John Legus Hunt Sr. from Cambridge, NY

I can’t explain it, but sometimes when I look at a stranger’s face in an old photograph, I sense the warmth of their gaze as if I knew them in another lifetime. The photo of “J.L. Hunt Sr.” from Cambridge, New York, shows one of those faces.

So where there’s a Senior, there must be a Junior as well, right? So I set out to look for a J.L. Hunt from Cambridge, N.Y., who had a son with the same name. And what do I find – the same photo of him in a family tree on Ancestry, including an extract about him from the book “History of Washington Co., New York, 1878”. Here’s the link to that extract.

John L. Hunt

There is not much that I can add to this wonderful summary of John’s life. It was common to remarry quickly once a spouse had passed away at a young age and there usually was a house full of minors to tend to. Birth mortality of babies as well as of mothers was still very high at the time. So I wonder if John’s own experience of having lost his mother at the age of 3 motivated him to find his next bride asap so that his young children would have a mother figure at their side. John’s second wife Mary was 17 years younger than John. From his own 13 children, John lost 4 as infants. His last child, Bessie, he had at 60 years of age!

Another extensive overview of the genealogical records of John L. Hunt and his descendants can be found in the book “My Life Story” by James Gallaway Hunt, 1870-1949, published in 1944. 3rd edition, from Cambridge Library, Cambridge, N.Y. Pages have been uploaded to Ancestry, link here:

Hunt and Skellie Ancestors pg. 1 of 2
Hunt and Skellie Ancestors pg. 2 of 2

John Legus Hunt passed away in September 1893 and was buried at Woodland Cemetery, Cambridge, New York. You can find a photo of his gravesite on His testament has been published on Ancestry.

I’ve added John’s photo to and on The identical photo of John published on Ancestry seems to be a copy of this original in my possession. So I wonder whom this original photo belonged to before it ended up with a seller of antiques in Columbia, Missouri. I hope to return this photo to John’s family,

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