Back by the Fence

Back-by-the-fenceHere’s another group picture where photographer John Capewell has inserted himself (he’s on the far right.) The odd position of his hands seem to indicate that he is triggering his camera’s shutter remotely by use of a length of string as he has done in other pictures, but this time he seems to have been fairly successful at camouflaging his string. I don’t see it.

John’s wife Ella is seated next to him, and that may be their son John, Jr. stretched out on her lap.

Back-by-the-fence-det-rightI’m not sure about the older man in the middle, but the couple on the left look familiar.

Back-by-the-fence-det-leftThe woman between the two gentlemen may be one of Capewell’s sisters.


The Capewells

I’m guessing that the fellow next to her is either her husband or sweetheart. I recognize him from some of the other shots particularly this one from the beach of Atlantic City.

swimsuit-detailIt looks like the same couple on the right side of this photo.

About The Capewell Glass Negative Collection

The Capewell Glass Negative Collection is a series of about 200 5-inch by 7-inch glass negatives shot early in the 20th Century by John Batt Capewell (1878-1951) of Westville, New Jersey. John passed the negatives down to his son Henry who left them in his wife’s possession upon his passing. Henry’s widow didn’t know what to do with them and didn’t particularly want them so she offered them to my Dad who couldn’t turn down anything. Ultimately I wound up with them and thought I would one day have photographic prints struck from them. That didn’t happen, but I came up with the digital workaround of placing the negatives on a lightbox and rephotographing them with a digital camera. The “processing” was then done on a computer with image editing software. They came out better than I thought they would so I thought I would show them off to the world on this site. Many of these pictures have not been seen in a century, and I’m proud to be presenting them today.

At first, I did not know who the people were in the photographs. I have a box of ephemera that accompanied the negatives and snagged a few clues from that as far as the Capewell name. I did some research on the internet and had a few false starts and wrong turns, but the readers of these posts have provided a remarkable amount of research and detail. I’m amazed at what people have turned up sifting through public records and such!

DSCN1418-negLast: Westville’s Independent Fire Company

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6 Responses to Back by the Fence

  1. Debora Hill says:

    I have these photos ! Ella Capewell Evans was the sister of Oliver Evans, who was my husband’s great grandfather.

  2. Debora Hill says:

    I meant to say Ella Capewell Evans !

  3. Debora Hill says:

    I meant to say Ella Evans Capewell !
    (it’s my keyboard)

  4. I have the Capewell lineage with all the names of the children of Mark Capewell and Whillie Batt, plus the ancestors of Mark, a glassblowing family who once operated in Camden, NJ, (from a line of glassblowers in England) –their son John lived in Westville. I transcribed the Diary of Ella Evans Capewell, (it’s set around 1906 era), and wrote to a descendant of John B. Capewell’s sibling in California who identified some people for me. I had postcards sent to John in Westville from family who went out to San Francisco around 1914. Some things were in the attic of my mother-in-law, Emily Thomas Hill, (who lived next door to Ella & John and was the granddaughter of Ella’s brother, David Oliver Evans). Some things were given to me by Ann Capewell,, widow of Henry (“Bud”).

    The woman in California has the diary of Whillie Batt Capewell, which would be set mostly in Camden, New Jersey where she lived. (The G.C.H.S. has the letters we exchanged in the 80s). The backs of the postcards reveal what was going on with those who went west to San Francisco in the very early 1900s.(I copied them but sold the originals). From her diary entries and accounts given by my mother in law and others who knew her, Ella Evans Capewell was a wonderful person, and very religious–member of St. Anne’s Catholic church in Westville where she lived; She was born in 1878, probably in Philadelphia, where her brother was born. Their mother’s maiden name was Emily Oliver. I don’t think Ella Evans Capewell has any descendants. I know for sure her son Henry did not have any children, and pretty sure her other son John didn’t either.

    But her brother David O. Evans, is my husband’s great grandfather. David O.’s father was David B. Evans (1855-1916),of Philadelphia, who was the son of William Evans (1831-1908) of Fredericksburg, Maryland. Mark Capewell would have descendants in the San Francisco area and Camden, NJ. I think I do have info on where some of his daughters lived later on in time on the East Coast and who they married (which I probably also sent to the Gloucester Co. Historical Society, along with original photos I didn’t need because (as interesting as they are, they are not part of our ancestry). I gave the original diary of Ella Capewell to them and kept the book that I made, which is a transcription with photos (gave them a copy of it too, but I think they also made their own version). It does not contain much info about any of John Capewell’s siblings except in scant reference, such as “so and so came to visit today”. It’s mostly follows the progression of her son John’s medical condition, and otherwise she writes things like – “went to Camden to buy a bench” type entries (I had that bench but sold it). have photos of it.

    The woman in California has some glass pieces that the Capewell family made. Probably John’s sisters who stayed on the East coast might also. I would need to go into a box in the basement and find all the names and dates of Capewell people, and see if I have the names of the people in those photos. But most likely whatever I have are just some photocopies of a few things. I sent a full box of Capewell stuff to the Gloucester County Historical Society on Hunter St. in Woodbury, NJ., including original photos.

  5. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks so much for the information, Debora! Stay tuned – there’s a lot more to come!

  6. Ronda Bolinger says:

    Debora s typewriter got her again. William Evans was born Sassafras Md. Near Fredericktown Md where they lived for awhile. Not Fredericksburg.
    Thanks for all your family info.

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