For Mother's Day/Easter/her birthday this year, I bought my Mum a renewed subscription to ancestry.co.uk - she had previously done stacks of research, but her membership lapsed in the build up to the move last year, and she'd never renewed it, what with one thing and another. But since she'd been really getting into the research again lately, scratching around the free sites and paying one-off fees here and there, I thought it was worth getting her the full subscription again now. And it's already paying off - almost at once she found that one of her distant cousins had uploaded a bunch of old family photos from the Melean side of the family. Mum's grandmother (Beattie, who raised Mum after her mother died) was a Melean, but the family were Catholic and Beattie became an outcast from the clan when she married a Protestant. Contact wasn't completely lost, but in many respects it might as well have been. Now, we have a huge collection of family photos, some of them dating back to the 1890s, taking in most branches of the family - but never any of that particular branch, because of the religious rift. So it was a very special moment for Mum to get to see a picture of her great-grandfather, John Melean (Beattie's father) for the very first time. And for me too, because, hey - my great-great-grandfather. I'd only ever seen his name on a war memorial before. John Melean was born in Cardiff in 1882 to a Norwegian sailor and an Irish refugee, but was called up to fight in WWI and never made it home again, dying of war wounds in Southampton in 1919 at just 37 years of age - his wife was left alone with nine children to raise, my great-grandmother Beattie one of the youngest.
However, special though it was to see it, the picture has clearly suffered a lot of damage over the decades. So I decided to have a go at cleaning it up a little in photoshop.
This is the original:
And this is what I've managed to do with it:
It isn't a perfect job, and never can be, given how bad the damage was (and how imperfect my PS skills!). But I don't think I've done too badly, all things considered. The hands were the hardest - I just couldn't do anything with them, alas. And the nose still looks weird, but there wasn't much there to reconstruct. You can see his face more clearly now, though, at least.( More )