Ethel Wight Collection – Part 114

Photo Friday –Peacock, Peckham, & Pelletier.

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 typically contain the name of the person 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.


Beatrice Peacock, Nurse, circa 1935.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Beatrice Peacock, ME Eye & Ear Infirmary #870.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Photo of Beatrice Peacock, Nurse, circa 1935.
Nurse Beatrice Peacock,
circa 1935.
  • 1934, ‘35, or ‘36 Portland City Directories do not list a Beatrice Peacock.
  • The 1935 Augusta City Directory lists Beatrice Peacock, a nurse, residing with W C Peacock. Walter C (Louise) Peacock is a shoemaker in Gardiner, whose home is on Closson, c[orner] B.

I am comfortable that this photo is of Beatrice Louise/Lavonnie Peacock, born 7 Mar 1915 in Gardiner, the daughter of Charles Walter & Louise Elinor (Edwards) Peacock.

Ancestry has 11 public trees that refer to Beatrice Lavonnie Peacock. Family Search has profile GJCX-LCK for Beatrice Louise Peacock. I have uploaded this photo of Beatrice to her Family Search Memories.


Mr. & Mrs. Peckham & Family.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. & Mrs. Peckham & Family – Oct 1944.”

I don’t know if the photo was from October 1944 or if the reprints were ordered in October 1944. The negative set shows four people:

Photo of the Peckham Family.
The Peckham Family
  • A man about 60
  • A woman in her 50s
  • A woman of about 20
  • A boy of about 10

I assume the photo was taken sometime before October 1944, but probably after the 1940 Census. Without a first name for any of the people in these photos, it is difficult to identify who they are. I did some research and found the following:

  • A review of the 1940 US Census indicates a Peckam family is living in Portland. Earl and Vena Peckam, with a 16-year-old son, Robert, and a 13-year-old son, Paul. This profile doesn’t fit the photographed family.
  • A further review of Peckham families throughout Maine in the 1940 Census failed to find any Peckham families with the correct family make-up.

Although I am sure this photo is of the Peckham family, I failed to identify who is in the photo. I have one image here, and I uploaded three more pictures of the Peckham family to my Flickr Photostream.


Vital “Duke” Pelletier, circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. Duke Pellletier, 457 Congress St #1089.”

Photo of Vital "Duke" Pellletier, circa 1936.
Vital “Duke” Pellletier, circa 1936.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • A quick search of Ancestry yielded a Vital “Duke” Pelletier, born 20 Mar 1910 in Saint Agatha, Aroostook County, to Fortunat Alfred and Jeanne Mary (Chasse) Pelletier.
  • The 1940 Census places Vital in Portland in both 1940 and 1935. The 1935 Portland City Directory shows Vital F Pelletier living at 10a Brown, a lodging house run by Mrs. Harriet Partridge.
  • Several Ancestry Trees include a photo of Vital J Pelletier (1910-2002), which is clearly the same person as is in this photo.

This photo is undoubtedly Vital from 1936 when he was about 26 years old.

Ancestry has 31 public trees that refer to Vital J Pelletier, the son of Fortunat Alfred and Jeanne Mary (Chassé) Pelletier. Family Search has profile GMTS-K4V for Vital Pelletier. I have uploaded a photo of Vital to his Family Search Memories. I also uploaded two more photos of “Duke” to my Flickr Photostream.


Vital “Duke” Pelletier & unknown woman, circa 1934.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. Duke Pelletier, Preble St, Apt 30A #347.”

Based upon the photo package ID (#347), this photo was taken about 1934. It appears to be the same man—Vital “Duke” Pelletier—as in package ID #1089 a couple of years later. However, who is the woman?

Viewing several Ancestry family trees and Family Search, it doesn’t appear Duke married. So, the identity of the female is not clear. It could be a sister (Mattie), an unknown cousin, or a girlfriend. I suspect she will remain unnamed unless a family member can identify this girl.


Martha/Mattie Pelletier (later Langelier), circa 1934.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Mattie Pelletier, Preble ST – Apt 31 #346 – DSCN4554P.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory indicates that the only complex on Preble Street that would have an apartment 31 was The Wadsworth Apts at 30A Preble Street. The directory lists no one living in apartment 31. In 1934, Murray Hackenberg rented the apartment.
  • The 1930 Census lists four individuals named Mattie Peletier in Maine.
    • The 46-year-old wife of Raymond Pelletier in Fort Kent, Aroostook County.
    • The 47-year-old wife of Theophile Pelletier in St. Francis, Aroostook County.
    • The 48-year-old wife of Ed Pelletier in Portage Lake, Aroostook County.
    • The 16-year-old daughter of Marie Pelletier in Lewiston. They lived on Ash Street, and Mattie worked in a cotton mill. It also indicates that she and her parents were born in Maine. In the family are sisters Annie, Puleime, and Ida.
  • The 1920 Census found the Telesphore & Marie Pelletier family living on Cleveland Road, St. Agatha, Aroostook County. Mattie is listed as Martha and has sisters, Annie, Feliene, and Ida.

This photo was taken the same day as the above 1934 photo of “Duke” Pelletier. Additionally, Duke had a sister, Martha/Mattie. Ancestry Family Trees suggest two Martha/Mattie Pelletiers, born in 1913 in St. Agatha. Duke and Martha are listed at the same address in 1934, albeit in different apartments. As such, I suspect they are related, but I’m not convinced which Mattie/Marthe/Martha this is for certain.

I suspect this photo is of Marthe/Martha Delina Pelletier, born 7 December 1914 in St Agatha, Aroostook County, the daughter Telesphore and Marie (Bois) Pelletier. Marthe married Raoul Langelier on 4 August 1934, and this photo was likely taken just before the wedding. However, I am not convinced. There appear to be several conflicting photos and families, all from Aroostook County in the early 1900s.

Ancestry has 25 public trees that refer to Marthe Delina Pelletier. Family Search has profile G3VR-6YV for Mattie Delina Pelletier, born 7 Dec 1914, and the daughter of Telesphore and Marie (Bois) Pelletier. She married Raoul Emile Langelier on 4 August 1914.


Conclusion

  • I fully identified two individuals with Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories.
  • I identified one individual but am not confident this is who I think it is. So I posted her image to my Flickr Photostream.
  • I failed to identify five individuals by name. I also uploaded those photos 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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Jury Frees Grandpa Brown

Grandpa Brown In the News

90 Years Ago Today
By Don Taylor

I’m sure Grandpa Brown was worried and concerned about what the Grand Jury would find. It must have been a scary ten weeks between his being bound to the Grand Jury and their meeting. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year surely were difficult. His next appearance in the paper put him back on Page 1.


Jury Frees Brown in
Thompson Death Trial

Article about Clifford Brown being, "Not criminally liable" for death of Irwin Thompson.

Brainerd Daily Dispatch – Jan 12, 1933 – page 1.
Thanks to Newspaper Archive.

Clifford Brown, a Brainerd, was freed of all criminal liability late Wednesday in the death of Irwin Thompson which resulted from a fight at Little Pine resort during the early morning hours of Sunday, October 16, 1932. Brown had been at liberty on bail since he was taken into custody on the day following the fight and after a coroner’s jury held him to the grand jury. Court convened in Walker on Monday of this week and Brown case was presented Wednesday morning. The jury arrived at the verdict of not criminally liable after listening to the testimony of several witnesses.


I knew that Grandpa Brown was arrested for manslaughter. Not until I found this article did I learn that he had the charge dropped. He won’t be quite so lucky the next time he is arrested.

 

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Donna – Jefferson Theatre, Auburn, New York

100 Years ago – 8 January 1923.

“Donna 100 years ago” reviews my grandmother’s vaudeville life. Madonna Montran, aka “Donna Montran” & “Donna Darling,” had an exciting career during the 1920s. A definite headliner, she crisscrossed the country with her many shows.

From the Advertiser Journal (Auburn, NY) dated 6 January 1923.

The Advertiser-Journal (Auburn, N.Y.)
January 06, 1923, Page 10.

The headliner will be presented by Donna Darling and Company, with Jack Finney and Mary [sic] Walker happily cast, presenting a song and dance revue of the better sort. They call the revue “A Song and Dance Romance” and one descriptive phrase is that it is a “dazzling dance phantasy.” Donna Darling and her partners have dressed the act sumptuously and introduce a number of novelty dances that have been winning success for the offering over the Keith Circuit. It is the kind of an act that vaudeville goers particularly enjoy, and will make a headline number of the most attractive sort.

Auburn had several theaters in the 1920s.

  • The Auditorium Theater seated 2,600 people and played legitimate attractions,
  • Burtis Grand Opera House, seated 1,000
  • B. F. Keith’s Jefferson Theatre, managed by J. J. Breslin, seated 1,500
  • Morgans, seated 1,000
  • Universal, seated 980.

New Jefferson Theater

The New Jefferson Theatre opened in 1908. It continued to operate until after 1950 and demolished sometime later.[i]

Jefferson Theatre, State Street, Auburn, NY,
Photo courtesy Auburn Cinefile Society.

Specifications for the New Jefferson Theatre[ii]

Seating:

  • Ground Floor: 573
  • Balcony: 430
  • Gallery: 600
  • Boxes: 25

Stage:

  • Proscenium opening: 35×32 ft
  • Front to back wall: 38 ft
  • Between side walls: 63 ft
  • Apron: 2 ft
  • Between fly girders: 49 ft
  • To rigging loft: 57 ft
  • To fly gallery: 50½ ft
  • 20 Dressing rooms

Newspapers [iii]

  • “Advertiser” PM ex Sun – circulation 3,000
  • “News” Fri cir. 2,418
  • “Citizen” PM ex Sun – cir. 4,750

Endnotes

[1] Cinema Treasures – Jefferson Theater – 61 State Street, Auburn, NY 13021. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/18949
[2] The Cahn-Lighton Theatrical Guide – 1914.
[3] Ibid.

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Don Taylor Genealogy – 2022 Year in Review

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

The primary purpose of my blog is to help me understand my genealogical findings. It is like a diary or journal that I use to focus on what I know. It helps me to stay focused and not to become distracted. As time has passed, it has become more and more of a vehicle for me to share what I’ve learned and worked on. I think both are important.

My big project is my “Photo Friday” series using negative images from the Ethel Wight Collection. I was given access to and was able to photograph the negatives. I edit them to make positives, and then, using my genealogical skills, I identify the individuals in the photos and share them with likely family members.

Only one of my genealogy groups has begun meeting in person again. I look forward to eliminating Covid-19 protocols and returning to regular meetings. I miss my genealogy friends; Zoom meetings are not the same.

2020 Website Statistics.

I wrote 167 posts during the year, up from 21 in 2021.  My goal was to post, at a minimum, once every three days, so I made my goal.

I rose from 506 subscribers in 2021 to 589 in 2022. If you do not subscribe to dontaylorgenealogy.com, please do so. You can do so by email on the website, via WordPress, or via Social Media (Facebook & Twitter).

Referrals to my site are, as I would expect, from various search engines. Google is, by far, the most significant referrer. Bing is a distant second, and the third was DuckDuckGo. Facebook is the biggest non-search engine referrer, followed by Ancestry.Com and WordPress Dashboard.  My old Blogspot site still referred individuals 19 times, so I guess I still can’t delete it.

My Top Five Postings for 2022

My number one most-read post during 2022 has been #1 for seven years in a row. “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people love reading rants.

Numbers two through five were:

  1. Schools I’ve Attended – Jordan Jr. High
  2. Memories – Kid Shows and Poker with Grandma.
  3. Blackhurst a rare name in my family tree.
  4. OMG – Another Half-Sibling

Next Year – 2023

I’m not sure where I want my genealogical activities will take me in 2023. Indeed, my Ethel Wight Photo Identification Project will be a constant source of work. I have done 113 installments of it. I expect to have about 40 more installments, so I should complete them this year. I’m also doing several projects that include Maine ancestors, keeping me busy.

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Payer (née Le Gassey), Payne, & Payson.

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 typically contain the name 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.


Adelia Payer (née LeGassey), circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. James Payer, 238 Danforth St #383.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Photo of Adelia Payer (née LeGassey), circa 1935.
Adelia Payer (née LeGassey), circa 1935.
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists James E and Adelia A Payer living at 238 Danforth.
  • The 1940 US Census places James E and Delia A Payer living at 9 Wescott, Portland. James is 39 years old and was born in New Hampshire.

I am confident this is Adelia Agnes Lagasse, born about 5 January 1900 in Richmond, Maine. She married James A Payer Adelia A “Delia” Legasse Payer on 5 Jan 1933. His parents were Joseph and Adelle (Lessor) Le Gassey.

Ancestry has 28 public trees that refer to Adelia A LaGasse, (1900-1981). Family Search has profile MWN8-PM4 for Adelia Agnes Legassey (1900-1981). I uploaded this photo of Adelia to her Family Search Memories.


James E Payer, circa 1934.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. James Payer, 14 Winter St #274.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Photo of James E Payer, circa 1934.
James E Payer, circa 1934.
  • The 1934 Portland City Directory lists James E Payer, a seaman on the USLHS Ilex residing at 14 Winter with his wife Adelia A. The US Light House Service (USLHS) Ilex was a buoy/lighthouse tender.
  • The 1940 US Census places James E and Delia A Payer living at 9 Wescott, Portland. James is 39 years old and was born in New Hampshire.

I am confident this is James E Payer, born about 1901 in New Hampshire. He married Adelia A “Delia” Legasse Payer on 5 Jan 1933. His parents were Charles and Laura (Alexander) Payer.

Ancestry has 13 public trees that refer to James E Payer (1901-1959). Family Search has profile MCFB-BG6 for _James E Payer (1900-1959). I uploaded one photos of James to his Family Search Memories.


Donald, Betty, and Winston Payne circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Frank W Payne, 150 Percival St, #860.”

Why I believe this to be these individuals.

Photo of Donald, Betty, and Winston Payne circa 1935.
Donald, Betty, & Winston Payne circa 1935.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Frank W and A Elizabeth Payne living at 150 Percival.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Frank W, A Elizabeth and their Children, Betty A and F Winston Jr living at 150 Percival. Betty is 14 and F Winston is nine.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest that Frank Winston and Alice “Elizabeth” (Davis) Payne had three children.
    • Donald born 1 April 1925.
    • Betty Marilyn (A) born about 1926 in Somerville, Mass.
    • F. Winston Payne, Jr., born 6 March 1931.

I am confident this photo, which was taken about 1935, is of Donald (11), Betty (10), and Winston (4) Payne.

Ancestry has seven public trees that refer to Donald Davis Payne; one tree refers to Betty Marilyn Payne, and  15 trees refer to Frank Winston Payne. Family Search has profile LLMC-8P4 for Donald Davis Payne, profile LLMC-8B9 for Betty Marilyn Payne, and profile LLMC-D7N for F. Winston Payne, Jr. I have uploaded a photo of them to their Family Search Memories.

Confirmed to be Donald Davis Payne by a daughter.
Confirmed to be F Winston Pane by a daugher.
Confirmed to be Betty Payne by a niece.


Shirley Payson, Nurse, circa 1935.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Shirley Payson, Me Gen Hospital #524.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Photo of Shirley Payson circa 1935.
Shirley Payson circa 1935.
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Shirley Payson as a student nurse at 22 Arsenal (Maine General Hospital).
  • The 1939 Portland City Directory lists that Shirley Payson, a nurse, married Norman W Kimball.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Norway W Kimball and his 25-year-old wife, Shirley, living at 17 Hill. Shirley is a Registered Nurse who was born in Maine. Her mother, Bertha Payson is also living with them.

I am quite certain these photos are of Shirley Elizabeth Payson, born 1 April 1915 in Warren, Knox County, Maine, to Virgil Taylor and Bertha (Oxton) Payson.

Ancestry has 23 public trees that refer to Shirley Elizabeth Payson (1915-1977). Family Search has profile L2P8-K63 for Shirley E Payson (1915-1977). I uploaded two photos of Shirley to her Family Search Memories.


Walter & Judith Payson circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. W. Mayo Payson, 43 Sheffield St #1023.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Photo of Walter & Judith Payson circa 1936.
Walter & Judith Payson circa 1936.
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists W Mayo and Alma R Payson living at 43 Sheffield.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Walter Mayo and Alma Payson living at 43 Shaffield Street. With them are children, Walter age 6 and Judith, age 4.

I am confident this photo, taken about 1936, is of Walter when he was about three and Judith about one.

I have not found Walter (Jr.?) in any Ancestry trees. However, his sister Judith L Payson (later Baker) appears in four Ancestry Public Trees. She was born 4 May 1935.

Family Search does not appear to have a profile for either Walter or Judith Payson, so I uploaded this photo of them photo to Dead Fred.


Conclusion

  • I fully identified all eight individuals. Six of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories
  • I identified one individual that did not have a Family Search profile but did appear in Ancestry trees, so I posted her image to Dead Fred, her brother did not appear in Ancestry trees, so his image is also posted 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.


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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