Don’s Genealogy News – 17 January 2021

Don Taylor Genealogy

Photo Friday

I analyzed five more packets of negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection. See Part 12 – Dexter, Dixon, Dodge (2), & Doherty

  • Mrs. G. N. Deexter – 129 Pleasant St, Portland, ME
  • Cynthia Alberta (Brimmer) Dodge (1893-1986)
  • Martha Dodge (1928-___)
  • Wendell Wallace Doherty (1887-1949)
  • Unknown [Dixon?]

Donna Montran

I posted “Donna One Hundred Years Ago – January 12th to 15th, 1921.”
“Donna Montran and Her Bathing Beauties in a Beach Promenade” played at the Majestic Theatre in Paterson, NJ, one hundred years ago this week.

Howell Research

Published a transcript of the Will of William Price (1762-1846). Thanks to Marcy Porter, who shared her transcript and allowed me to share it on this website. William Price is my wife’s 4th great-grandfather.

Scarborough Historical Society

I mailed 0ut the latest issue of Owascoag Notes (the bi-monthly newsletter of the Society).  Besides sending it out using Mail Chimp, I wrote “Looking for a Winter Project?” and “Recent Donations” for the January/February 2021 issue.

I added an 1865-1866 Auditor’s Report that was transcribed by a historical society member who responded to my “Looking for a Winter Project” article. I linked it to the Town Annual Reports Page.

I posted a transcript by a historical society member regarding the  Scarborough Election Warrant – 21 Oct 1820.

I was going to digitize Augustus Moulton’s book Old Prouts Neck, but found it is available online for download at the Digital Commons of the University of Southern Maine. It went out of copyright last year. Many thanks to USM’s Digital Commons.

I digitized, OCRed, linked and uploaded Scarborough Annual Report – 1953 to Digital Maine and

Digital Maine

I posted the Scarborough Election Warrant – 21 Oct 1820 to Digital Maine.

Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society

At the last meeting of the Greater Portland Chapter, I was elected Chapter President.  Please use to contact me, or the other board members, for the Greater Portland Chapter.

Other Blogs

The Ancestor Hunt reported that they have links to 1,732 Free Online Maine Collections in 16 genealogy record categories. Check them out.


If you haven't registered for RootsTech - February 25 to 27 - yet, I highly recommend doing so. The registration is FREE.  They have also linked with Family Search to provide "Relatives at Root Tech," where you can learn of other people who are attending RootsTech. I've registered for Connect and have learned there will be at least 76 relatives at RootsTech. By the way, there are over 139,000 people registered for RootsTech. It is going to be Genealogical Fun.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) - Virtual conference - April and May 2021. E-Zine at

The Family History Federation (England) is hosting a "Really Useful Family History Show" on April 10th. "Early Bird Registration" is open until January 31st for £7.50.


Set your VCRs or otherwise plan to watch the new season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The 2021 Season begins January 19th at 8 PM on PBS with "To the Manor Born." Actress Glenn Close and filmmaker John Waters discover their privileged lineages.

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 12

Dexter, Dixon, Dodge(2), & Doherty

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Photo Friday, I look at identifying more negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The names on the envelope are of the individual who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is important to analyze the photo and information to positively identify the photographs.[ii]

Mrs. G. N. Dexter – 129 Pleasant St., Portland, ME

Copy of Envelope Writing

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio (Portland, ME) collection. The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. G. N. Dexter – 129 Pleasant St., Woodfords #34.” (Woodfords is a neighborhood in Portland, ME.)

Mrs. G. N. Dexter – 129 Pleasant St., Woodfords.

I have been completely unable to identify this individual. The low ID number (34) suggests the photo was taken about 1934. I have not found any individual named G. N. Dexter, nor any Dexter who has the middle name starting with “N.” Likewise, searching for address 129 Pleasant did not reveal anyone with a similar name.

Image posted to Dead Fred.

There were two additional photos of Mrs. G. N. Dexter which I have uploaded to my Flickr Page.


Cynthia Alberta (Brimmer) Dodge (1893-1986)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs Ira Dodge – Crosby St, Portland # 768.”

Mrs. Ira Dodge

The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Ira J. Dodge and his wife Cynthis B., living at 28a Crosby.

Cynthia Alberta Brimmer, (born 16 April 1893) married Ira James Dodge in Brewer, Maine on 29 April, 1922. Cynthis was the daughter of George W. and Isabel (Carr) Brimmer.

I’ve posted Cynthia Alberta Brimmer’s photos to her Family Search profile L5Z8-KKW.

Martha Dodge – circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Ira Dodge – Daughter Martha – Crosby St Woodfords #10.”

Martha Dodge – circa 1937

I looked at Mrs. Ira Dodge of Crosby Street (above), so this identification was easy. The 1940 Census indicated she had two children, Patricia and Martha. Martha was 12 years old during the 1940 Census. If this photo was taken about 1936, she would have been about 8 years old, about right for the image.

Martha R Dodge has a profile on Family Search, ID L5Z8-KVL. I have uploaded three of her photos to her Family Search profile.

Wendel Wallace Doherty (1887-1949)

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio (Portland, Maine) Collection. The envelope this negative was in says, “Wendell W. Doherty – 562 Congress St., Room 613 #82.”

Wendell W. Doherty

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Wendell W and Agnes C Doherty was a music teacher at 562 Congress, Room 613 and sec 249 Middle. His home was at 249 High.

The 1940 Federal Census indicates Wendell Doherty of 249 High Street was 53 years old, born in Maine, Married to Agnes C. Doherty, and has two children.

Further research found Wendell Wallace Doherty was born June 21, 1887, in Mechanic Falls, Maine.

Wendall W. Doherty married Agnes Catherine La Rochelle on 27 Dec 1915 in Portland, Cumberland County Maine. His marriage record indicated his father was John A Doherty and his mother was Sarah Waldron.

There was no profile for Wendall Wallace Doherty in Family Search. However, John A Doherty and Sadie Waldron.

I was able to confirm the relationship by the 1900 Census, which shows 13-year-old Wendel living with his parents John and Sarah with several siblings.[iii]

I created a profile for Wendel on Family Search, GH8T-WJ8 and uploaded his photo to that profile.

Unknown [Dixon?] – circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Chas A. Dixon – 170 Bolton St, Portland #880.”

Young Woman, possibly related to Charles and Nellie Dixon of Portland, Maine

The 1937 Portland City Directory reports Charles A. D. Dixon and his wife Nellie G loving at 170 Bolton.

The 1940 Census found Charles A. D. Dixon living with his wife and son, Charles at 156 Brentwood Street. Nellie is 54 years old. The photo is clearly of a girl much younger. So, the 1940 Census does not provide a likely subject’s name.

The 1930 Census found Charles living with his wife and two sons at 11 East Kidder Street. Again, the census records do not provide a likely subject for the person.

This photo is of an unknown person, possibly related to Charles and Nellie Dixon. Possibly others who know the family will be able to identify the individual


I had:

  • Three successful identifications where I could post to Family Search.
  • One partial identification posted to Dead Fred.
  • One unsuccessful identification.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of a family member, I would love to hear your reaction.


[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.


The Will of William Price (1762-1846)

It is so nice when other researchers contact me and we can share notes and resources. Recently, a fifth cousin of my wife, and I exchanged several emails bout my wife’s 4th great-grandfather, William Price (1762-1846). I learned that she had transcribed the will of William and was willing to share her efforts.

William Price Will  – Martin County North Carolina Will Book 2/326-328

This will book was filmed in 2 page spreads at Family Search.
p326 (image 383)
p327-328 (image 384)
Marcy Porter’s transcript of the will book image follows:
[Begin transcript]

January Term 1847                                        

State of North Carolina }

Martin County                   } Know all men by these presents that I, William  Price, being in sound mind & memory thanks be to God for the same, but knowing the uncertainty of death do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament as follows

1st  I commit my soul to Almighty God my body to be entered in a desent Christian like manner in the family Grave Yard

2nd The negro Girl Hannah I lent to my Daughter Cherry at her marriage after my death it is my will and desire that said negro Hannahs increase (except one boy by the name of Luke) be Equally divided between the children of my Daughter Cherry and their heirs forever. My Daughter Cherry being dead it is my will wish and desire that the increase of said negro Hannah she being dead also be Equally divided between Robt Rebecca Martha John & Benjamin Lewis Bryan children of said Cherry after my death and to make said division I do nominate and appoint Jno A Turner Robert Bryan and Saml A Long to do the same

3rd  the negro girl Silva I let my Daughter Rebecca have at her marriage (and my Daughter Rebecca being dead and said negro also) but said negro Silva having an increase it is my will and desire that Jno Bryan husband of my said Daughter Rebecca have said negroes to him and his heirs forever

4th  the negro girl Liza I let my Daughter Roxana at her marriage it is my will and desire that my Daughter Roxana have said girl and increase her life time and after her death I give said negroes to her Lawful children

5th  The negro boy Theophilus which was sold and the proffits equally divided between my Daughter Mary and her two children Joseph & Martha remain so forever

6th  I give unto my Grand Daughter Evelina Bryan one negro girl by the name of Hannah should the said Evelina Bryan die without a lawful heir it is my will and desire that the said negro Hannah be sold (and increase if any) and the proceeds arising from said sales be equally divided among my heirs

[Over – Page 327]

7th  I give unto my grand sons Benjamin F Price & Hardy W B Price sons of my son Hardy B Price one Hundred Dollars each before the property which I may have on hand is divided

8th  I give unto my Grand son Joseph R Bryan one tract of land said land I bought of B F and H W B Price containing forty acres more or less and all the improvements thereon forever

9th  It is my will and desire that the negroes I have not given away after my death to be equally divided between my heirs in the following manner (viz) one fifth to Hardy B Price heirs one fifth to Cherry Bryan heirs one fifth to Rebecca Bryan children one fifth to Roxana Bryan her life time and after her death to her children one fifth to Mary Johnson her life time and after her death to her children leaving and giving my executors full power to appoint commissioners to allot and divide said negroes between said heirs according to the above statement

10th  I give unto my Daughter Mary Johnson one tract of Land known as the Johnson Tract containing fifty acres more or less running south with the fence to her and her heirs forever

11th  It is my desire that the balance of the Land I have not otherwise disposed of Except the family Grave Yard be sold and equally divided between my son Hardy B Price heirs and the heirs of Daughters Rebecca Cherry and Roxana in like manner as the negroes  

12th  I give unto my Grand son Joseph R Bryan one bed and furniture

13th  It is my will and desire that my Executors sell at public auction my Perishable Estate and after paying my just debts the balance with what monies or bond I may have to be equally divided between the heirs of my son Hardy B Price and the children of my Daughter Rebecca and the children of my Daughter Cherry and Roxana and Mary in like manner as the negroes

14th  It is my will and desire that my Executors retain in their hands (if not applied for before) the part of my Estate which I give to my Daughter Roxana and her heirs seven years if not applied for in that time then to be Equally divided between my other heirs

15th  It is my will and desire that my Executors retain in their hands the property which I have given unto my Grand children untill they arrive to the age of twenty one or marries.

I do hereby constitute and appoint my friend Archibald Slaton and William R Brown Executors to this my last will and Testament revoking all other wills that I may have made prior to this date. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this the twenty second day of August one Thousand Eight Hundred and forty three

 [signed]      William Price (seal)
Signed in presence of us
Bryant Bennett
Jos Waldo
[end transcript]
[Proven January Term 1847 by the oath of Joseph Waldo; William R Brown relinquished his right to qualify, and Archibald Slaton was qualified as sole executor]

I learned of no new family members, but I did learn many new facts regarding the disposition of land to several of the family members. The will also confirms many previously understood facts. For example, Cherry’s children, Lucy, Mary, and James died before 1843 because they weren’t listed in the will.  It also confirms many children and grandchildren were living at the time the will was written.


This transcription was posted with the specific permission of the transcriber, Marcy Porter.  My thanks go out to her for her willingness to share her excellent work.
If you see anything in the transcription that is incorrect or otherwise should be corrected, please use the comment form below and report it.

Donna One Hundred Years Ago – January 12th to 15th, 1921.

“Donna Montran and Her Bathing Beauties in a Beach Promenade” played at the Majestic Theatre in Paterson, NJ, one hundred years ago this week.

I haven’t discovered where Donna was playing from January 1st through January 11th. However, on January 12th she played at the Majestic Theatre in Paterson, NJ. From The News (Paterson, NJ) 13 January 1921:


The News (Paterson, NJ) 13 Jan 1921, Pg. 9

Perhaps there has not been a prettier act staged at the Majestic theater than that of “The Bathing Beauties,” which held forth there yesterday. Perhaps there has not been an act with such a pronounced wealth of color. For “The Bathing Beauties,” ten pretty girls from the sunny climate of California were ushered in with a gorgeous setting that was accentuated by their own charming selves. The richness of the investiture and the more accentuated comeliness of the artists made possible an offering that is practically invincible in the world of variety. Donna Montran leads the procession of beautiful girls that appear in the act and the scene presented in that of a beach where there is all the sunshine and azure blue of the California skies. The attraction will certainly do justice to the feature position of the bill for it cannot be surpassed in point of color and scintillancy. The Bathing Beauties scored a very big success with yesterday’s audience and will assuredly retain that popularity throughout the balance of the week.

Likewise, the Morning Call also had a great article about the Bathing Beauties in their newspaper.


“The Bathing Beauties.”

The News (Paterson, NJ) 13 Jan 1921, Page 9

Ten pretty California girls, bringing with them all the beauty and charm of that lovely Western country, will grace the feature position of the current bill at the Majestic theatre in “The Bathing Beauties,” said to be vaudeville’s daintiest act. These comely artists, surrounded by a veritable shower of scenes and electrical effects, making possible one of the most scintillating color schemes ever adopted for a vaudeville act, will offer a production of the most unique type for Paterson playgoers. “The Bathing Beauties” cannot be surpassed in point of pulchritude. And when this beauty is enhanced by an attractive beach setting, marked out in all the rich color and effect of which stagecraft is capable then there is no alternative for playgoers but to be charmed by this most brilliant of variety specialties. “The Bathing Beauties” is one of the most expensive productions ever brought here, but Manager Walsh is not sparing expense when the interest of the patrons is concerned. The act will be a big favorite here.

The Morning Call – 14 Jan 1921

The display ads and the text provide information regarding other acts on the bill.

These include:

  • Sailor Lonra “On the Flexible Pole.”
  • Manning & Lee “After the Matinee.”
  • Jones & Johnson “Darktown’s Brightest Entertainers.” (A blackface routine)
  • Milani Fullardo Four – Comedy, Singing and Music.

As the “Bathing Beauties” were finishing the week, The Morning Call had one more article.

The Morning Call (Paterson, NY) 13 Jan 1921, Page 11


“Bathing Beauties.”

“The Bathing Beauties” are the predominant attraction at the Majestic theatre the last part of this week and are scoring a big success. A wealth of color and charm attends the production of this pretty specialty and the audiences have been quick to appreciate the calibre of the act. No other attraction of the present season has achieved as much popularity as this engaging combination of action and pulchritude. “The Bathing Beauties,” led by Donn Montran, have proved one of the best numbers staged here in many weeks.

Majestic Theatre – Paterson, New Jersey

Photo Credit: Paterson History – The Rich History of the City of Paterson, NJ – Photos – Theaters.

This appearance is Donna’s first know showing at The Majestic Theatre in Paterson; however, she played there again in December 1922.

The Majestic Theater opened on 28 November 1910 and was demolished in the 1970s.[i]

In 1921 The Majestic had a seating capacity of 1,200 and showed both vaudeville and pictures. It was part of the Keith Vaudeville Circuit. The stage was 40’ wide, 28’ deep, and 60’ high.[ii]

Besides the Call and the News, there were four other papers. “Chronicle,” “Press,” “Passaic News,” and “Herald.”


[i] “Majestic Theater In Paterson, NJ – Cinema Treasures”. 2020. Cinematreasures.Org.

[ii] The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill theatrical guide and moving v.20 1921 Page 256, New Jersey – Paterson – Majestic Theatre. Hathi Trust –

Don’s Genealogy News – 10 January 2021

Photo Friday

I analyzed five more packets of negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection. See Part 11 – Curtis, Davis (2), Derosier, & Dexter.

    • Mary Derosier (1914-1994)
    • Donald Davis (1907-1972)
    • Four children of Hartley A. & Mary T. Davis of Portland, Maine.
    • Child of Max & Evelyn (Stein) Davis – Photo circa 1936
    • Barbara, Ruth,  & Walter Curtis and Stanley Dexter – c. 1935

Brown Research

Began researching my Blackhurst ancestors. (Montran-Barber-Blackhurst. Learned that my 4th great aunt, Mary Blackhurst immigrated to Deseret (Utah) in 1852. She and her sister, Lydia, both married William Haladay. Can’t tell yet if they were “sister wives” yet or serial wives.  More research underway. I hope to write mini-bios for my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Blackhurst, siblings.

Howell Research

Received some communications from a cousin of my wife. She transcribed the probate record for my wife’s fifth great grandfather, William Price. It will be interesting to see if the will provides any new information regarding that line — Howell-Hobbs-Long-Bryan-Price. I’ll be posting a “guest blog” about it in the coming days.

Scarborough Historical Society

I posted a great article about early high schools in Scarborough by Linda McLoon.  The first high school was actually two schools, one in Dunstan and one in Oak Hill in 1877. Read all about it in “A High School Comes to Scarborough.”

The Ancestor Hunt has added the Scarborough Historical Society photos to their listing of Maine Free Searchable Photo Collections.  Scarborough images available through Digital Maine were already identified.  There are dozens of links to other record locations in Maine. Check it out!


RootsTech – February 25 to 27 – FREE Registration.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) – Virtual conference – April and May 2021. E-Zine at