Ethel Wight Collection – Part 105

Photo Friday– Lowell, Nappi, Nason, Navaro, & Neal (née Capstack)

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.

James Nason, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. James Nason, 329 Cumberland ℅ “My Lunch” #624.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • James Nason, circa 1935.

    The 1935 Portland City Directory lists James A Nason as a cook at 39 India.

  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists James Nason and James Nason Jr. living at 9 Chapel. According to the 1936 Portland City Directory, My Lunch was at 390c Cumberland.
  • The 1940 US Census lists James Nason, Sr., as a 71-year-old widowed lodger living in Portland.
  • The 1930 US Census lists James A Nason, the 61-year-old head of household with his 48-year-old Wife, Annie, and 14-year-old son, James living in Limington, York County, Maine.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest James Austin Nason, the son of James Austin and Annie F (Hutchins). Nason was born on 27 October 1915 in Limington, York County, Maine.

I believe this photo is of James Austin Nason, circa 1935, when he was about 20 years old.

Ancestry has 25 public trees that refer to James Austin Nason, born on 27 October 1915. Family Search has profile L256-CC3 for James Austin Nason. I uploaded one photo of James to his Family Search Memories

Mary Nason, circa 1935.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Mary Nason, 290 Baxter Boulevard, #826.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Mary Nason, circa 1935.

    The 1934 Portland City Directory has Mrs. Mary Nason (wife of Paul A Nason) living at 11 Hancock. However, the 1934 Portland City Directory does have a Mrs. Mary A McCandless living at 290 Baxter Blvd, Apt E 1.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory still has Mary and Paul Nason living at 11 Hancock and Mary McCandless at 290 Baxter.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory still has Mary and Paul Nason living at 11 Hancock. Mary McCandless is no longer at 290 Baxter; instead, William L Baldwin is in Apt E 1.
  • The 1930 US Census has no Miss Mary Nason listed in Cumberland County. There are 13 listed in Maine.
    • Marie K Nason, age 36, wife of Albert.
    • Mary E Nason, age 17, servant, Wiles family of Palmyra, Somerset County.*
    • Mary E Nason, age 59, married but housekeeper for Frank J. Graffam
    • Mary E Nason, age 61.
    • Mary E Nason, age 79.
    • Mary F Nason, age 39, wife of Fred W Nason.
    • Mary F Nason, age 5, Saco, Maine
    • Mary H Nason, Age 52.
    • Mary Lord Nason, age 65.
    • Mary Nason, age 54.
    • Mary Nason, age 57, wife of Norriss Nason.
    • Mary S Nason, age 88.
  • The Maine Marriage Index indicates that Mary H Nason married Maurice E Cobb on 31 Dec 1936. Both lived in Portland, Maine. The 1930 US Census lists the 19-year-old as Helen M Nason.
  • Mary Helen Nason was born on 2 April 1911 in Maine and lived in Portland from before 1930 until after 1948.

I believe this is likely Mary Helen Nason, who later married Maurice Cobb in 1936.

Ancestry has 17 public trees that refer to Mary Helen Nason. Family Search has profile GWY8-XX1 for Mary Helen Nason. Because I am not 100% certain of this identification, I only uploaded the photo of Mary Nason to Dead Fred. 

A granddaughter of Mary Helen Nason indicates that this is not a photo of her grandmother, “They don’t look at all similar.”

Further research is needed to determine which Mary Nason this is. 

Jessie Navarro, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Jessie Navarro, 4 Congress Place, #896.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Jessie Navarro, circa 1935.

    The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Carmine and his wife, Jessie E. Navarro, living at 4 Congress Place.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Carmon and Jessie Navarro Living in Chatham, Columbia, New York. However, in 1935 they lived in Portland, Maine. Carmon is 47 and was born in Italy; Jessie is 29 and was born in Ohio.
  • US World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, identifies Carmine Sabasteano Navarra, born 6/21/1892. Jessie Navarro will always know his address om Chatham, New York.

I am sure this photo is of Jessie Navarro/Navarra about 1935, when she and Carmine lived in Portland, Maine. I have been unsuccessful in finding Jessie’s birth surname.

I have not found Jessie Navarro/Navarra born, who was born in Ohio about 1911, in Ancestry trees or on Family Search. Carmine Navarra/Navarro was born 6/21/1892
I uploaded a photo of Jessie photo to Dead Fred.

Joan Nappi & Donald Lowell, circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. M J Nappi, 195 Pearl St #1003.”

Why I believe this to be these individuals.

  • Joan Nappi & Donald Lowell, circa 1936.

    The 1937 Portland City directory lists Michael J and Georgia Nappi living at 175 Pearl.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Michael and Georgia Nappi living in Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York. Living with them is his six-year-old stepson, Donald Lowell.
  • Ancestry Trees suggest Michael Joseph Nappi had a daughter, Joan Josephine Nappi, with Lydia Josephine Zezotarski on 3 September 1930 in Portland, Maine. In 1940, she lived with her aunt and uncle Antonio and Antoinette Scala at 28 Dalton Street, Portland, Maine.
  • Ancestry Trees also suggest that Georgia Mae Nappi (née Gregory) had been married to Ernest W Lowell. They had a son, Donald William Lowell, on 21 November 1933.

I am sure these photos are of Joan Josephine Nappi (b. 3 Sep 1930) and her step-brother, Donald Lowell, about 1936, before Michael, Georgia, and Donald moved to New York.

Ancestry has one public tree that refers to Joan Josephine Nappi and six public trees that refer to Donald William Lowell. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Joan Josephine Nappi. However, Family Search does have profile GQDW-FPZ for Donald William Lowell (1933-1994). I have uploaded one photo of the two of them to Donald’s Family Search Memories and a different picture of them to Dead Fred.

Ruth Neal (née Capstack), circa 1934.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Arthur Neal, Wilmington, DE, 433 Geddes St #450.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Ruth Neal (née Capstack), circa 1934.

    The 1940 US Census Lists Arthur M. Neal living at 433 Geddes, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware. Arthur is 37 years old and was born in Massachusetts. Living with him is his 33-year-old wife, Ruth C, who was born in Ohio. Also living with them is Arthur’s sister-in-law, Betty J Capstock.

  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest that the woman is Ruth Evelyn Capstack, born on 24 September 1906, married Arthur Morrison Neal on 11 May 1929, and died on 8 August 1961.

I believe this is Ruth Evelyn Neal (née Capstack) circa 1934.

Ancestry has six public trees that refer to Ruth Evelyn Capstack.    Family Search has profile LRH7-6J3 for Ruth Evelyn Capstack. I have uploaded two photos of Ruth to her Family Search Memories.


  • I fully identified five of the six individuals. 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 but did appear in Ancestry trees, so I posted her image to Dead Fred.
  • One individual did not have a Family Search profile and did not appear in any Ancestry trees. I uploaded her image to Dead Fred.

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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