Can you solve mystery of 100-year-old Canadian photo found in California?

A 100-year-old Canadian photo of P. Émile and Lucien Hallée found its way into an antique store in California and was bought by genealogy blogger Jacqi Stevens, who now wants to find out who the boys are so she can return the photo to their family.

The photo of the boys is an Azo postcard, marked “made in Canada.” Ms. Stevens, who thinks the boys may have lived in Quebec or perhaps elsewhere in Canada, said, “The Azo insignia was used between 1904 and about 1918.”

Someone wrote in pencil on the back of the postcard that P. Émile was three years old (3 ans) and Lucien was one (1 ans) when the photo was taken.

Were the boys brothers? Cousins?

A quick look at census and church records shows several Hallée families living in southern Quebec, close to Maine and New Hampshire. Others lived near Quebec City.

Ms. Stevens bought the photo of the Hallée boys a few months ago in Jackson, an historic town in the foothills of Northern California. During the gold rush era in the 1850s, the region attracted people from around the world.

This is not the first photo Ms. Stevens has “rescued” from an antique store.

She said, “My goal in rescuing abandoned family photographs is to find a way to return them to descendants who might be interested in receiving the photograph. I do this at no charge, as a ‘giving back’ way to say thank you to the genealogy community for all the help given to me when I was a newbie, myself.”

Read more about Ms. Stevens’ research on these photos in her blog, A Family Tapestry.
When the Last Trip Home Doesn’t Happen
Not Enough Pieces to Solve this Puzzle
First, the Obvious

If you know the answer to Ms. Stevens’ questions about the Hallée boys, she would like to hear from you.

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8 Responses to Can you solve mystery of 100-year-old Canadian photo found in California?

  1. Fran Wilcox says:

    two of my Duhamel men ( my father’s uncles) in the 18 80’s went west first to Colorado and then on to the northern states, ( Idaho where the Duhamels are still there) others winding up in Wisconsin ( the did move around) and Washington state for a while and then to Oregon.. one family is still there. one of the Males had changed his name to an anglo name ( I will try to find it again) They could very well be who you are looking for.

  2. Heather says:

    The P could stand for Paul, I have several Paul Emil’s in my line. ( No Hallées tho)

  3. Elemee Royer says:

    Did send the photo to a Halle family in Quebec….. never know

    • Jocelyne Hallé says:

      This is unbelievable! These two boys are my uncles, my father Patrick’s oldest brothers! They were born in St-Isidore Dorchester, 27 km South of Quebec City, and moved to the Northwest region of Abitibi to raise their families. I grew up with them and their children. My cousin Diane Hallé (daughter of Paul-Emile) just sent me a message with a copy of the photo. As she does not understand English, she asked me to to translate. I don’t know how you found her (Diane), but she and I are so grateful that you sent the photo to her. I have been collecting photos and information about our family for many years, and I am in the process of make a genealogy book of the Hallée/Hallé family. BTW, the writing in the back is that of my grandmother, Mary Tardif Hallé. She eventually added another “e” to the name because she thought it “looked” better. Only two of her sons and their families who lived in the Montreal area spell it with two “e”s, all others spell it the way it is in the records. Thank you again, Elemee Royer.

      • Yes, it is truly unbelievable, Jocelyne! I have no idea how that photo of the two adorable Hallée children ended up in California. If you have any idea about who it might have been sent to, I’d certainly love to learn the story.

        I was concerned about how to connect with any family members in Quebec, mainly because my French is an embarrassment! Gail has been so kind to make this connection possible, thanks to her post about the photograph on her blog. She also offered to provide translation, but if you can translate for your cousin, I am glad you can help get this photograph back home to family. I have the original photograph, and would be happy to send it to you! Could you please email me at afamilytapestry at gmail dot com? I will also try sending you a private message via Facebook. Looking forward to talking soon!

    • Thank you, Elemee, for sending the photograph. It looks like you found the right family!

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