Esther's Place

Esther's Place

September 19, 2013

Connecting the Present to the Past

Connecting the Present to the Past

I first posted this photograph on my personal genealogy blog Are You My Cousin? in April of 2012. I only knew that this was a photograph of Clarkton Bridge in northern Halifax County, VA.


I edited out the young man on the right and enlarged him to see if anyone would be able to identify him. I suspected, but was not completely sure if this young man was a Haley ancestor.  

Percy Haley
Percy Haley on Clarkton Bridge

 Sixteen months later I showed this photograph to a few cousins at the Haley family reunion I attended in Keysville, VA.


One of my “new” cousins quickly said, “That’s my Daddy.” Then he added, "He should have been working."


And just like that, the young man on the right of the photograph  was identified as Percy Haley, son of William and Clara Haley. Another cousin dated the photograph as being taken in 1910.  The wagons are from the Clarkton plantation where Will Haley was the overseer.  Turns out this photograph was taken as a way to promote the Clarkton Plantation. (Thanks, Emmit and Stanley!)

I was thrilled to have the young man identified, but perhaps more excited to see Percy son’s eyes light up when he saw a long forgotten photograph of his father. I spend much of my time researching family history and genealogy , but it is these moments and connections with family members that mean the most.


Connections to family.


Connections to a shared history.


Connections to the present.


Amazing what one photograph can do!