Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family picture sleuthing...whose house is it anyway?

Sleuthing in genealogy and family history is fun when you have someone to share thoughts, memories, and family items with.

My cousin Sharon has been sending me quite a collection of digital images of family photos from an album she hadn't looked at for years. Together we are trying to identify people and places in these not-labeled pictures! It's good to collaborate and run thoughts past each other.

One of two house pictures sent is this one below. Whose house is it? What year was the picture taken? So who are these two men? What is that white thing in the garden? Is that a person? <grin>

Handwriting on back: "Porteous Home in England." I have to admit I did get excited about this find. I have never seen a picture of a Porteous ancestor's house in England before. 


You can't really see the photographer's name, but we do see "Horncastle" which is a large town about 15 miles from Lincoln in Lincolnshire. I recognized the markings and found an image from my family photo collection that had the same photographer mark.

So we have established this house is in England.

Since the image was labeled "Porteous" we would presume it to be right. It is typical of many homes in the area of Lincolnshire where my Portas (Porteous) and Vamplew ancestors lived. Mareham le Fen and Tumby Woodside are the two places each family lived around the time this picture was taken -- possibly the late 1800s. This all seemed reasonable to me until I saw another picture in Sharon's e-mail which puts doubt in my mind.

There sitting in front of a door is Anne Vamplew and standing next to her is James, her husband. They are my great-great grandparents. Look at the top of the door. Now look at the other door in the house picture... are these the same doors? Could this be the Vamplew house in Tumby Woodside?


When Bob and I were in Lincolnshire a few years back, a cousin from my Vamplew line gave me a picture of the Vamplew house in Tumby Woodside below. Check out the front door. It is surrounded by stucco not bricks. So, either there was a new all-brick house built later, or my great-great grandparents were at the "Porteous home" when the picture was taken.

The first house picture -- "Porteous home in England" -- is in Lincolnshire, England. It may or may not be the Portas house. Still don't know who those two men are. Don't know when it was taken, but it could be sometime around the late 1800s. The style of clothes may not be a determinant. My ancestors were agricultural labourers and probably didn't have the money to "keep up" with the styles. They probably had to "make do" with what they could afford. Back to square one!

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