Friday, December 16, 2016

Ladies of the Hacker Family

As I've noted in prior posts, the Archive usually doesn't acquire cabinet card portraits, but for some reason this one jumped out at me. And then I was rather surprised when the research into it took a bit of a twist.

On the back is written, "Great Grandma Hacker, Grandma Colburn, Great Aunt Anna Blankenberg". I threw the names into Google as a single search string and then was surprised at the result: It was this web page at Langdon Road (a fantastic website dedicated to documenting late 19th century photographers) with the same photograph but on a different backer board. In a day-and-age when most old photos have no names attached, and are likely the only surviving copies, to find another identical photo on the internet struck me as a minor miracle. What's more, the page had detailed information about the three women supplied by Mark Shepard: Dorothea F Leverenz Hacker (1812-1903; born in Prussia), Ida May Hacker Colburn (1882-1949) and Anna E Hacker Blankenburg (1877-1956; born in Danville) (note the Blankenberg vs. Blankenburg).

Of the three, only Anna Blankenburg has a Findagrave entry, and it throws some confusion into the picture. The entry there lists Anna's father as Ferdinand M. Hacker, but lists her mother as Anna Hacker, with different birth/death dates.

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