“Uncle Isaac in America” was the simple handwritten message on the back of this old and faded photograph of a young man with an impressive mustache, dressed in his best Sunday suit. I came across this photograph amongst my father’s belongings, but have no details about when or where it was taken.
This photograph was the starting point for my research, the results of which I have collected on this web site. It was a fascinating mystery. Whose uncle was he? What was he doing in America? What became of him?
I thought I was able to identify him as Isaac Gandy, younger brother of my great great grandfather William Gandy, but I have later discovered that it is in fact more likely that the photograph is his nephew Isaac "Ike" Gandy, my great grandfather, who moved from Widnes to Canada. Despite this, the photograph led me in the right direction.
On this web site I have tried to follow the footprints left behind by Isaac on his journey through life. From his birth in 1835 to his demise in 1904. The journey took him from the tiny hamlet of Penketh in Lancashire, England, to the place called Gandy in the outback of Utah - named after Isaac.
The story covers four distinct periods – his origins in England, on the trail in America, settling down in the Snake Valley and life in Utah after Isaac. I have also tried to give a picture of the many places where Isaac lived and the people he was associated with.
Despite several efforts I have not been able to find who owns the copyright/reproduction rights to certain older photographs on the website, mainly from Penketh. Please do contact me if you are the owner of these photographs. I do apologise in advance for any inconvenience incurred and will of course on request remove the photographs concerned.
....and Eric Gandy
My journey has been much shorter than Isaac's. I started preparing material for this web site in 2004, 100 years after Isaac’s death. There are still many gaps to be filled in. I have also added new material from time to time. For example, the story about when Isaac was On Trial for Murder is based on information that I only came across at Christmas 2006 and added to the web site at the beginning of 2007. In 2009 material from two exciting biographies was added. Regular updates of the web site have been made, for example to record the passing of two older members of the Gandy family in Utah, but also the birth of new Gandy descendants.
Similar pate but nothing to match Isaac's mustache!
Credit for the contents of the web site should go to all the people who have helped with my research. Without them many pages would be rather empty. I hope that I have not missed anyone in the acknowledgements. Where relevant and known I have mentioned my sources and hopefully I have remembered most of them. My research has been done from my desk and computer in Sweden, with occasional trips to the Post Office.
I am of course solely responsible for any glaring omissions, mistakes, misinterpretations or computer problems associated with this web site!