Thursday, August 2, 2012


I recently discovered this old photo of my grandfather, Adolph Hammer, from one of his trips back to Norway.  I did not recognize anyone else, and wondered if these ladies were his relatives, or those of his wife, Lise Klungseth Hammer.   But before I had that thought, my eyes immediately made their way to the photos on the wall in the background.  I have found more treasures in the backgrounds of photos than anywhere else.

Thanks to high-resolution scanning, I was able to get a much better look at the faces in the back.


To the left is the top tier of photos – the fellow in the oval frame resembles Lise’s brothers - thankfully there is a strong family resemblance between many of those siblings.  Being the largest photo and placed at the top, it could be probably safely assumed that the man in the photo is the head of this household.  Perhaps it is his wedding photo and an anniversary photo flanking the larger photo.


The second tier of photos looked very familiar – these are Lise’s parents, Bergitte and Edvard Klungseth.  I have copies of these particular photos in my files, positively identified as the Klungseths, leading credence to the theory that this is the home of one of their sons.  The photos of Bergitte and Edvard were taken ~1920.

The picture at the bottom is somewhat of a mystery.  I don’t recognize the face, and am not certain if this is a man or a woman.  The placement of the other photos with the more current generation at the top, and the parents in the center, might suggest that perhaps this is another generation further back, perhaps a parent of either Edvard or Bergitte.  However, the style of the photo and the apparent age of the subject doesn’t seem to support that idea.  

I did go back through my files to see what photos of the Klungseth sons I have; I have pictures of all but Kristian and Torleif.  Torleif died the age of 24; and while the man in the oval frame could be about that age, the positioning of the wedding portrait next to it suggests that it is of the same man; Torleif did not marry.

Perhaps the women seated with my grandfather are Kristian’s wife and daughter.  Perhaps not.  But this seems to be the most likely conclusion to the mystery, thanks to the clues in the background.    Now – who is that person in the bottom tier of photos??

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