Collection T-TOO - Helen Tooker papers

Identity area

Reference code

GB 249 T-TOO


Helen Tooker papers


  • c 1950s (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

23 genealogical charts

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Helen Tooker was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, in the United States of America. Having studied art with a local painter in her teenage years, she then trained for a year at the Boston Museum School of Art before marrying and starting a family. Following her husband's death during the Great Depression, Helen supported her five children by working as a professional artist. Her work embraced many media, including sign painting and billboards, sculpture, calligraphy and fine portraiture. From 1947 until her death in 1998, she lived in Florida.

Helen Tooker had a lifelong interest in family history. Around 1955, she began working on a series of 23 richly illustrated charts incorporating the genealogical information she had collected over the years. These charts purportedly trace the ancestry of Helen’s parents, Emily White Perkins and Harry Landon Tooker, back into early English, Irish and Scottish history.

Archival history

Upon the artist's death, the charts passed to her daughter, Helen Martin Parramore, who donated them to the University of Strathclyde in 2008.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Accession 891

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Illustrated charts purportedly tracing the ancestry of Helen Tooker's parents, Emily White Perkins and Harry Landon Tooker, back into early English, Irish and Scottish history. 16 of the charts are drawn in black ink and 7 in black ink and watercolour.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


None expected.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • Scots

Script of material

    Language and script notes

    Physical characteristics and technical requirements

    The charts are fragile and several are torn and damaged around the edges.

    Finding aids

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Paper copies are held in the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde, for display purposes.

    Related units of description

    Related descriptions

    Publication note

    Helen Martin Parramore, 'Genealogy of Helen Tooker' (2009)

    Notes area

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        Accession area