Ethel Wight Collection – Part 20

Chaltas, Constantine, Cook, Corbin, Corson, & Karakas

Photo Friday
Ethel Wight Collection
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Photo Friday, I try to 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 important to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the images with family members who may have never seen the image.

Athena & Vassar Chaltas, and their cousin, Trenton Karakas, circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Constantine Children #351.”

The “Constantine Children,” Athena & Vassar Chaltas, and their cousin, Trenton Karakas, circa 1937.

This photo doesn’t indicate an address or the first name of the person who ordered the photo. However, the photo appears to be of a boy, about 12-years-old, and two girls, ages 15 &17. Maybe I can figure it out by looking at the census records.

1930

The 1930 Census indicated there were 2 Constantine households in Portland, Maine.

Head of Household Household Makeup
Peter K. Constantine Parents; Costas & Pinola, Sister-in-law, Helen, and two nieces, Athena & Vassi, ages 10 and 8.
James Constantine Wife: Bessie

1940

The 1940 Census indicated there were 6 Constantine households in Portland, Maine.

Head of Household Household Makeup
Peter K. Constantine Two daughters, Athena & Vassa; a sister, Helen; and a nephew, Trantoe [Teantor] Karakas.
James Constantine Wife: Bessie
Louis Constantine Wife: Philanthy
Margaret Constantine No other people (Cashier).
Hattie Constantine Son,
George K. Constantine Wife: Nellie, Daughter: Dionisia

Only the Peter K. Constantine household has children fitting the image. Although the 1940 Census suggests Athena and Vassa are Peter’s children, further research yielded:

    • Athena Constantine (Athena Chaltas) was born on 16 Feb 1920 in Portland. Her parents were Pericles and Helen Chaltas.
    • Vassar Chaltas was born 20 March 1922 in Portland to Pericles “Perry” E. and Helen (Constantine) Chaltas.
    • The 1940 Census indicates that Trantoe Karakas was born in Massachusetts about 1925, so his being an actual nephew makes sense.

I believe this photo contains Athena and Vassar Chaltas (ages 17 & 15), the daughters of Pericles “Perry” E. and Helen (Constantine) Chaltas. And their cousin Trenton Karakas (age 12) circa 1937

I was unable to find a profile for Helen, Athena, or Vassa in Family Search. Peter K Constantine may have a family search profile, but it doesn’t identify his parents or siblings.

There are three trees on Ancestry, which include Helen Constantine, born circa 1900 and who had a husband surnamed Chaltas. I have posted the photo to Dead Fred and have Ancestry messaged the three tree owners.

Genevieve Cook (1920-1996), circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Genevieve Cook. 14 Westcott St. #1071 – DSCN2996

Genevieve Cook, circa 1937

The 1936 Portland, Maine, City Directory lists Carroll Cook and his wife Jennie, living at 14 Westcott. The 1937 Portland City Directory shows that Carroll and Jennie had moved to 70 Pleasant Ave. Further research yielded that Genevieve Ray Cook was born 2 March 1920 to Carroll Hubert and Genevieve (McDonald) Cook in Portland, Maine. Genevieve Rae Cook died on 24 February 1996.

Family Search identifies Genevieve R. Cook, Carroll Herbert and Jennie McDonald Cook’s daughter as ID L5TY-SY1. I am confident this is Genevieve about 1937. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile.

Merle Weston Cook, circa 1937 (age 4)

Merle Weston Cook, circa 1937 (age 4)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Geneva Cook – 108 Presumpscot St., Portland #792. The negatives include one pose of a boy about four years old.

The 1937 Portland City directory lists Merle W. Cook and his wife Geneva A. Cook living at 108 Presumpscot.

The 1940 US Census enumerated Merle W. Cook, his wife Geneva, and his son, Merle W. Cook, Jr. Merle Junior was six-years-old during the 1940 Census. Further research found Merle Weston Cook, Jr, born 7 July 1933 and died 12 June 2012.

Family Search identifies Merle W. Cook, born 7 July 1933, as ID G9KK-4WL. I am quite sure this is Merle, Jr., about 1937. I have uploaded a photo of him to his Family Search profile. Merle appears in eight Ancestry Family Trees. I have informed several of the tree owners of this post.

Alphonse “Alfred” Corbin (1893-1941) circa 1935

Alphonse Corbin, circa 1935

This negative envelope says, “Mr. Al Corbin, 179 Franklin St. Portland #369.” The contents include one negative of a man in his early 1940s in profile.

The 1934 and 1935 Portland City Directories list Alphonse L. Corbin living at 179 Franklin. Page 234, which should include Al Corbin, is missing from the 1936 Portland Directory that I have access to. The 1937 Directory again lists Alphonse living with his wife, Delia, at 139 Franklin. The 1930 US Census enumerated 37-year-old Alphonse living with his wife, Epernia, and six children in Portland. He was born in Maine.

Family Search identifies Alphonse L. Corbin (1893-1941) as ID 9XPK-724. I am quite sure this is ALPHONSE about 1936. I have uploaded his photo to Family Search. He also appears in 72 Ancestry Trees. I have informed several of those tree owners of this post.

Marjorie Bertha Corson (1918-2008), circa 1936

Majorie Bertha Corson, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Marjorie Corson, 29 Bancroft St., Portland #1083.”

This photo is clearly is the same person as Marjorie B. Corson from Deering High School, class of 1936. Even the dress appears to be the same. Marjorie Bertha Corson was born 29 September 1918, the daughter of Harold O and Alice M (Bridges) Corson.

Family Search identifies Marjorie Bertha Corson, the daughter of Harold O. and Alice M. (Bridges) Corson. as ID 2C54-7S2. This is a photo of her about 1936. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile. I uploaded two more photos of her to my Flickr Photostream.

Conclusion

I had:

    • Four successful identifications where I could post to Family Search
    • Three probable identifications – I contacted other researchers for confirmation.

Final Note

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


Endnotes

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

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

One thought on “Ethel Wight Collection – Part 20”

  1. Yes, that is my Great Uncle Merle who is my grandmother’s brother. Thank you for sending this to me I have forwarded it along to my grandmother and I am sure she will be very happy to see it.
    – Stephanie W.

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