Who Needs a DNA test when we have two family photographs?

A single mum brought me up for the first few years of my life. We lived on a small farm, Bell Farm, with 27 cows, on the remote Pennine Moor, near Middleton-in-Teasdale, County Durham in the north of England for the first two years of my life before departing for Croydon, south of London.

In return for a small cottage, my mother worked as the housekeeper for the owner of the farm, Mrs Casper. Being a single mum, she gave me her undivided attention rather than a percentage of attention to me and a percentage to the father.

I never met my father but decades later my mother gave me a negative of him in army uniform, aged around 27. As soon as I had the photo printed, I could see the likeness of father and son. Called Chippy (his surname was Wood) spent six years in Winston Churchill’s Army from 1940 to 1946.

I spent six years in the uniform of the Buddha’s non-violent army of monks and nuns from 1970 -1976.

On the wall of my office at home, I have around 60 photos dating back 100 years including my father and myself. Photos includes Buddhist monks, five generations of the family, hitchhiking years, pilgrimages, teachings, Etty Hillesum, Julian David, places, oil paintings etc. My father and myself were about the same age – 26 years old when the photos were taken.

If I met my father, I would not have had to ask him for a DNA test. The likeness between the two men in their 20s seems obvious.

  1. Long face.
  2. Big nose
  3. Right ear prominent
  4. Left ear close to head.
  5. Had a gap between front teeth until I had a teeth brace as a boy.

I read about DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) on science websites. Scientists describe DNA as the hereditary material in humans and other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA.

The molecule inside cells contains the genetic information responsible for the development and function of an organism. There is DNA in the nucleus of every cell. DNA carries genetic information with the instructions enabling a living organism to grow, reproduce and function.

Made up of DNA, genes carry information for specific characteristics, such as ear shape or eye colour. Ah.


4 thoughts on “Who Needs a DNA test when we have two family photographs?”

  1. Dear Marguerite,
    Thank you for your comment. I don’t have any information at all. I live in Totnes in south Devon. I have the thought from time to time to visit the farm and take some photos and to see if I can find some history. Perhaps I will go this summer. My grandson studies at Sheffield Uni. It is two hours or more in the car to Middleton-in-Teesdale. If I go, I will let you know. Warm wishes, Christopher

  2. Marguerite Moody

    Hello Christopher, I came across your post when I was researching Bell Farm, where my father, Christopher Moody, lived as a small boy for two years during WW2 (1940-41). He was there with two other families (so three mothers and five smallish children altogether – the fathers were involved in the war effort) – they were evacuated from Middlesbrough and rented the farmhouse on Bell Farm until it was deemed safe to return home.

    So interesting that you also lived there! You wouldn’t happen to any further information about the owners, images of the house, and so on?

    Kind regards
    Marguerite Moody

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top