I was really looking forward to this edition because it involves one of my all-time favorite family photos. As I was preparing to write this post a few days ago, a couple of Google searches lead me to informationthat solved my mystery, but I decided to write the article anyway. To the left is the family of John Thomas Hartford (1869-1916) and Mary Elizabeth Lamping (1863-1928), and I never get tired of looking at all the details in this photo. I wish it were in color, but I guess I can't have everything. The location is probably in the Cripple Creek/Goldfield area of Teller County, Colorado. The little girl in the lower right hand corner holding the doll is my grandmother (Anna C. Hartford, 1904-2002) and I estimate she's about 4 or 5 years old making the year the photo was taken around 1908-1909. I think it's interesting how all of the toys are displayed, and how the family pets are also included - a dog is on the floor and the boy in the back row is holding a cat. I also think it's interesting how all of the religious relics are displayed on the shelves - this was an Irish Catholic family.
The mystery centers not on the people who are posing, but on the portraits hanging on the wall behind thefamily...who are these people? I've always assumed these four photos were the two sets of in-laws (my 2d great grandparents), but I didn't know who was who. Just before I began writing, I used my great grandmother's name (Mary Elizabeth Lamping) as a search term in Google, and found a site that included the photo on the right. Look closely...it appears to me the photos on the wall are head shots of the two people displayed on the right. It almost looks like they took the photo of these two people and made the portraits hanging on the wall behind the family. The clothes are the same, the expressions are the same, and I'm certain the people are the same. According to the caption on the photo I found via Google, two of the portraits are Joseph Anthony Lamping II (1810-1887) and Susan Josephine Godard (1820-1897). I assume the other two must be Thomas Hartford (1826-1911) and Isabel Rafferty (1824-1901).
This stroke of my charmed genealogical luck allowed me to identify two of these four people, and then make a pretty good assumption about the other two. While examining the family photo, I did noticed there are two other, not very clear, portraits on the left adjacent wall...hmmm, I wonder who they are?
(Click on the photos for a full size view.)
(The photo on the right is from the Park County Archives website where Ken Hicks is identified as the source. The photo on the left was found in my grandmother's album and the original belongs to my brother and I.)