Photo Friday – Michoud, Mercer, Merrigan, Milliken (Née Feeney), Sargent (née Mitchell)

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 90

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 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.

 Hope Mercer, Nurse, circa 1935.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Hope Mercier, Children’s Hospital #796.”

Why I believe it to be this person:

  • Hope Mercer, Nurse, circa 1935.

    The handwriting on the negative envelope is difficult to read. Some people see her surname as Mercieu; I thought it looked more like it might be Mercier. In any event, I could not find either surname in the Portland area in the 1930s.

  • However, this was a Hope M Mercer, who was a nurse at EMGH (Eastern Maine General Hospital) listed in the 1939 Bangor City Directory.
  • Records of Aliens Pre-Examined in Canada, 1904-1954 indicated Hope May Mercer was born in Norton, New Brunswick, Canada, and was 20 years old when she arrived in the United States in 1934. Her mother’s name was Ada I. Mercer; she was a student nurse heading to the Aroostook Hospital. [iii]
  • The 1921 Canadian Census shows Frank and Ada Merson [Merser] living in Norton, Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada, with their 7-year-old daughter, Hope.

I’m confident this is a photo of Hope May Mercer, born about 1934 in Norton, New Brunswick. She was the daughter of Frank (Francis) James and Ada Isabella (Menzie) Mercer.

I have not found Hope May Mercer in Ancestry trees or Family Search. I believe she is the twin of Harry Whitfield Mercer and the daughter of Francis James and Ada Isabella (Menzie) Mercer. However, because she does not have a profile on Family Search, I uploaded a photo of her to Dead Fred. I also uploaded two additional pictures of her to my Flickr photostream. 

Mabel Michaud, Student Nurse, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Mable Michaud, ME Gen Hospital #789.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Mabel Michaud, Student Nurse, circa 1935.

    The 1937 and 1938 Portland City Directories list Mabel Michaud as a nurse at 22 Arsenal (Maine General Hospital).

  • Maine Marriage Index indicates that Mable Michaud married Donald J Webber on 1 November 1939.
  • The 1940 Census lists Donald and Mabel Webber living at 30 Cedar, in Belfast, Waldo County, Maine. Mabel was 24 years old and born in Maine.
  • Ancestry Trees suggest that Mabel M. Michaud was born on 4 April 1916 at Island Falls, Aroostook County, Maine. Her parents were Denis and Lucille (Gendreau) Michaud.

I am confident this is Mabel M Michaud, born 4 April 1916, about 1935.

Ancestry has 51 public trees that refer to Mabel M Michaud. Family Search has profile GSHG-WBQ for Mabel Michaud. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search Memories.

Pauline Merrigan, Circa 1934

This negative envelope says, “Miss Pauline Merrigan, 176 Oxford St #482.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Pauline Merrigan, Circa 1934.

    The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Pauline E Booth, the wife of Arthur A Booth, living at 176 Oxford.

  • The Maine Marriage Index indicates that Pauline E Merrigan married Arthur A Booth on 29 September 1934.
  • Ancestry Trees suggest this is Pauline Eleanor (Merrigan) Booth, born 22 November 1915.

I believe this photo is of Paulene Merrigan, about 1934, just before she married Arthur Booth.

Ancestry has 21 public trees that refer to Pauline Eleanor (Merrigan) Booth.  Family Search has profile LVFG-CPH for Pauline Eleanor Merrigan. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search Memories. 

Gertrude Milliken, (née Feeney) circa 1935

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Perley Milliken, 289 Deering Av – #766.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Gertrude Milliken, (née Feeney) circa 1935

    The 1940 US Census lists Perley Milliken living with his wife Gertrude B Milliken at 287 Deering. Gertrude is 53.

  • Maine Marriage Records include Gertrude B Feeney marrying Perley P Milliken on 17 June 1920. Her parents were John E and Adelaide M (Etchingham) Feeney.

I am confident this is a photo of Gertrude (Feeney) Milliken about 1935 when she was about 49 years old.

Ancestry has two public trees that refer to Gertrude B Feeney, born in November 1886.  Family Search has profile 9V8B-855 for Gertrude Bernice Feeney. I have uploaded two photos of him/her to him/her Family Search Memories.

Dorothy (née Mitchell) & Robert B. Sargent, circa 1941.

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio, Portland, Maine.

This negative envelope says, “Mr. Mitchells Daughter’s Baby – Sept 1941 – Mrs. Robert E Sargent 130 Chatillon Road, Rome, GA.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Dorothy (née Mitchell) & Robert B. Sargent, circa 1941.

    The World War II draft card for Robert Edward Sargent indicates he lived at 130 Chatillon Road, Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. The person who would always know his address was Mrs. M. Ella Sargent, 22 Fountain St., Havehill [Haverhill], Mass. Robert was born on 25 October 1902 in Haverhill.

  • The 1940 US Census lists Robert E Sargent and his wife Dorothy living at 130 Chatillian Road, Riverside, Floyd County, Georgia. Dorothy was 33 and born in Massachusetts. With them is their son, Robert B. Sargent; the baby was 0/12 in age, indicating he was born in March or April 1940.
  • Ancestry Trees suggest Dorothy is Dorothy Mitchell, which confirms the child is Mr. Mitchell’s Daughter’s Baby. Dorothy’s father was Clarence B. Mitchell, and Dorothy was born on 23 September 1906.
Robert B. Sargent, circa 1941.

I am sure this photo is of Dorothy (Mitchell) Sargent in 1941 with her son, Robert.

Dorothy Osgood Mitchell is found in 10 Ancestry public trees; however, her son, Robert B Sargent, is not. Likewise, Family Search has profile L58Z-KY9 for Dorothy Osgood Mitchell but not one for little Robert. One of the photos includes what appears to be a photo of Dorothy with the baby, so I uploaded it to Dorothy’s Family Search Memories. I uploaded a picture of the baby to Dead Fred. I also uploaded another photo of the baby to my Flickr photostream.


  • I fully identified all six Four have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories. Two.
  • Two individuals did not have Family Search profiles and did not appear in any Ancestry trees. I uploaded those photos Dead Fred and 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.

[iii] Records of Aliens Pre-Examined at Saint John, New Brunswick, Prior to Admission at the U.S.-Canada Border, compiled ca. 1917 – ca. 1942. Micro Publication A3450. RG 85. 7 rolls. NAI: 3931198. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. This image is very difficult to read. See