Photo Friday – Walsh, Wark, Waterman, Watkins, & Watson

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 96

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for Photo Friday, I identified the people in four 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.

 James F Walsh, circa 1936 (age 6)

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Philip Walsh, 24 Maplewood St. #809.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • James F Walsh, circa 1936 (age 6)

    The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Philip E and Dola I Walsh living at 24 Maplewood.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Philip E and Dola I Walsh living in Portland with their 10-year-old son James F Walsh.
  • The 1930 US Census lists zero-year-old James F Walsh living with his parents and grandparents, Francis B & Lillian E Gallant.

I have not found James Walsh, the son of Philip E and Dola I (Gallant) Walsh, in Ancestry trees or Family Search. However, I have found his parents on Ancestry. His mother, Dola I (Gallant) Walsh (1902-1972), is found in 5 public trees. She is also Family Search ID KCC1-84K, the daughter of Francis B and Lillian (Stubbs) Gallant. I uploaded James’ photo to Dead Fred.

Phyllis Wark, Nurse, circa 1935

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Phyllis Wark, ME Gen Hospital #740.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Phyllis Wark, Nurse, circa 1935

    The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Phyllis Wark as a student nurse at 22 Arsonal (Maine General Hospital).

  • The 1940 US Census lists Phyllis Wark, a 23-year-old nurse at the Brooklyn Hospital Nurses’ Home in New York, Kings County, New York. She lived in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, in 1935 and was born in Maine.
  • The Portland (Maine) Sunday Telegram and Sunday Press Herald, for 15 August 1948, in Section C, Page 2, the paper reports Phyllis Wark, RN, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. B. E. Wark of Caribou, married Harry E. Graves.

This photo is of Phyllis Wark, Nurse, circa 1935.

Ancestry has five public trees that refer to Phyllis Wark. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Phyllis N Wark, daughter of Benjamin E and Louise _McDougall) Wark. So, I have uploaded her photo to Dead Fred.

Waterman family photos.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Waterman 1946.”

What I researched:

  • Probably Mrs. Waterman

    This photo set is unusual for this collection because Ethel Wight did not take the photos; instead, they were marked “Copy & Enlarge.” The photo set includes three people, a man about 30, a woman about 30, and a child about two to three years old.

  • The 1947 Portland City Directory lists ten women as “Mrs. Waterman.”
    • Victoria E, wife of Albert W. (of South Portland)
      • Victoria appears to be 48 years old.
      • There is an Albert W and his wife Ruth B living in South Portland. They have a son, age 15.
    • Barbara, wife of Alfred, 9 Salem
      • Barbara and Alfred are found in the 1950 census living in South Portland. Alfred is 27, Barbara 26, and their two sons are two and ?.
    • Probably Mr. Waterman

      Ella H, wife of Charles (retired) (of South Portland)

      • Charles and Ella Waterman appear living in Pinellas, Florida, during the 1950 Census. They are 72 and 70.
    • Leonora, wife of Donald H (of Gorham)
      • A Dolan H and Leonora L Waterman lived in Buxton during the 1950 Census. They had three daughters, Laverne, 19; Dorothy, 12; and Diana, 4.
    • Bella A, wife of Ellis E, 58 Deerfield Rd.
      • The 1950 Census indicates Bella was 67 years old.
    • Betty, wife of Fred W (Cape Elizabeth)
      • The 1950 Census lists Fred W and Bridget living in Cape Elizabeth. Fred is 57, and Bridget is 54. They have no children living with them.
    • Probably Baby Waterman

      Mayme, wife of Louis, 158 North

      • The 1950 Census indicates that Louis was 71 years old.
    • Esther L, wife of Maurice O, 63 Brentwood
      • The 1950 Census indicates Esther was 47 years old, and her sons were 20 and 18, too old to be the child in these photos,
    • May O, widow of Charles W, 367 Stevens ave.
      • The 1950 Census indicates May was 77 years old.
    • Lunetti, wife of Verdell E, (of Gorham)
      • Lunnette and Verdell appear to be 52 and 61 years old, living in Gorham during the 1950 Census.
    • None of these Waterman families appear to contain three people, a man about 30, a woman about 30, and a child about two to three years old in 1946 or slightly earlier.
    • It is possible that one of Mrs. Waterman ordered the photos of her son, daughter, and grandchild.

In any event, I cannot determine who the individuals in these photos are. As such, I am posting them here and on my Flickr Photostream.

Probably Mr. Waterman, Mrs. Waterman, and a Waterman child.

Fred Watkins.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. Fred Watkins, 827 Stevens Ave #464.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Fred Watkins

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Fred O Watkins as a traveling salesman residing at 827 Stevens, Ave.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Fred O Watkins, a 50-year-old widower residing at 278 Woodfords in Portland. He was born in New Hampshire.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest this is Fred Oliver Watkins, born in Milford, New Hampshire. His wife, Ida (Gaffron), died in 1934. He was the son of Eli and Sarah (Barrett) Watkins.

I believe this photo is of Fred Watkins. The negative was damaged, and the image has cropped.

Ancestry has nine public trees that refer to Fred O Watkins. Family Search has profile G3DM-74Z for Fred Oliver Watkins. I have uploaded a photo of him to his Family Search Memories. 

Richard George Watson, circa 1936 (age 2½)

This negative envelope says, “Miss Helen Watson, 3 Danforth St. #1143.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Richard George Watson, circa 1936 (age 2½)

    The 1930 US Census lists George H and Hanna Watson living at 5 Danforth St, with their 12-year-old daughter, Helen.

  • Maine Birth Records indicate that Helen Watson, daughter of George and Hannah Watson, was born on 3 October 1917 in Portland, Cumberland, Maine.
  • Maine Marriages indicate that Helen married John Stephen Lacey on 1 June 1939.
  • The 1940 Census indicates that Helen and John had one child in their household, John S. Lacey, Jr., who was three months old.
  • This photo was taken about 1936 before the Ethel Wight Studio in Portland closed. In 1936, Helen’s brother, Richard, was married to Helen Cunniff Watson. They had two boys, Richard George, born on 25 December 1933, and Donald Thomas, born on 10 May 1935. The child in the photo appears to be too old to be Donald, so I believe this to be Richard, age 2½ or so.

I believe this to be Richard George Watson, circa 1936. I also think that Ethel either mislabeled the photo envelope with “Miss Helen Watson” instead of Mrs. Helen Watson or that Helen’s sister-in-law, also Helen Watson, took the child to the photo studio for the photo shoot.

Ancestry has eight public trees that refer to Richard G Watson, son of Richard Henry and Helen T (Cunniff) Watson. Family Search has profile LTQP-7PD for Richard George Watson (1933-1985). I have uploaded the photo of Richard to his Family Search Memories.

Confirmed to be Richard G Watson by an immediate family member.


  • I fully identified four of the seven individuals. Three appear in Ancestry trees, and one has parents in Ancestry trees.
  • Two of the individuals have Family Search profiles. I uploaded their photos to their Family Search Memories. Two individuals did not have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded those photos to Dead Fred.
  • Finally, I failed to identify three of the individuals (the Waterman group). I uploaded those images 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.


[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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