Brown, Bruns, Buckley, Bucklin, & Utterstrom
Ethel Wight Collection
By Don Taylor
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 important 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.
Alice Davenport Bucklin, circa 1936
The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Alice Bucklin, 11 Surrender St., Portland #744.”
A search for Alice Bucklin of Portland yielded an Alice Davenport Bucklin in the 1933 South Portland High School Yearbook. The yearbook photo appears to be of the same young woman to me.
The 1920 US Census identifies Alice D. Bucklin as the five-year-old daughter of Joseph W. and Gertrude B. Bucklin, living at 15 Henry Street. Note that she has an older brother Joseph E. Bucklin.
I haven’t found Alice in the 1930 Census, but she does appear in the 1934 Portland City Directory as a student nurse residing at 804 Congress. She does not appear in the 1935 City Directory; however, her brother Joseph E. Bucklin and his wife live at 11 Surrenden, the same address provided to Ethel Wight. Alice married Charles H Paulsen on 29 June 1936, which explains why I’ve been unable to find her in other documents.
Family Search identifies Alice D. Bucklin, the daughter of Joseph William and Gertrude Belle (Nash) Bucklin, as ID GMVX-516. I am quite sure this is Alice about 1936, before her marriage to Charles Henry Paulson. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile. Ancestry Family Trees have at least 26 trees which include Alice.
Haswell M. Bruns, circa 1935
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. H. M. Bruns, 6 Roberts St, Portland #333.”
The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Haswell M. Bruns living at 6 Roberts. The 1930 Census enumerated the 21-year-old Haswell in the household of his father Jens Neilson and Ethel Libby (Skillings) Bruns also at 6 Roberts. Suggesting Haswell was born about 1909. Further research found he was born 26 May 1908 and died 15 May 1969.
Family Search identifies Haswell Bruns, the son of Jens and Ethel Bruns, as id LVVF-HLS. I am sure this is Haswell about 1935. I have uploaded a photo of him to his Family Search profile. There are about 11 Ancestry Trees which include Haswell Marshall Bruns.
John Brown of High Street, Portland, circa 1935
This negative’s envelope says, “Mr. John Brown, 108 High St, Portland #665.”
The 1934 Portland City directory lists John Brown, a stevedore, residing at 108 High. The 1935 directory finds him associated with the Dew Drop Lunch at 17 Pleasant. The 1936 Portland City Directory available online is missing pages 173 thru 177, so I can’t see him there. The 1937 Portland City Directory shows John Brown, associated with the Dewdrop Lunch residing at 56 Maple. The 1938 and the 1941 directories both put John Brown at 56 Maple. However, I have been unable to find him in the 1940 Census.
The 1932 &1933 Directory shows John Brown, a stevedore residing at 108 High.
The 1931 directory shows a John Brown living at 92 Arcadia. That John Brown was a 40-year-old carpenter from Poland. The John Brown in the photo appears to be older than 45, and his occupation is inconsistent with the John Brown of 108 High Street and 56 Maple.
It will take a lot more research to sort out the various John Browns of Portland, Maine, to determine the exact John Brown of the photo.
I have added his photo to Dead Fred.
John Joseph Buckley, circa 1937
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. John J. Buckley, 377 Cumberland Ave, Portland #648.”
This photo is of a young boy, probably about 14 or 15 years old. The 1940 Census lists a John J. Buckley (born about 1923 in Canada) and who lived in Portland in 1935, living with his parents, William P (born about 1886 in Canada)and Catherine M. Buckley at 363 Cumberland. The 1935 City Directory has William P and Catherine living at 377 Cumberland, so I am confident this photo is of their son, John J. Buckley, who was born in Canada about 1923.
I was not successful in finding a profile for either John J. Buckley or his parents, William P. and Catherine M. Buckley, on Family Search. However, John Joseph Buckley is found in three Ancestry family trees. There were three photos of John, so I have one here, and I uploaded two additional images to Dead Fred.
Dorothea Louise Utterstrom, circa 1937
The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Frank Utterstrom, 23 Olympia St, Portland #365.”
When I saw this name, I immediately knew it was a person from my Blanchard-Utterstrom Project. I knew that Frank Raymond and Dorothy E (Semple) Utterstrom had a daughter, Dorothea Louise Utterstrom, born on 28 August 1927. The 1930 Census enumerated Frank, Dorothy, and Dorothea living at 23 Olympia in Portland.
At first, I thought these two photos might be of two different people, because one is in a coat and the other in a dress. Both show a round-faced girl with similar bangs, similar hair length, and what appears, to me, the same dress. As such, I believe this is the same girl in both photos taken
about 1937. Sadly, in one of the photos, the girl’s face is slightly out of focus.
Family Search did not have a profile for Dorothea, so I added her two photos to Dead Fred.
- Two successful identifications where I could post to Family Search
- Two other identifications that didn’t have profiles on Family search, so I uploaded them to Dead Fred.
- One inconclusive identification (several potential candidates)
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 lightbox, a Nikon camera, and Photoshop Elements.