Friday’s Faces from the Past: The Harlan Family

Charley Harlan and Wife, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.
Charley Harlan and Wife, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Sharing is good- we learned that in kindergarten, and hopefully still practice it today. Jon Roberts shared these images and many others from his family photo collection inherited through his father from Lloyd Roberts, and it is wonderful to get to know this line of the family.

These pictures are of people that Jon, and now myself, have not yet determined how they relate to the Roberts family. We do know that Julia Elizabeth Roberts (b. 1920) married Ellis Loren Harlan (1908-1998) on 31 October 1937 in Stuart, Guthrie, Iowa. These pictures, however, suggest that there was some earlier connection between the two families- friends, neighbors, associates? Or married-in somewhere along an earlier line? We would love for some of the Harlan family researchers/historians to help us out on this one.

Could the above image possibly be Charles F. Harlan (1865-1900) who was buried in Palo Alto Cemetery in Newton, Jasper County, Iowa? Sadly we do not know his wife’s name.

Hugh Harlan, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.
Hugh Harlan, from the Lloyd Roberts Family Photo Collection.

This little cutie is Hugh Harlan. My first thought was that he would be the child of Charley and wife, since those are the only identified Harlans in the group of photos. There is a Hugh W. Harlan who was born 10 December 1906 in Stuart, Guthrie County, Iowa, but I believe his parents were Wilbur G. Harlan and Lillian (Russell) Harlan from census and other records; if that is true, my first theory does not fit. Also, this image seems to me to be earlier than 1906, however, I am not an expert in these types of assessments.

A Hugh Harlan (1906-1962) is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Stuart, Guthrie County, Iowa, where a lot of Harlans lived. His wife was Hazel Alice Short (1907-2000), and she is listed on the headstone alongside Hugh. It is possible that this is the same Hugh W. Harlan, b. 1906. Hugh and Hazel had three children, and they may still be living, so we hope that we can contact them.

Getting a better feel for the date of these pictures would help us narrow down who they might be. There were no photographers or studios listed on the pictures, nor anything other than the names written in pencil. We will need to use the stye of clothing, hairstyles, studio props, and type of photo to give us more clues.

I have also uploaded the pictures to, to do a reverse image search, and included the names in the description. No useful results there, although the similar images were fun to peruse.

Our best resource at this point is this blog post, hopefully coming up in a search for the names of any of this folks. Maybe in a shoebox somewhere a Harlan descendant has similar images and will contact us.


PS- We would love to hear from anyone in the related Harlan family- whether you have copies of pictures or not!


Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Charles F. Harlan, Find A Grave Memorial# 44289939.
  2. Hugh W. Harlan, Find A Grave Memorial# 11005631.
  3. Hazel A. Harlan, Find A Grave Memorial# 11005630.


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