Thomas and Alma Henniger, circa 1940s.

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 155a
Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

As I get close to the end of my examination of the Ethel Wight Collection[i]., I’ve decided to examine each photo package/envelope in a separate article. I will keep five IDs in each part but add a letter so there will be an “a” to “e” added to the part number. I will continue using this format in future collections (I have several to work on). Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.

Thomas and Alma Henniger, circa 1940s.


This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio, Portland, Maine. The negative envelope says, “Mr. & Mrs. Hennegun – 1945.” The three images appear to be of 2 adults in their 60s or 70s. The package writing is typical of photo reproductions rather than original photos taken at the Studio. As such, the date 1945 is most like the date of the reproduction.

My Analysis

What I learned while examining this photo package:

Photo believed to be of Thomas and Alma Henniger from the early 1940s.
  • After looking at the Portland City Directories for people whose surname begins with “Henn.” I’ve concluded that the surname written here is “Hennigar.”
  • The 1938 Portland Directory lists XXX candidates with the surname Hennigar:
    • Anna T (widow Oscar W) residing at 261 Elm in South Portland.
    • Frederick B (Margaret E), who lived at 409½ Park av.
    • James E (Helen B) home at 89 Murray
    • Thomas (Alma) 35 Mabel.
  • Anna does not appear in the 1940 US Census. However, the other three are listed:
    • 56-year-old Frederick & 54-year-old Margaret living at 409½ Park Avenue.
    • 54-year-old James with 47-year-old Helen living at 89 Murray.73-year-old Thomas & 69-year-old Alma are living at 35 Mabel
    • .

    Alternate Individuals.

    The couple in the photo appear to be in their sixties or seventies, leaving all but Thomas and Alma old enough to be the couple in these photos.

    According to Zillow, the home at 35 Mabel was built in 1851. Looking at the photos, the house the couple is standing by is a two-story and has a similar feel to the building in the photograph.


    I believe these photos to be of Thomas and Alma Hennigar, taken in the early 1940s and reproduced by Ethel Wight in 1945.

    Ancestry has 52 public trees that refer to Thomas Hennigar, husband of Alma (Ettinger) Hennigar. Alma Ettinger, wife of Thomas Hennigar, appears in 53 Ancestry public trees

    Thomas and Alma have family search profiles; however, I am not 100% confident these photos are of them, so besides this photo, I’ve uploaded all three pictures of this couple only to my Flickr Photostream.

    Final Note

    I would love to hear your reaction if any of these photos are of your family member. 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] 1940; Census Place: Portland, Cumberland, Maine; Roll: m-t0627-01476; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 3-108.

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