Restoring Grandpa…..

While wandering thru google (to see if I’m listed as a genealogy blog..) I stumbled upon this site . Not only does he research his family tree, he restores pictures as well. Do you see the sample? He did that!

This is a picture of my grandfather, George Washington Bolden/Bowden/Boulden. The picture is damaged due to a step-father tearing in a fit of rage.

One of my relatives taped it back together for my dad when he was a young boy. However, they put the tape on the top of the picture instead of the bottom. This makes the picture even more fragile and difficult to restore. I have sent it off several times to get restored and it always came back looking…well…like crap! My main concern is the face. Previously when I sent it off, the face would come back looking like someone different.

I sent this to George b/c I’ve seen some of his work. All I can say is, he did an amazing job. I only seen him a low resolution copy I had saved on the computer to see what he could do with it. Now, I’ll be scanning a higher resolution image onto CD to send to him. He really does some amazing work. Along with the fact that he takes pride in his ancestors, he knows how important these photo’s are to those researching theirs.

George Washington Bolden/Bowden/Baldwin

This is George Washington Bolden/Bowden/Baldwin. Excuse the variation of the last name, my grandmother could never tell me what it really was.

He is my paternal grandfather. Neither I nor my father has ever met him. My dad joined the navy for 2 reasons; because he was drafted and he wanted to find his father. My grandmother has never really given much info about this man and I’m not to sure why. But my father and I would love to know who he is.

What my grandmother has told me:

  • She’s not sure if his last name is Bolden/Baldwin/Bowden. But, she’s sure that it’s George Washington.
  • He called her about 2 or 3 months after the initial meeting. She told him she was pregnant and he said that he would come back and marry her. She said no.
  • She says that he was older, maybe in his 20’s.
  • It was a one time thing.

What my great aunt (my grandmother’s sister) has told me:

  • It wasn’t a one time thing. He’s been to their house before and all the sisters just thought he was so cute.
  • She thinks there was more to the relationship.

What I’ve been able to determine:

  • My grandmother was 16 when she had my father. My father was conceived in December of 1952 when my grandmother was 15.
  • He was in the Navy in 1952, probably working in Norfolk, VA.
  • Based on the stripes on the sleeve, he was in for at least 8 years and he was an E-3 by the time this picture was taken.
  • If the picture was taken about 1952 or 1953, that means he joined the Navy around 1944.
  • I believe that the youngest they could have been to enlist was 17. That means that he could have been born anywhere between 1920 to 1928. My grandmother was born 1936 and she claims he was much older than her.
  • He’s not from Pasquotank or Camden, NC. He always visited with some distant cousins and stayed with them. That tells me that maybe his home is to far to travel when he was on leave.
  • He was probably on Christmas leave in 1952 when he and my grandmother ‘hooked up’.

What the distant cousin has told me:

  • Last he saw him was around 1955 to 1965. he was on his way to Trinidad on deployment.
  • He worked on the docks with him.
  • Last he talked to him, George was getting deployed to Trinidad some time in the 50’s.

My father is the oldest of all her children and the only one with a different father. My grandmothers 1st husband took the picture when my dad was young and tore it up. This is the only picture we have of him. I intend on getting the picture restored. I sent it off once, however the picture that came back looked HORRIBLE! It didn’t even resemble this.

My father was raised by his maternal grandparents, Aaron Edward and Bessie Spence and on several documents he’s listed Aaron Edward Spence as his father.

Now what? It’s not like the Navy enlistment records are available online. So, how can I locate him???