Sepia Saturday 591. Sixteenth in a photo blog series on my maternal Italian ancestors from Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.
The first studio photo of my Italian-American maternal grandfather Antonio W. Laurence was take in 1904 when he was 2 years old. My great-grandparents Peter and Mary “Mamie” Laurence were married circa 1901 in Gloversville, Fulton County, N.Y.
Tony was their first child, born 10 May 1902. And I’m sure Peter proudly sent a copy of this photo to his family back in Italy.
A jaunty nautical portrait
My grandfather looks so cute in this photo, wearing a belted wool sailor-collared shorts-suit, lace-up boots and a cabbie hat — with a nautical striped shirt completing the picture. I particularly love his impish grin — which lasted throughout his life.
This toddler photo of Tony was taken at the W.L. Havens studio, located at 16 Bleeker Street in Gloversville, N.Y. — the same studio where his father Peter had his wedding photo taken.
The Laurence/di Lorenzo family takes shape
With my grandfather Tony’s birth, the Laurence/di Lorenzo family began to take shape. A couple of years later, my grandfather’s younger brother Joseph B. Laurence (aka Uncle Joe) was born — completing the family unit.
This might give the impression of a small family of parents and two sons. However, my great-grandparents Peter and Mamie lived with her parents (Antonio and Antoinette Curcio) at 128 E. Fulton St. for more than 15 years — a family within a family.
The vibrant Curcio household
This meant my grandfather Tony and his brother Joe grew up in the vibrant Curcio household of their maternal grandparents — surrounded by relatives and Italian culture.
There were some Curcio aunts their own age (their mother Mamie’s younger sisters) along with a few Del Negro cousins (children of Antoinette’s brother Michael Del Negro, whose family also lived there). So Tony and Joe had plenty of playmates and surrogate siblings during their childhoods.
Not until 1920 did the Laurence family move into a new house at 12 Wells Street — around the corner from the Curcios — to set up their own household. And by then, Tony and Joe were teenagers.
Up next: More childhood studio photos of Tony and Joe Laurence. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants.
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