Ethel Wight Collection – Part 84

McCormick, McCrae, McDonald, & née McLean)

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.


Frank C. McDonald, circa 1934.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Frank C. McDonald, 48 Gilman St #360.”

Frank C. McDonald, circa 1934.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Frank C (Ora M) McDonald living at 48 Gilman. There are also two other Frank McDonalds and a Francis J McDonald listed.
  • The 1940 Census lists Frank C. McDonald living at 48 Gilman. He is 48 years old and was born in Canada.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest this is Frank Charles McDonald, born 29 July 1891 in Canada. He married Ora Madelene Drew on 9 October 1920.

Ancestry has six public trees that refer to Frank Charles McDonald. Family Search has profile LLSP-NLV for Frank Charles McDonald. I  have uploaded this photo of him to his Family Search Memories.

Dorothy R. McCrae, Circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Dorothy McCrea, 42 Beckett St #541.”

Dorothy R. McCrae, Circa 1935.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1934 & 1935 Portland City Directories list Dorothy R McCrea as a clerk at 486 Congress residing at 42 Beckett.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Dorothy R McCrea living at 115 Cumberland but still working at 486 Congress. The 1938 Directory lists her still residing at 115 Cumberland.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Dorothy R. McCrea living at 115 Cumberland. She was the 32-year-old sister of Ethel M DeMott. Dorothy was born in New Hampshire and lived in Portland (same place) in 1935.

Ancestry has six public trees that refer to Dorothy R McCrea, born 20 February 1908 in Lancaster, Coos County, New Hampshire. Family Search has profile GCTL-G87 for Dorothy R McCrea. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search Memories.

Christine McDonald (née McLean), circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Christine McDonald, 233 High St. #829.”

Christine McDonald (née McLean), circa 1935.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Christine McDonald as a maid at 2 Crescent but residing at 233 High.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Christine McDonald as a 65-year-old lodger at 231 High Street. She was born in Canada, divorced, and worked as a maid.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest this is Christine McLean, born 18 March 1875 in Canada. She divorced James McDonald in 1921 and lived in Portland, Cumberland County, in 1935 and 1940.

Ancestry has 11 public trees that refer to Christine McLean. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Christina McLean, born in 1875 in Canada and who married James McDonald, so I added her photo to Dead Fred.

Unknown Girl, probably related to Thomas and Laura (née Egan) McDonald, circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “ Mrs. J. McDonald, 10 Bradford St #1065.”

Unknown Girl, probably related to Thomas and Laura (née Egan) McDonald, circa 1936.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1940 US Census lists the 56-year-old widow Laura McDonald living at 8 Bradford with her son, Thomas McDonald, and a 6-year-old lodger, Edward Nicholson. Thomas was 26 years old and born in Maine.
  • The 1930 Census lists the 62-year-old Thomas J McDonald and his 42-year-old wife, Laura, living with four children, Marian A (18), T. Edward (17), James P (16), and George F(14). They lived at 105 Bracket Street.
  • A review of Ancestry Family Trees suggests this photo relates to Thomas J McDonald (1868-1934) and his wife Laura J (Egan) McDonald. Laura was born about 1888. If this child is about five years old in 1935, Laura would have been 47 years old.
  • I see where James Robert was born on 12 March 1914 and George F was born on 9 May 1915, but I’m not finding any other children for Thomas and Laura.

I suspect this little girl is a granddaughter, niece, or another relative of Thomas and Laura McDonald. Sadly, I am unable to identify her. Hopefully, a family relative will be able to identify her.  Thomas J McDonald is found in 23 public trees on Ancestry.

This is the only photo I have of her.

William J McCormick, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. John F McCormick, 187 A Oxford St. #1069.”

William J McCormick, circa 1935.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists John F (Lillian M) McCormick living at 53 Mayo. Residing at 55 Mayo is John J (Mabel E) McCormick. There are no other John McCormick’s listed.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory does not list John F McCormick. Additionally, the directory is missing pages 1201, 1202, and 1203 which should detail who lives at 187 Oxford Street.
  • The 1937 Portland City directory lists 187a Oxford as being vacant. It does show John F (Lillian M) McCormick living at 17 Washington Ave.
  • The 1940 US Census lists John F McCormick living with his wife, Lillian, a son, two daughters, and a sister-in-law at 107 Washington Ave. His son, William J., is four years old and born in Maine.
  • Further research found that William J McCormick was born on 5 September 1935 in Cumberland County, Maine.

William John McCormick is found in 13 Ancestry Public Trees. On Family Search, he is ID G82B-B3F. I uploaded his photo to his Family Search Memories.


Conclusion

  • I fully identified four of the five Three of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories.
  • I identified one individual that did not have a Family Search profile but did appear in Ancestry trees, so I posted his/her image to Dead Fred.
  • I failed to identify one child but probably identified individuals with Ancestry trees related to the child. (grandparents, aunt/uncle). I only uploaded her photo here

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 typically have higher image quality than those linked here. (Unknown child excepted.)

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.

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