Bert & Essie Roberts – 1931 & 1932

Where was Bert Allen Roberts in 1931 & 1932 and why was Essie a “widow?”

Roberts Research
By Don Taylor

Research Question

The 1931 Polk City Directory for Terre Haute, Indiana, indicates Bert’s wife, Essie, is a widow living at 460 S 13-1/2 Street. It also suggests Bert is residing at 803 North 3rd. This appears to conflict with other records. (See Research Plan – Bert Allen Roberts (1903-1949). Can I explain the discrepancy?


Analysis

Bert Roberts, late 1940s

1929 – The 1929 Terre Haute City Directory lists Bert A (& Essie Roberts) living at 613 North 15th.

There is also a Bert H Roberts listed as a manager with Roberts & Sons and residing at 803 North 3rd.

1930 – The 1930 Census includes Bert, Essie, and the children living at 613 North 15th. Essie’s mother, Marada, lived with them.

1931 – The 1931 Terre Haute City Directory lists Bert H A Roberts is living at 803 N 3rd. Bert A is not listed. Because of the 1929 directory, it is clear this Bert Roberts is the Bert associated with the Roberts & Sons business and not Bert Roberts, the husband of Essie (Barnes) Roberts.

Essie Roberts, circa 1945

Essie P Roberts is listed as the widow of Bert A, working as a cook at J Vern Stevens and living at 460 S 13½. J Vern Stevens was a retail baker and a delicatessen located at 1603 S 7th. Because Essie’s mother, Marada, lived with Bert and Essie during the 1930 Census, I presume she took care of the five children, ages 2 through 9, while Essie worked.

1932 – The 1932 Terre Haute City Directory again fails to list a Bert Roberts but does list Essie as Mrs. Essie Roberts residing at 1466 S. 11th.

1934 – The 1934 Terre Haute City Directory lists Bert A (and Essie) Roberts as a taxi driver. They live at 1354 Chestnut.

Family Search indicates that Polk did not publish Terre Haute directories in 1930 and 1933. So further searching for them is futile.

Family oral history suggests that Bert may have had a second family. If so, it could have been during this period, 1931-1933.


Conclusion

The city directories definitely suggest something occurred between Bert & Essie during those years. Something serious enough that has them separated and Essie claiming to be a widow rather than having the stigma of either being divorced or abandoned with five children. In 1931, the children ranged from two to nine years old. Marada died in May 1932, so it may be it became too difficult to continue as it was, and Bert and Essie got back together then. In any event, it must have been a tough time for Essie.

I have not found any records suggesting where he may have been for those years. Further research into Bert & Essie’s lives will hopefully provide insight.


Sources

  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1929) – Page 411 – Roberts, Bert A. Accessed 21 Jan 2016.
  • 1930 Census, Family Search, Bert A Roberts, Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana, United States, citing enumeration district (ED) ED 22, sheet 9B, line 71, family 248, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 635; FHL microfilm 2,340,370. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X41Q-S9Z.
  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1931) – Page 387 – Roberts, Essie P (Wid Bert A). Accessed 28 Sep 2022.
  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1932) – Page 332 – Roberts, Essie [Barnes]. Accessed 28 Sep 2022.
  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1934) – Page 323 – Roberts, Bert A. Accessed 21 Jan 2016.

Photo Friday –Williams (née White), Williamson, & Wilson

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 100

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Wow, Part 100. This post is actually “Part 101” because I had two “Part 20.” I only analyzed two photo packets in the first two installments of this series. However, because I analyzed an additional five people in part 20a, with this installment, I will have analyzed 99 photo packages and shared the photos with family members through Family Search, Ancestry, Dead Fred, Flickr, and my website.

This week, for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.


Dorothy Wilson, circa 1934

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Dorothy Wilson, 16 Ponce St #227.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Dorothy Wilson, circa 1934

    The 1933 Portland City Directory lists Dorothy M Wilson, a waitress at 285a Cumberland Ave, residing at 16 Ponce. Also at 16 Ponce is a Mrs. Margaret E Wilson.[iii] Margaret is listed as the widow of Philip H Wilson.

I am confident this photo is of Dorothy May Wilson, daughter of Philip Harold and Margaret E (Lowell) Wilson, about 1934 when Dorothy was about 21 years old.

Ancestry has 11 public trees that refer to Dorothy May Wilson, born on 19 February 1913 in Gorham, Maine.  Family Search has profile G7ZL-69H for Dorothy May Wilson. I have uploaded two photos of Dorothy to her Family Search Memories. 

Eleanor Wilson, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Eleanor Wilson, 300 Woodford St #562.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Eleanor Wilson, circa 1935.

    According to the 1935 Portland City Directory, Clifford Wilson and his wife Helen lived at 300 Woodford.

  • The 1940 US Census lists 21-year-old Eleanor Wilson living with her parents, Clifford and Helen Wilson, at 85 Glenwood. All were born in Maine. Eleanor is listed as a “new worker.”
  • The Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME) reported, on 9 Sep 1940, page 17, that Eleanor Wilson, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Wilson of Glenwood avenue (Portland), married D Edwin Christie.

I am sure this is Eleanor Wilson, born on 12 August 1918 in Portland, Maine, about 1935, when she was about 17 years old.

Alternate Individuals.

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists an Eleanor L Wilson as a stenographer at 443 Congress street, Room 412, and residing at West Falmouth. That Eleanor was born on 9 February 1914 and would have been 26 during the 1940 Census.

Ancestry has eight public trees that refer to Eleanor Wilson, daughter of Clifford and Helen (Smith) Wilson. Family Search has profile G3KG-78Q for Eleanor Wilson, born 12 August 1918. I have uploaded two photos of Eleanor to her Family Search Memories.

Stanley Williams, Circa 1935

This negative envelope says, “Mr. Stanley Williams, 77 Mackworth #611.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Stanley Williams, Circa 1935.

    The 1935 Deering High School Yearbook has a photo of Stanley W Williams. He is wearing the same suit and is clearly the same young man.

  • The 1930 US Census lists Stanley Williams, the 12-year-old son of Leon and Laura Williams, living at 77 Mackworth.

This photo is clearly Stanley White Williams, the son of Leon and Laura (White) Williams, and was born on 31 October 1917 in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine.

Ancestry has five public trees that refer to Stanley White Williams. Family Search has profile LBVW-T5Y for Stanley White Williams. I have uploaded two photos of Stanley to his Family Search Memories.

Unknown Child (probably related to Grace Williamson) circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Grace Williamson, 469 Brighton Ave #684.”

What I looked at:

  • Unknown Child (probably related to Grace Williamson) circa 1935.

    The 1934 Portland City Directory lists 2 Grace Williamsons. One is the wife of George S and lives at 51 Park, apt 12. The other, Mrs. Grace F Williamson, lives at 122 Oxford.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists two Grace Williamsons. One is the wife of George S and lives at 262 Brackett, Apt 5. The other Mrs. Grace F Williamson lives at 148 Cumberland.
  • The 1935 Directory lists ten people living at 469 Brighton. None are surnamed Williamson. They are:
      1. Millet Cummings Apt 4
      2. Melvin D Chatto Apt 3
      3. Philip I Tibbetts
      4. Melville R Babb Apt 6
      5. George W Goodall Apt 7
      6. Walter S Hamaker Apt 8
      7. Victor E Hewitt Apt 9
      8. Perley R McLellan
      9. Harold E MacMillan Apt 11 and
      10. Vera G Robinson. Apt 12
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory available at Ancestry is missing pages 892 through 896. The Directory lists eight people living at 469 Brighton. Again, none of them have the Williamson surname. They are
      1. Vera G Robinson Apt 1
      2. Lillian P Flanders Apt 2
      3. Melvin D Chatto Apt 3
      4. Alan W Titcomb Apt 5
      5. Melville R Babb Apt 6
      6. R Winthrop Andrews Apt 8
      7. Victor E Hewitt Apt 9 and
      8. Harold E MacMillan Apt 11
  • The 1940 Census lists George and Grace R Williamson living with their 8-year-old daughter Constance. The couple was 35 and 30 years old, making them too young for a grandchild. It also lists a 51-year-old Grace Williamson, who lives at 104 Franklin St. No children are living with her.
  • The 1930 Census lists Grace Williamson as the 41-year-old mother of 20-year-old William H Williamson. She lives at 104 Franklin Street.

Because neither Grace Williamson that I’ve discovered appear to have a relationship with 469 Brighton nor appear to have a child the age of the young girl in the photo, I cannot identify the child in this photo.

I have not identified the individual in this photo sufficiently to upload to either Family Search or Dead Fred, so I only include the individual’s image here. 

Laura Williams, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Leon N Williams, 77 Mackworth St #495.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Laura Williams, circa 1935.

    The 1930 US Census lists Leon and Laura Williams living at 77 Mackworth.

  • Ancestry family trees suggest this is Laura M White, born about 16 May 1893 in Superior, Wisconsin, and is the wife of Leon N Williams.

This appears to be a photo of Laura (White) Williams, about 1935, when she was about 39 years old.

Ancestry has five public trees that refer to Laura M White.

Family Search has profile 9JBZ-17J for Laura Mary White, born 15 May 1893 in West Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin. Her profile does not include her marriage to Leon Williams nor her son, Stanley Williams, mentioned above. But I am confident this is Laura Mary White.

I have uploaded one photo of Laura to her Family Search Memories.


 Conclusion

  • I fully identified four All of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories
  • I was unable to identify one of the images.

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.

Due to software limitations, the images uploaded to Family Search have a higher image quality than the images linked here.

For all postings of the Ethel Wight Collection, please see here.


Endnotes

[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

[iii] There are also four other people at that address.

Ancestor Sketch – John Willie Langford

Raidt Project
Raidt-Langford Line
By Don Taylor

When John Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Willie Langford was born on 3 January 1893 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, his father, John, was 32 and his mother, Della, was 24. He married Marie G Hawley on 20 July 1918, in Hennepin County, Minnesota. They had three children during their marriage. He died on 12 May 1978 in his hometown at the age of 85 and was buried there.

John William [sic] Langford has Family Search profile GX4G-FCJ. He appears in 12 Ancestry Public Trees and my Raidt Project.

Raidt Project – Ancestor #RP-06

List of Grandparents

    • Grandfather: 06 – John Willie Langford (1893-1978)
    • 1st Great-grandfather: 12 – John Henry Langford (1860-1944)

Birth

John’s birthdate is different depending on where you look. Minnesota Births and Christenings, The Minnesota Death Index, and the Social Security Death Index all indicate his birthdate was 2 January 1893. However, both his WW1 and WW2 Draft Cards show his birthdate was 3 January. Because John presumably filled out his draft cards and signed them, I prefer the 3 January birthdate.

Some researchers indicate his middle name was William. However, all the documents I have found showing his middle name, including his WW1 Draft Card, indicate his middle name was Willie. As such, I use Willie as his middle name.

John was the middle (fourth) child of seven children born to John Henry and Della M (Jordan) Langford.

Eight months after his birth, the Great Minneapolis fire of 1893 erupted, burning more than 23 square blocks of the city. When the fire reached the sawmills and millions of feet of lumber at 7th avenue, flames reached hundreds of feet into the air as stoked by gale-force winds.

Children of John Henry and Della M (Jordan) Langford (John’s Siblings)

Name Born Married Died
Frank T 1887 [Unknown] 1958
Julie L 1889 N/A Bef. 1900
Della Marie 1892 Frederick Thompson 1969
John Willie 1893 Marie G Hawley 1978
Harold E 1897 [Unknown] 1922
Florence K 1901 Clifford Pratt 1984
George H 1903 Juanita [LNU] 1961

Childhood

The Minnesota Census of 1895 found John’s family living at 3144 Blaisdale, Minneapolis.

Minneasota School for the Blind – Noyes Hall 2013 – (Via Wikimedia)

By 1900 the family had located to Waverly, Wright County, Minnesota. Waverly is a farming community about 40 miles west of Minneapolis. In 1904, John moved to Faribault, Minnesota, and attended the School for the Deaf. His family moved back to Minneapolis and lived at Findley Place (3100 block of Blaisdale). That provided the opportunity for John to take transportation from the school to Minneapolis on Friday afternoons and then return to the School on Sundays. He attended the school for 12 years. The School was harsh. Once John and four other boys were disciplined for leaving the school without permission by being sent into a pig pen. On another occasion, he was made to spend the night in a room with only a hard chair all night. These events resulted in the Director, Dr. J. N. Tate, being investigated.

Military Service

The physical description of John was medium build, grey eyes, and dark brown hair. John was deaf since the age of 2½, so he didn’t serve in the military.

Marriage

John married Marie G Hawley on 20 July 1918 in Hennepin County, Minnesota. They had three children:

Name Born Married Died
Bernard John 1919 Joan Kissinger 1945
Elizabeth Marie 1923 Thomas A Costell 2009
Eleanor Della 1924 Jerome G Raidt 2019

Adulthood

The 1920 Census found John supporting his family as a typesetter. The young family lived at 2526 Emerson Ave. So.

Betty (née Langford) & Tom Costello – 1977

Elizabeth “Bette” Marie Langford was born on 2 October 1923, while the family lived at 1209 Monroe ave NE. I remember “Aunt Bette” and her husband, Tom, visiting us while I was stationed in Hawaii. Nice folks.

Their third child, Eleanor Della Langford, was born on 10 April 1925. The Langford Family was still living on Monroe St.

By the 1930 Census, John had purchased a home at 4119 Zane Ave North in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

John W Langford (From Mpls. Star-Tribune, 12 Mar 1937)

John was involved with the Minnesota Association for the Blind. In 1932 he was elected a Directory for the Association for a three-year term. He would eventually become the 1st Vice President of the Association in 1963.

The depression must have been difficult for John & Marie. By 1933, they were renting a home at 3224 Hennepin Ave. By 1934 they were living at 3500 1st Ave. South. They again moved to 3419 2nd Ave South by 1935. Luckily, they could live there for many years, into the 1950s. They moved to an apartment at 3151 Aldrich Ave South before 1960 and moved again in 1969.

Death/Burial.

John died on 12 May 1978 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery with his wife, who preceded him in death the year before.

Events by Location

John Willie Langford was born, married, lived, and died in Minnesota.

    • Minnesota, Hennepin, Minneapolis       Birth, 1895, (Home) 1905-1978, Death
    • Minnesota, Rice, Fairbault                      School – 1905-1915
    • Minnesota, Wright, Waverly                  1900

Sources

  • “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9QC-NF6 : accessed 14 September 2022), John Langford, Montrose & Waverly villages, Wright, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 234, sheet 9B, family 172, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,798.
  • “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2GZ-LXP : accessed 14 September 2022), John H Langford, Minneapolis Ward 8, Hennepin, Minnesota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 153, sheet 7A, family 151, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 704; FHL microfilm 1,374,717.
  • 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, John W Langford – Faribault, Rice, MN – Line 52. Ancestry – Year: 1910; Census Place: Faribault Ward 1, Rice, Minnesota; Roll: T624_721; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0112; FHL microfilm: 1374734.
  • 1915-02-11, Page 2 – Committee Sifts School Charges -(John W Langford). Minneapolis Journal (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Thu, Feb 11, 1915, · Page 2 – Committee Sifts School Charges., Minneapolis Journal, MN (https://Newspapers.com).
  • 1915-02-20, Page 7 – Head of School for Deaf Defends Self (John W Langford). https://www.newspapers.com/image/810726033., Minneapolis Journal, MN (https://Newspapers.com).
  • 1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, John W Langford. “United States Census, 1920”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWYL-HXV : 2 February 2021), John W Langford, 1920.
  • 1923-10-02, Page 8 – Births [Elizabeth Marie Langford]., Minneapolis Star, MN (https://newspapers.com).
  • 1930 Census (NARA), Family Search, 1930 – Henry [John W] Langford – Robbinsdale, MN
  • 1932-07-31, Page 7 – Gordon Allen Heads State Deaf Society (John W Langford). https://www.newspapers.com/image/811640302., Minneapolis Journal, MN (https://Newspapers.com).
  • 1933-04-07, Page 5 – Bicycles Stolen From Porch, Two Boys Heartbroken – John & Bernard Langford. https://www.newspapers.com/image/187343613., Minneapolis Star, MN (https://newspapers.com).
  • 1940 Census (NARA), Family Search, John Langford. 1940 Census – Minneapolis, MN – ED 89-145, Sheet 6B Lines 52 through 56. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KSK7-VS5.
  • 1950 Census, Com, 1950 – John W Langford. United States of America, Bureau of the Census; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Record Group: Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790-2007; Record Group Number: 29; Residence Date: 1950; Home in 1950: Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota; Roll: 3852; Sheet Number: 16; Enumeration District: 89-841. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/94300404:62308.
  • 1951-05-28, Page 23 – Costello-Langford Vows Exchanged (Elizabeth Marie Langford). https://www.newspapers.com/image/187701093., Minneapolis Star, MN (https://newspapers.com).
  • Find a Grave, Internet, John W. Langford (Memorial 95096835). Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/95096835/john-w-langford: accessed 14 September 2022), memorial page for John W. Langford (2 Jan 1893–12 May 1978), Find a Grave Memorial ID 95096835, citing Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA; Maintained by Robert Sullivan (contributor 47188471). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/95096835/john-w-langford.
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Internet, 1937-03-12 – Testifies by Signs – John W. Langford.
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Internet, 1951-03-25 – Bette Marie Langford (Engaged to Thomas Austin Costello). https://www.newspapers.com/image/183625269.
  • Minnesota Births and Christenings, 1840-1980, Family Search, John Willie Langford – 2 Jan 1893 (No image)
  • Minnesota Official Marriage System (https://moms.mn.gov/, ), MN.GOV, John W Langford – Marie Hawley – 02140289. https://moms.mn.gov/.
  • Minnesota State Census, 1895, Family Search, J H Langford [John Henry Langford]. “Minnesota State Census, 1895,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQ6T-RYC: 22 February 2021), J H Langford, Minneapolis city, Ward 08, Hennepin, Minnesota; citing p. 82, line 23, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 565,781.
  • Minnesota State Census, 1905, Family Search, John [W] Langford – Fairbault. “Minnesota State Census, 1905,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPQL-GSK: 18 February 2021), John Langford, Faribault, Ward Number: 01, Rice, Minnesota; citing p. 396, line 121, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 928,812.
  • Minnesota State Census, 1905, Family Search, John H Langford – Minneapolis. “Minnesota State Census, 1905,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SP3S-G6F: 18 February 2021), John H Langford, Minneapolis, Ward Number: 08, Hennepin, Minnesota; citing p. 429, line 138, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 928,786.
  • Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2017 (St. Paul, Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Health), Com, John W Langford (1893-1978) (No image). https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/30390137?h=d332ea.
  • S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1928 – Langford – Page 829.
  • S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1934 – Langford – Page 726. Accessed 16 Sep 2022.
  • S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1944 – Langford – Page 680. Accessed 16 Sep 2022.
  • S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 1960 – Langford – Page 829. Accessed 16 Sep 2022.
  • S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, Ancestry.Com, John W. Langford – 27 Apr 1942. National Archives At St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War Ii Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) For the State of Minnesota; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System; Record Group Number: 147; Box or Roll Number: 600.
  • United States Social Security Death Index, Family Search, John Langford (1893-1978) (No Image). “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J1GG-Z23: 10 January 2021), John Langford, May 1978; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, John Willie Langford. “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K87L-91D : 24 December 2021), John Willie Langford, 1917-1918.

Photo Friday – Whittier (née Simpson, née Orne), Whittingham, Willett, & Williams

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 99

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.


Doris Willett, Student Nurse, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Doris Willett, Me Eye & Ear Infirmary #472.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Doris Willett, Student Nurse, circa 1936

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Doris Willett as a student nurse at 79 Bramhall (Maine Eye & Ear Infirmary).

  • The 1942 Nashua, New Hampshire, City Directory lists Doris Willett as a student nurse living at 15 Kehoe ave. The 1940 City directory indicates that Doris lived at the same address as Melvin and Gladys Willett.
  • The 1940 Census reports 19-year-old Doris Willette as a trained nurse at the Nashua Memorial Hospital and Nurses Home.

I believe this photo is of Doris Willett, daughter of Melvin and Gladys (Stone) Willett, about 1936 when she attended nursing school.

Alternate Individuals.

The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Doris M Willett, the wife of Ralph J Willett. The 1940 Census indicates that Ralph and Doris M Willette lived in the same house as they did in 1935 and had a six-year-old, Ralph (Jr.). Because the envelope clearly says “Miss” and that Ralph and Doris lived at 23 Hemlock in 1935, and their son was born about 1934, I do not believe this is the correct Doris Willett.

The 1937 Meadville, Pennsylvania, City Directory lists Doris J Willetts as a student nurse living at 895 Park Ave.

Decision

Ancestry has 12 public trees that refer to Doris Gertrude Willett. Family Search has profile L1MM-9SG for Doris. I have uploaded a photo of Doris to her Family Search Memories.

Hope Williams, Student Nurse, circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Hope Williams, Me. Gen. Hospital #865.”

Why I believe this to be the individual:

  • Hope Williams, Student Nurse, circa 1936

    The 1937 and 1938 Portland City Directories list Hope Williams as a student nurse at 22 Arsenal (Maine General Hospital).

  • The 1939 Portland City Directory lists Hope Williams as a nurse at 807 Congress.
  • In 1939, Hope Williams of Searsport, ME, married Edward B Duff of Portland, Maine.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Edward and Hope living on West Street. Hope was 23 and had three years of College. Both lived in Portland in 1935.
  • Hope’s 2008 Obituary indicates she was “a distinguished registered nurse.”

I am confident this photo is of Hope Ann Williams, born 12 September 1916 in Milo, Maine, and who married Edward B Duff in 1939.

Ancestry has eight public trees that refer to Hope Ann Williams. Family Search has profile G974-NCD for Hope. I have uploaded a photo of Hope to her Family Search Memories.

Confirmed to be Hope Williams by a niece. 

“Baby” Williams, unidentified.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Williams – Nov 1943.”

About this photo:

  • “Baby” Williams, unidentified

    This photo was initially a reprint request. It isn’t clear if the date, November 1943, is the date the photo was taken or if it is the date the image was submitted for reprints.

  • Additionally, there are so many “Mrs. Williams” that it will be impossible to determine which Mrs. Williams this is without an address or first name.

Marion Whittier (Née Simpson) & daughter Beverly (born Orne) circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. C. P. Whittier, 20 Grand St. #520.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Marion Whittier (Née Simpson) & daughter Beverly (born Orne) circa 1935

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Carroll P and Marion () Whittier living at 20 Grand. Carroll is a baker.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Carroll, Marin & Beverly, his 11-year-old daughter, still living at 20 Grand.
  • Hope F Hotham of Portland and Carroll P. Whittier married on 3 September 1921. Hope was 23 years old and was born in Blaine, Maine. Her parents were John F and Marjorie (Tompkins) Hotham, both living in Blaine, ME, in 1921. Hope then married Byron O Ireland in 1933, making her Mrs. Ireland before this photo was taken.
  • I have found no evidence that Hope and Carroll had any children.
  • Carroll Whittier and Marion Simpson married on 22 November 1932, several years after Beverly was born. She would have been “Mrs. Whittier” when this photo was taken, about 1935. Further research found that Marion Simpson was married in 1927 to Reginald Orne. She and Reginald had a daughter, Beverly Orne.
  • This photo was taken about 1935 when Beverly was about six years old. Her stepmother Marion Simpson (Whittier), would have been about 27 years old. Mother and daughter, both surname Orne, appear to be living with Marion’s father, Benjamin Simpson, in Falmouth, Maine, during the 1930 Census.

I am confident this photo is of Marion Whittier, née Simpson (born 20 June 1908), and her daughter Beverly (born Orne in 1928 & died Whittier in 1941). The photo was taken at the Ethel Wight Studio in Portland about 1935.

Ancestry has 35 Public trees that refer to Marion Simpson, born on 20 June 1908. Family Search has profile LKGT-39J for Marion I. Simpson. I uploaded the photo of Marion and Beverly to Marion’s Family Search Memories.

Beverly J Orne, born in 1928, appears in two public Ancestry trees. She does not have a Family Search Profiles. However, Beverly J Whittier, born in 1928, died in 1941 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Yarmouth, Maine. She is buried near her step-father, Carroll P Whittier, who also died in 1941 in Portland. Her obituary indicates her as Beverly June Whittier. Carroll Whittier’s obituary, who died the previous January of pneumonia, mentions his widow, Marion, but not a daughter.

Marion and Donald Whittingham, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Louise Willey, 17 Mechanic St. #954.”

Why I believe this to be the children of Louise M Willey.

  • Marion and Donald Whittingham, circa 1935.

    The Ancestry.Com images of the 1936 Directory is missing page 1197, which would include 17 Mechanic Street. The 1935 and 1937 directories do not indicate that the Willeys lived there.

  • However, the 1937 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Louise M Willey as a waitress living at 477 Cumberland av, Apt 5. The 1940 Census lists Louise Willey, a 33-year-old Maine-born waitress and the mother of a 13-year-old Maine born. Mary L Whittingham. They lived in Bangor in 1935.
  • In the 1930 Census, Donald R Whittingham and Mary L Whittingham were boarders at the home of Lulu V H Faunce in Auburn, Maine. Donald was 4; Mary was 3.
  • Further research indicates that Donald Robert Whittingham, the son of Frederick and Louise (Maloon) Whittingham, was born on 21 March 1925 in Lewiston. His sister, Marion Louise Whittingham, was born on 15 February 1927. Their mother, Louise Marion (Maloon) Whittingham, married Turner A Willey on 10 November 1930.

I am confident this photo of Donald and Marion Whittingham would have been taken about 1935 when Donald was about ten and Marion about 8.

Ancestry has 15 public trees that refer to Donald Robert Whittingham. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Donald, so I have uploaded his photo to Dead Fred.

Ancestry has 17 public trees that refer to Marion Louise Whittingham. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Marion, so I have added her name to the image I uploaded to Dead Fred.


Conclusion

    • I identified six of the seven individuals. Three of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories. One of those photos included mother and daughter.
    • Two did not have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded a photo of them to Dead Fred.
    • One individual was not identifiable due to a lack of information provided.

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.

Due to software limitations, the images uploaded to Family Search, Dead Fred, and Flickr have a higher image quality than the images linked here.

For all postings of the Ethel Wight Collection, please see here.


Endnotes

[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

Photo Friday – White, Whitehead, & Whittemore

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 98

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.


 Laura White, circa 1935

The envelope this negative was in says, “Laura White, 218 Park Ave #735.”

What I found – Surname:

  • Laura White, circa 1935

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Laura M White, the wife of Elmer M White, living at 96 Cumberland Ave.

  • The 1933 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Laura White as a waitress residing at 19 Parris.
  • The 1932 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Laura White, the wife of Frank White, residing at 101 Danforth, Apt 5. It also lists Laura as the wife of Elmer, living at 185 Cumberland.
  • The 1931 Portland City Directory lists Laura E White, the wife of Frank A White, residing at 11 Casco.
  • The 1930 Portland City Directory lists Laura, wife of Frank, living at 336 Brackett.

Address:

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory indicates that 218 Park Ave was “The Albert Apartments.” There were 12 individuals listed. None named Laura nor non with the White surname.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory available at Ancestry is missing pages 1201, 1202, and 1203, which would show the residents at 218 Park Ave.
  • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists no one with the name Laura nor the surname White living at 218 Park Ave.

I failed to connect the Laura White in this photo to the address cited. Thus, I can’t determine which of the several Laura Whites who lived in Portland, Maine, during the 1930s this is a photo of. So, I uploaded her photo to Dead Fred. 

Mrs. Charlotte White, daughter of Mrs. Alice J Lamar

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Charlotte White, 278 Veranda St (Mrs. Lamar’s Daughter) #99.”

What I found in my searches for this individual.

Lamar Search
  • Mrs. Charlotte White, daughter of Mrs. Alice J Lamar

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Alice J Lamar living at 278 Veranda.

  • The 1927 Portland City Directory lists Arthur Lamare and his wife Alice J Lamare living at 278 Veranda.
  • The 1924 Portland City Directory lists Arthur Lamar and his wife, Alice J Lamar, living at 278 Veranda. He was a theatrical manager and Alice was an actress.
  • The 1 May 1928 issue of The Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, FL) reported that “Theater Man Dies – Portland, Maine, April 30,— (ap)—Arthur Lamar, 62, theatrical promoter and business manager for prominent stage artists, and manager of the original Peck’s Bad Boy company, died here Saturday [28 April].
  • The 1930 US Census lists Alice J Lamar and her sister, Charlotte M Lawton, living at 278 Veranda Street Alice is 60 and Charlotte was 54. Both were widows who were born in Massachusetts, while their parents were born in Maine. Alice was a theatrical actress.
  • No Lamar’s are listed in the 1923 Portland Directory.
White – Charlotte, wife of Philip P White.
  • Charlotte M White appears in the 1940 US Census. She is the 59-year-old wife of Philip P White. She is the apparent mother of Donald White (Age 26) [Born c. 1914]. They live at 36 Pleasant. They have another son, Clifford, who doesn’t live in the household. All three were born in Maine and lived in Portland in 1935.
  • Ancestry Trees suggest that Philip Prescott White was born on 5 March 1881 in Portland. He married Charlotte May Murch (1881-1957). They had several children, including Donald and Clifford. Charlotte’s parents were Francis H and Effie M (Cotton) Murch.
White – Charlotte, wife of Harvey A White.
  • Alternately, Charlotte White, the 40-year-old wife of Harvey A White (age 39), appears with her two sons, Robert (14) & Kenneth (11). All were born in Maine.
  • Ancestry Trees suggest that Harvey Allen White married Charlotte Mary Webber in 1936. Charlotte Mary Webber’s parents were Charles and Hannah (Sweeney) Webber.
Lawton – Charlotte, sister of Alice J.
  • The 1927 Portland City Directory indicates that Mrs. Charlotte Lawton moved to Jacksonville. The 1926 Directory is not available. The 1925 Directory does not include a Charlotte.

I have not determined which Charlotte White this is in either Ancestry trees or Family Search. I uploaded her photo to Dead Fred.

Allen White, circa 1934 (age 2)

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Wm White, Son Allan, 81 Morning St. #12.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Allen White, circa 1934 (age 2)

    The 1932 Portland City Directory lists William C and Ruth E White living at 81 Morning. William is president at 18½ Custom House wharf.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists William C and Ruth E White in New London, Connecticut.
  • The 1940 US Census lists William C. and Ruth E White living at Groton, New London, Connecticut. He is a Government worker; living with them is a daughter, Althea (see Ethel Wight Collection – Part 97), and an 8-year-old son, Allen C White.
  • This photo was taken about 1934 when Allen was about two years old.

I am pretty sure this is Allen C. White, son of William C and Ruth E White, about 1934.

I have not found Allen on Family Search or Ancestry Public Trees. However, his parents are in seven Ancestry Public Trees. I uploaded his photo to Dead Fred.

Edward Whittemore, circa 1934 (Age 1).

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. J. C. Whittemore, 32 Fellows St. #149.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Edward Whittemore, circa 1934 (Age 1).

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists John C and Elizabeth P Whittemore living at 32 Fellows.

  • The 1940 Census lists John C Whittemore, his wife Elizabeth, and five children. Two daughters and three sons. Edward is six years old and would have been about one when this photo was taken in 1934.

I am confident this photo of Edward Payson Whittemore, born on 26 May 1933, was taken about 1934.

Ancestry has nine public trees that refer to Edward Payson Whittemore. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Edward, so I uploaded his photo to Dead Fred. 

Confirmed to be Edward by a niece.

Mrs. Whitehead’s Grandchildren

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Whitehead’s Grandchildren, Whitney Ave, #510.”

What I looked at:

  • The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Charles W Whitehead & wife Florence M, living at 183 Dartmouth.
  • The 935 Portland City Directory lists Charles & Florence with no change, but a new entry Lorimer E (Harriet E) Whitehead, lived at 89 Newton.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory list Charles & Florence without change, but Lorimer & Harriet are now at rear 905a Forest Ave.
  • In 1937 Lorimer & Harriet lived at 361 Woodford. Reviewing various Ancestry Family trees suggested that Lorimer was born in 1898 and Harriet was born in 1903. Both would be too young to have had adult grandchildren in 1935.
  • I was unable to associate any Whiteheads with Whitney Ave. Thus unable to identify any of the seven females in this photo.

I have only uploaded the photo of them to my Flickr photostream.


 Conclusion

This is possibly the worst day of identifying photos I’ve encountered. I uploaded four pictures to Dead Fred. Eight unidentified individuals and no uploads to FamilySearch made a bad day.

If these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.

 

Due to software limitations, the images uploaded to Family Search, Dead Fred, and Flickr have a higher image quality than the images linked here.

 

For all postings of the Ethel Wight Collection, please see here.

Endnotes

[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.