British photographic history

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I have been looking into the available documentary sources for Archer's life.

It has been widely reported that he was born in Bishop's Stortford however
Archer gives Hertford as his birthplace in the 1861 census.

His newly restored tombstone reveals that his father, Thomas Archer was "formerly of Hertford"

Dr.Stefan Hughes has also generously made his research into the history of the Archer family available.

Much of this evidence is presented on my recently amended Frederick Scott Archer web site:

Seán MacKenna

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Hello Sean, I am pleased that all this new research is being done into FSA and I was very impressed by Stefan Hughes' work in this regard that you refer to. I have copied a similar reply to this one to his own posting on this blog. For the benefit of other readers I would like to point to them to his excellent article which gives a good account of what he has discovered about FSA at http://www.artdeciel.com/Exposure/2010/06/09/default.aspx. The IGI lists extracted records for the baptisms of FSA and his siblings James and Janet all taking place on 21 April 1822, some years after their births but the birth date given for FSA is August 1822, obviously an error and after his date of baptism. I've looked at FSA's wife Frances Machin's family. Her brother Nathaniel was a confectioner with a substantial business. His spinster sister Charlotte is listed with him in some censuses and also with her niece Janet Archer in the 1881 census. Perhaps Nathaniel or Charlotte were able to care for the Archer children after their parent's deaths? Noticing Frances Machin's mother was Mary Debenham, sister of Robert Debenham the business partner of Nathaniel Machin senior in the auction firm Debenham and Machin I have checked with Michael Debenham who I have been corresponding with, and there is no obvious connect with the Debenham family of photographers he belongs to. There is a Constance Archer listed aged 24 an assistant school mistress in Northfleet, Kent in the 1871 census. It does not however appear at this stage that FSA would have any living descendants but it would be nice to find them if he does. Cheers for now! Marcel, Brisbane, Australia

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