Genealogical research results in return of portrait

Courtesy of the DeWitt County Genealogical Society — Ancestors of Edward Hamilton Summers take possession of an old family portrait after Farmer City and DeWitt County genealogical societies’ research was able to help identify Summers’ ancestors.

FARMER CITY / CLINTON — A few weeks ago, Bob Tharp, with the Farmer City Historical and Genealogical Society, brought a large framed family portrait to the DeWitt County Genealogical Society. 

The name “E. H. Summers” was written in pencil on back of the photograph, along with instructions for delivery to rural Wapella, the date “May 12-15, 1901,” and a fee of $9.50. 

Tharp hoped that DCGS could find out more about the Summers family and possibly locate a descendant who might want the 33-inch by 29-inch portrait. 

After a bit of genealogical sleuthing on Ancestry.com, “E. H.” was identified as Edward Hamilton Summers (1870-1957), and a second-great-granddaughter, Stefani Summers, was contacted. 

On June 17, Stefani, with her mother Cheryl and sister Staci, drove from their home in Indiana to meet with Bob Tharp and Terri Lemmel, President of the DeWitt County Genealogical Society, to take possession of the portrait. 

It now rests in the hands of grateful descendants who intend to display it with pride. 

Pictured above, left to right: Cheryl, Stefani, Terri, Bob, Staci.

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