26 November 2017

The Payne Family : Part of the Merry Group

Back in 2016 I wrote a Mystery Photo post, "The Mystery of the Merry Group," where I pondered the possible identity of a group of people who appeared in some photos that all seemed to have been taken at the same event. The older lady in the group looked a bit like my great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Klein (Dixon) Payne, and the older gentleman certainly resembled her second husband, Thomas Payne. But I wasn't sure, and I had no clue who the other people were.

In recent months I've been in contact with three people who are connected with the Payne family in one way or another. Last week the granddaughter of Thomas Payne, Jr. contacted me. She was able to identify some of the people in these pictures. In fact, she wrote that she has a photo taken on that same day.

My step-cousin said that the photos were taken at Thomas Payne, Sr.'s farm in Massachusetts. I never knew he had a farm in Massachusetts! She also commented that he was very well-off and that at one time he owned a restaurant in New Jersey, and that my Great-grandmother, who she called Mrs. Dixon, ran the kitchen. [I've done some  preliminary research on the restaurant and will report on that eventually.]

So, a photo mystery gets closer to being solved, and I've got more fun things to research.

Here are the photos in question. My Great-grandmother died in 1938 at the age of 70. Andrew was born in 1905, and Thomas was born in 1910 and I would say that they look in these photos like they could be in their mid- to late-twenties. I'm going to guess that this was taken some time in the mid-1930's.

As far as I know, these are the only photos I have of my Great-grandmother that were taken after her marriage to Thomas Payne in 1927. According to my source, Great-grandmother raised Thomas, Jr. and he called her "Mother," and she remembers her father talking about my grandfather, Wallace B. Dixon, and his sister, Hazel. They would have all been children in the combined Dixon/Payne household at the same time.

Members of the family of Thomas Payne and Mary E. Klein (Dixon) Payne gather at the Payne farm in Massachusetts. c. mid-1930's. Collection of E. Ackermann, 2017.
Standing, from left: unknown; Mrs. Thomas Payne, Jr.; unknown; unknown; Andrew Payne; Mary E. (Klein Dixon) Payne.
Kneeling, from left: unknown; unknown; a dog; Thomas Payne, Jr.

I don't know who the fellow in the white shirt, standing third from the left, is but every time I see him in a photo I think "he sure looks like a Dixon!" He's in a good number of photos that I have with the woman standing on the far left, also unidentified.

Members of Thomas Payne, Senior's family, at his farm in Massachusetts. c. mid-1930's. Collection of E. Ackermann, 2017.
From left: Thomas Payne, Jr.; Andrew Payne; unknown; unknown;
Mary E. (Klein Dixon) Payne; Thomas Payne, Senior.
And the dog.

Thomas and Mary E. Klein (Dixon) Payne, Senior, with members of the Payne family. c. mid-1930's, Payne farm in Massachusetts.
From left: Thomas Payne, Jr.; Andrew Payne; unknown; unknown;
Mary E. (Klein Dixon) Payne; Thomas Payne, Senior.
Thomas Payne also had a daughter named Mary, from his first marriage, and I wonder if the young woman in this photo might be her. And then there's that Dixon-looking fellow in the back again! Who are you?!?
Andrew Payne, b. 1905. Collection of E. Ackermann, 2017.
Andrew Payne
Unidentified. Taken at Thomas Payne, Senior's farm in Massachusetts some time inthe mid-1930's. Collection of E. Ackermann, 2017.
Still unidentified

 As always, if you recognize anyone in these photos, I'd love to hear from you!


Private E-mail correspondance with descendant of Thomas Payne.

All photos from Wallace B. Dixon Collection, privately held by the author. 

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