
Mrs Wenn of Launceston was perusing a Facebook marketplace for antiques when a photo of an old oval shaped frame caught her eye.
She immediately recognised that the second photo was of her great grandparents, Emily and James Jones, taken more than 100 years ago.
“It might be a cliche but I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Mrs Wenn said.
“I’d seen a really damaged copy at my grandparents but it was a smaller version.”
Mrs Wenn said it was fortunate she recognised the couple.
“I asked my brother if he knew who they were and he said ‘no’ and I doubt whether my cousins would have recognised them either.
“The man who was selling the frames had bought them and had no idea who was in the photos.
“In a case of serendipity I got the photo on what would have been my grandfather Cyril Jones’ 110th birthday.”
Mrs Wenn, who became interested in family history when she was in primary school, completed a Diploma of Family History at the University of Tasmania and said it had honed her research skills.
“As far back as primary school I was fascinated by convicts and I did the family tree and traced 12 convicts,” she said.
“University taught me about history through objects. I’m very interested in social history, it’s not about just collecting names, but stories about how people lived.” Her great grandfather James Jones was born in Surrey, England in 1871 and settled with his parents in Oatlands while Emily Jones was born in 1873 and was one of Tasmania’s first settlers.
“Emily and James Jones owned the Ringwood Hotel at Cressy and are buried in the town,” she said.
“Emily Jones’ (nee Hayes) grandfather was John Hayes, who is purported to be the first European child born in Van Diemen’s Land.
“His parents arrived as first settlers accompanying the convict ship Calcutta in 1803. He married the daughter of convict Thomas Peters who also arrived at that time.”
Mrs Wenn named her eldest child, award winning journalist and former Examiner reporter, Emily Baker after her great grandmother.
Along with the photo of her great grandparents was also a photo of a mother and son, believed to be the Ambroses, who are related to her grandparents and owned the Empire Hotel in Deloraine.
Mrs Wenn will get advice about how best to restore the photo including replacing the discoloured mount.
“I am keen to take the back off and see if there is a date as I am not entirely sure when or where it was taken.”
Until it is restored, Mrs Wenn is keeping the photo on a bookcase that was owned by her grandparents.