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Gatins Family photographs

Identifier: ahc.VIS187

Scope and Content

The collection consists of images of Joseph Francis Gatins, Jr.; Egle de Villelume-Sombreuil Gatins; Joseph Francis Gatins III; Sylvia de German-Ribon Gatins; and Gatins III's children: Joseph Francis Miguel, Charles, Sophie, Egle, Martin, and Miguel. There are eleven scrapbooks that contain images of Joseph Francis Gatins III and his family. Also included are cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards of unidentified Villelume-Sombreuil family members.


  • circa 1860-1983, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

In 1849, Joseph Gatins (1827-1905) moved to Atlanta with his two brothers, James and John. Joseph Gatins was a railroad clerk and freight manager of the Central of Georgia Railroad, and later and investment banker. In 1853, he married Bridget Cullen (?-1905) and the couple had a son, Joseph Francis Gatins, Sr. (1855-1936). Their other children were Mary Theresa Gatins (1861-1869), Julia (1863-1938), Thomas (d.1868) and Mamie R. (d.1936). Joseph Francis moved to New York City in 1900 where he continued his career as an investment banker. He was also the first owner of the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta.

Administrative/Biographical History

Joseph Francis Gatins, Sr. married Kate Thomas (1855-1937) in 1881 and they had five children including a son, Joseph Francis Gatins, Jr. (1882-1927). He became a real estate investor, and in 1914 married Egle de Villelume-Sombreuil (1892-1990), a descendant of a prominent French family. The couple moved to France in 1915 and had a son, Joseph Francis Gatins III (1915-1983) who served in the French army during World War II and was a prisoner-of-war at five different German prison camps. After escaping in 1943, he married Sylvia de German-Ribon (1915-1987), a Columbian heiress. The couple moved to New York in 1946 and had a son, Joseph Francis Miguel Gatins (1946- ). After Joseph, there came five more children: Charles (1947-1995), Sophie (1949- ), Martin (1950- ), Egle (1950- ), and Miguel (1951- ). Following a long battle with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the family settled in Atlanta in 1952. Joseph Francis Miguel Gatins lived in Richmond, Virginia and worked as a reporter and special projects editor for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. In 2009, with help from family members and friends, Joseph F. M. Gatins wrote a book on his family, We Were Dancing on a Volcano: Bloodlines and Fault Lines of a Star-Crossed Atlanta Family, 1849-1989, Satolah, Ga.: Glade Press, 2009


1734 image(s) (1,351 black and white photographic prints, 254 cartes-de-visite, 113 color photographic prints, 6 cabinet cards)



System of Arrangement

The collection is organized into two series: I. Portraits, and II. Scrapbooks. The images are organized alphabetically within each series according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Joseph Francis Miguel Gatins, 2010 (2010.122)

Related Archival Materials

Gatins Family papers, MSS 1005, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Description Control

Collection processed in 2010.
Gatins Family photographs
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305