Photo Friday – Merrill, Murray, Murphy, & Musklin

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 93

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.


Dr. Thomas Murray, circa 1934.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Dr. Murray, 548 ½ Congress St. #25.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Dr. Thomas Murray, circa 1934.

    The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Thomas W Murray as a dentist at 548½ Congress St, Rm h living at 85 Emery with his wife Mary B. The directory also indicates he was the only Murray in the Dentist and Physician listings.

  • World War I Draft Registration Cards indicate Thomas William Murray was born on 27 April 1885.

I’m confident this photo is of Dr. Thomas Murray, Dentist, about 1934 when he was about 49 years old.

Ancestry has two public trees that refer to Thomas William Murray. Family Search has profile KLHS-B3Q for Thomas W. Murray. I have uploaded two photos of him to his Family Search Memories.

Helen Merrill, Nursing Student, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Helen Merrill, St. Barnabas Hospital #661.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Helen Merrill, Nursing Student, circa 1935.

    The 1939 Portland City Directory lists Helen H Merrill as a nurse at 93 Pine.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Helen Hastings Merrill, a 25-year-old nurse at Hart Street Beth Moses Hospital. In 1935 she was living in Portland, Maine.

I am confident this photo is of Helen Hastings Merrill, born 1 May 1914 in Portland, Maine, when she was a student at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Ancestry has three public trees that refer to Helen Hastings Merrill. Family Search has profile LRQN-RYS for Helen H Merrill. I have uploaded two photos of Helen to her Family Search Memories. I also uploaded one additional photo of Helen to my Flickr Photostream.

Rose Musklin, Nursing Student, circa 1934.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Rose Musklin, State St Hospital #261.”

What I’ve discovered:

  • Rose Musklin, Nursing Student, circa 1934

    The 1936 and 1937 Portland City Directories list Rose Musklin as a student nurse living at 62 State (State Street Hospital).

  • Further research failed to find any more information about Rose.

I have confirmed the name as Rose Musklin; I have found no other information regarding this individual.

I have not found Rose in Ancestry trees nor on Family Search. Consequently, I uploaded her photo to Dead Fred. I have also uploaded a second photo of Rose to my Flickr Photostream.

Beatrice Murphy & Child, circa 1943.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. E. C. Murphy, West Wareham, Mass – 1943.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Beatrice Murphy & Child, circa 1943.

    World War II Draft Cards include Edward Courtney Murphy, who lived in Rochester, Plymouth Co., Mass, but his mailing address was West Wareham, RFD. He was born in Boothbay, Maine, on 21 July 1899. His wife was Beatrice Murphy.

  • Ancestry Trees indicated that Edward Courtney Murphy’s wife was Beatrice Wooden (1905-1953). One of the Ancestry family trees includes the same photo I have with the label, “Beatrice Mitchell Wooden Murphy holding Lynn claire, 1944, Rochester, MA.”

This photo shows Beatrice (Wooden) Murphy, born on 15 June 1905, in 1943, with her child Lynn.

Ancestry has ten public trees that refer to Beatrice Wooden. Family Search has profile K45X-86F for Beatrice Woodin, wife of Lt Edward Courtney Murphy. I have uploaded two photos of Beatrice with her daughter to her Family Search Memories. 

Carolyn Anne Murphy, circa 1933 (age 5).

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Alma Murphy, 65 Grant St #196.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Carolyn Anne Murphy, circa 1933 (age 5).

    The 1934 Portland City Directory indicates that Ulysses G Edgecomb and Frank M Good lived at 65 Grant. There is not an Alma Murphy listed in the 1934 Directory.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory indicates that Mrs. Alma E Murphy married Charles J Connell. The 1935 directory also shows that Charles and Alma lived at 273 State, apt 1.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Charles and Alma Connell living in Jersey City, New Jersey. It also indicates that they lived in Portland, Maine, in 1935. With them are a 13-year-old son, Ronald, and an 11-year-old daughter, Caroline.
  • Ancestry Family trees suggest that Alma Erskine McLellan married Ronald Charles Murphy in 1925 and had a daughter, Carolyn Ann Murphy, in 1929. Alma then married Charles J Connell in 1934.

I am confident this photo is of Carolyn Ann Murphy, born on 6 February 1929 in Augusta, Maine, about 1934, when she was about five years old.

Ancestry has 11 public trees that refer to Carolyn Ann Murphy. Family Search has profile G36S-PBN for Carolyn Anne Murphy. I have uploaded a photo of Carolyn to her Family Search Memories.


Conclusion

  • I fully identified all five Four of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories
  • One individual did not have a Family Search profile and did not appear in any Ancestry trees. I uploaded a photo of her to Dead Fred and a second photo of her to my Flickr Photostream

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, and Flickr have a higher image quality than the images linked here.

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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