In the prior post, I was looking at the "macro" mystery house in England. I had some clues, but I didn't have a high resolution image to take a closer look at. I asked cousin Sharon to rescan the original image of the house and two men plus some close ups of specific spots I had questions on. I thank her for helping out by taking the time to rescan. I'm coming closer to solving the mystery of who are those men and whose house is it anyway?
Sharon also corrected what was really written on the image: "Will Porteous Home (England)." By adding "Will" makes a big difference from what I had before. This identifies one of the men in the picture as great-great grandfather William Dennis Portas, but didn't point out which one. I'll get to that later with a little more sleuthing. This just might be the first good picture of William Dennis I have seen.
This picture must have been taken sometime before 1875 because William Dennis, wife Elizabeth, daughter Jane and grandson John William Marshall along with great-great uncle John R. Vamplew, emigrated from England to Lake County, Illinois and then finally settling in Garfield, Kansas.
One mystery is solved... those white things that looked like a person bending over doing garden work actually turns out to be clothes drying on the hedge!
COMPARING WITH OTHER PICTURES LENDS CLUES AND ANSWERS
The web-looking black thing on the brick between the window and door is still a mystery, but the picture of great-great grandparents James and Anne Vamplew shows it is a vine. If this is the same house as the one the two men are at, then the black web-looking thing is a vine.
On further examination of the doorway of either house, I noticed the bricks are the same. Giving the angles of the pictures, there seems to be a doubt, but when you look closer, you can see they are the same. Count the bricks down from the inside corner of the door, the colors match up layer for layer.
I have concluded I have the same house. I'm still not sure of whose it is?
COULD THIS BE MY GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER?
This dark image of a bearded man with a cigar could very well be my great-great grandfather William D. I wish I had a better image. I'll have to look in the picture box for the original so I can rescan it in high resolution. I found it some years ago. Back then I had a strong feeling it was him, but had nothing to substantiate it. The picture was taken in Illinois or Kansas.
Other things I noticed are the collar of the coat and how the left side of his coat buttons close to the collar – in both images; the sleeve looks a little big for the arm in both pictures; there is a horizontal pocket flap on both images. Like I said before, I don't think he kept up with the styles of the day and he probably had that coat for many years including in England.
Now compare the noses and creases on the cheeks, really similar especially his left cheek. Barely seen is his right eyebrow – kind of straight high arch which looks similar in both pictures. The beards are pretty much the same length and the color variances are close giving the different angles of the faces in the pictures. I really think we are looking at the same person!
One more thing, the other man on the far right. I believe he could be Will's brother Richard who lived not to far away. Richard was a few years younger. These men do look like brothers – their noses and eyebrows are similar. Richard would be the likely one since another brother lived a distance away and not sure he could be around for a photo which doesn't seem like a "planned" formal picture.
I have recently been in contact with a descendant of Richard's. Alan lives in Horncastle just up the road from Tumby and Mareham le Fen the area where William lived. I have sent him the image of the house and hopefully between him and his sister, they can identify the second man.
Let's hope that soon all the questions will be answered and I can stop thinking about the two men and a house in England!