Ethel Wight Collection – Part 42

Ford, Foss, Fossett, & Foster(2)

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.

Angie L. Fossett, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Angie Fossett, 297 Woodfords St, Portland #786.”

Angie L. Fossett, circa 1936

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1940 Portland City Directory lists Angie Fossett as a housekeeper working and living at 297 Woodford.
  • In the 1930 US Census, Angie L. Fossett is a servant in the household of Fred A. Crawford. She is 52 years old and was born in Maine.
  • Ancestry Public Trees indicate Angie Loura Fossett was born 8 January 1878 in Bristol, Maine, to Arad and Nettie (Leeman) Fossett.
  • Based upon the photo ID (#786), I believe this to be Angie about 1936.

Family Search identifies Angie L. Fossett as ID M6V6-W4G; thirteen Ancestry trees mention Angie Fossett.

I have uploaded two photos of Angie to her Family Search Memories.

Miss Foster

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Foster” [No Address, no Photo ID number].

  • Miss Foster

    Because there is no first name, address, or envelope number, I cannot identify this photograph.

  • The Portland City Directory lists several dozen individuals who may be “Miss Foster.”

No Identification.

Grace Foss, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Grace Foss, ME Gen. Hospital, Portland #300.”

Grace Foss, circa 1936

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Grayce Foss as a student nurse at 22 Arsenal (Maine General Hospital).
  • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Grace L Foss as a nurse at 180 Grant, Apt 2.
  • The 1938 Portland City Directory lists Grace L Foss as a nurse who married Lawrence E. Dunham.
  • I am sure this is a photo of Grace Foss about 1936.

Ancestry Family Trees identify Grace Louise Foss, who married Lawrence Dunham as the Daughter of Charles and Minnie Foss. Family Search identifies Grace Louise Foss as ID LTVZ-WQ4. I am pretty sure this is Grace about 1936, when she graduated from nursing school. Thirty-eight trees on Ancestry mention Grace Louise Foss.

I uploaded two photos of Grace to her Family Search Memories.

Photo confirmed by a grandchild to definately be a photo of Grace Foss. 

Leone Ford, circa 1936

This negative envelope says, “Miss Leone Ford, ME Gen. Hospital, Portland #705.”

Could it be Leone G Ford?

    • Leone Ford, circa 1936

      Louisa Ford appears in the 1934-1940 Portland City Directories as living with David and Frances Ford. Their home was on Ocean House Rd at Shore Acres Cape Elizabeth.

    • The 1940 US Census indicates David Ford, as a lodger at the Barclay Hotel in New York City, but he lived in Cape Elizabeth in 1935. David was born in Georgia and was 57 years old.
    • The 1940 US Census indicates Frances Ford as divorced, living on Ocean House Road. In 1935 she was at the same house. Frances was born in New York and was 64 years old.
    • The 1930 US Census indicates David, his wife Florence, and two daughters, including 19-year-old Louisa, lived on Ocean House Road.
    • Continued research failed to find any relationship between this Louisa Ford and any nursing experiences.

Looking at alternative Leona Fords, I would expect this Leona to be born between 1910 and 1920 and unmarried in 1930.

    • The 1930 US Census indicates there were eight individuals named Leone Ford enumerated:
      • Leone G Ford, born c. 1917, Hancock, Maine (see above).
      • Leone B Ford, born c. 1902 – Married.
      • Leone Ford, born c. 1916 in Wisconsin, sister of Ann Ford – Possible.
      • Leone Ford, born c. 1928 in Utah, was too young.
      • Leone A. Ford, born c. 1905 – Married.
      • Leone Ford, born c. 1895 – Married.
      • Leone F. Ford, born c. 1912 in Colorado – Possible.
      • Leone Ford, born 1910 in Michigan – Possible.
    • Although there are four possible Leone Fords, none seem to be likely candidates for the Leone ford in this photo.

Not Identified.

Lena Gertrude Foster & child, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Herbert Foster, 47 Pitt St, Portland #850.

Lena Gertrude Foster & child, circa 1936.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1934 Portland City Directory shows Foster, Herbert St C (Lena) clerk at 93 Kennebec; home at 47 Pitt.
  • The 1940 Portland City Directory shows Foster, Herbert StC (Lena G) manager, moved to Cumberland Center.
  • The 1940 US Census shows Herbert S. [St. Clair] Foster (age 37), his wife Lena (Age 38), and three children living in Cumberland Center. Herbert Junior is ten, Ruth A is six, and Jane K is four.
  • Based upon the photo number (#850), this photo was likely taken about 1935 or 1936. Herbert Jr. would have been too old to be the child in this photo. Ruth Alison Foster was born on 16 January 1934. Jane K. Foster was born about 1936, so I believe the baby to be Jane K. Foster and the woman to be Lena Gertrude (Voorhees). Foster (age 35).

Family Search identifies Lena Gertrude Voorhees, who married Herbert S. Foster as ID GMGT-59K. I am sure this is her about 1936. I believe the baby to be Jane, although I am not certain beyond the shadow of a doubt, as the child may be Ruth. Lena appears in 28 public trees on Ancestry.

I have uploaded a photo of Lena with a child to Lena’s Family Search Memories.

This photo was verified by a sister of Jane Foster to be Jane.


  • I fully identified three individuals, so I posted two of their photos to Family Search
  • Although I have the name of one individual, I could not determine exactly who the person is by confirming occupation.
  • One photo was not identifiable due to a lack of first name, address, or other identifying information.

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 lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

3 thoughts on “Ethel Wight Collection – Part 42”

  1. The photo of Lena Foster is of my aunt. Her sister Ruth Voorhees Brown was my mother. Not sure if the baby is cousin Ruth or Jane. Hopeful you will hear from other Foster family members on Ancestry.

  2. Lena Gertrude Foster is the grandmother of my son in law. His mother is still alive in Greensboro, NC and they return to Maine periodically to visit family. I sent the link to the family and they think that that is Lena and either their mother Ruth, their uncle Herbert (who recently died of COVID) or their aunt Jane.

    1. I verified that the baby in the picture is Jane K Foster who was born in 1935. Ruth Foster (now Lowell) has another picture taken at the same sitting. I have added both photographs to my Ancestry files.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.