Ethel Wight Collection – Part 34

Cotton, Coughlin, Couillard, Courtney, & Coyne

Photo Friday
Ethel Wight Collection
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.

Bernice Coughlin, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Bernice Coughlin, 45 Kellogg St., Portland #553.”

Bernice Coughlin, circa 1936

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1938 Portland City Directory lists Bernice H Coughlin as a saleswoman at 544 Congress and residing at 45 Kellogg.
  • The 1940 US Census reports Catherine Coughlin as the head of a household including six children, including 27-year-old Bernice.
  • This photo was taken about 1936 when Bernice was about 23 years old.

Family Search did not have a profile for Bernice Coughlin, the daughter of Catherine (Connell) Coughlin. Eight trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Bernice Helen Coughlin (1912-1995).

Besides this photo, I have uploaded two additional photos of Bernice to my Flickr photostream.

Miss Courtney

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Courtney, 1942.”

Miss Courtney, 1942

Sadly, there isn’t enough information with this negative package to determine who this individual is a photo of. Because the photo appears to be a nurse, I searched several different ways to find a nurse named Courtney (forename and surname). Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in finding any likely candidates.

I have added her photo to Dead Fred.

Margaret Mary Coyne, circa 1936

This negative envelope says, “Miss Margaret Coyne, 269 Danforth St, Portland #325.”

Margaret Mary Coyne, circa 1936

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Margaret M Coyne as a clerk residing at 269 Danforth. There are also Margaret Coyne (a maid), a Mrs. Margaret Coyne, Margaret E Coyne, and a Margaret K. Coyne that could be confused with the Margaret living on Danforth.
  • The 1940 US Census finds 27-year-old Margaret Coyne living with her widowed mother Delia Boyne and two brothers.
  • The 1930 US Census finds 17-year-old Margaret M. Coyne living with her parents James B. and Delia A. Coyne.

This photo was taken about 1936 when Margaret was about 24 years old.

Alternative Individuals

Do not confuse her with Margaret E. Coyne, born in 1913 in Portland, Maine, to Michael and Mary Coyne.

Photo Disposition

Family Search identifies ID GCZH-K75, the daughter of James and Delia Coyne. I have uploaded two photos of her to Family Search Memories. I also have uploaded a third photo of Margaret Coyne to my Flickr photostream. Six trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Margaret Mary Coyne, daughter of James B and Bridget “Delia” (Kyne) Coyne.

Update: A first cousin, twice removed confirmed, he’d “be fairly confident [I’ve] identified her correctly.

Mr. A. B. Cotton, circa 193

Image from the negative envelope. If you read it as something other than Mr. A. B. Cotton, I would love to hear from you.

“Mr. A. B. Cotton, Marine Hospital, Portland #619.”

The United States Marine Hospital was at 331 Veranda.

An exhaustive search of city directories from 1934 to 1940 for an A. Cotton, or any Cotton surnamed individual associated with the Marine Hospital or 331 Veranda, failed to yield any results. Furthermore, a search of the 1940 Census did not find a man with the surname Cotton and a first initial of “A” living in Portland, Cumberland County, or the State of Maine. Likewise, a review of the 1930 Census failed to yield such a candidate. As such, I believe this man, in his mid 30’s or early 40’s was possibly a patient at the Marine Hospital and not staff there.

With no identification and no clues to further research, I have uploaded two photos of Mr. A. B. Cotton to Dead Fred.

Edna N. (Huston) Couillard, circa 1936

Edna N. (Huston) Couillard, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Edna Couillard, 13 Walton St, Portland #757.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

    • The 1937 Portland City Directory listed Edna N Couillard, the wife of Arthur E Couillard, as residing at 13 Walton.
    • The 1930 US Census places Edna and her husband living with her parents Fred and Sarah Huston at 13 Walton St. Edna was 35 years old.

Family Search identifies id KZVG-BRM as the daughter of Frederick and Sarah (Erskine) Huston and married to Arthur E. Couillard. She was born on 16 March 1895.  I have uploaded two photos to her Memories on Family Search. Fifteen trees on refer to Edna N. Huston.


It was a lousy week for my photo identification with two failed photo sets that I could not identify. However, I did have three successful identifications, two I posted to Family Search and one I posted to this site and to my Flickr photo stream. I had:

Final Note

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.


[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 tracing lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software (Photoshop Elements).

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