Ethel Wight Collection – Part 18

Conley, Connaway, Conroy, Consoli, & Constantine

Photo Friday
Ethel Wight Collection
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 images with family members who may have never seen the photo.

Thomas, Annie, and Philip Conley, c. 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. M. S. Conley, 58 Gray St, Portland, #456.”

The Conley Children, circa 1937

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Michael S (Anna E) Conley residing at 58 Gray.
The 1940 US Census lists Michael (born c. 1905) and his wife Annie E (McArdle) (born c. 1906) still living at 58 Gray Street. With them are five children. One child is too young to have been included in this photo. The other four children are:

  • Thomas Joseph, Age 13 (Born 3 September 1926) (Died 14 June 1996)
  • Annie Elizabeth, Age 12 (Born 4 December 1927) (Died 10 June 1992)
  • Philip James, Age 10 (Born 11 September 1929 – Died 21 January 2008)
  • Katherine, Age 7

A photo numbered 456 is probably from about 1937, which would suggest the youngest child to be about 4, making Philip 7, Annie 9, and Thomas 10. That appears correct.

Family Search had profiles for Michael S. Conley L8TY-1LF and Annie E. McArdle L1DM-3M5; however, they were not linked as a married couple.  I linked them.

I then created profiles for Thomas, Annie, and Philip per above and associated the photo with their profiles.

Jay Hill Connaway (1893-1970) circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Jay Connaway, 602A Congress, Portland, #622.”

Jay Hill Connaway, circa 1936

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Jay H. Connaway as an artist living with his wife Louisa at 15 Willard, South Portland. It also lists Art Associates being at 602a Congress, Room 204.

Jay Hall Connaway is a famous painter who had a studio in Portland sponsored by Bartlett Arkell and Robert Macbeth in 1931. Later in the 1930s, he located to Monhegan Island, where he started the Connaway Art School.[iii] Mr. Connaway was born 27 November 1893 in Liberty, Indiana, and died 18 February 1970. This photo was taken about 1936 when he was about 43 years old.

Family Search identifies Jay H Connaway as ID G9YB-XV9. I am quite sure this is of Jay about 1936. I have uploaded two photos of him to his Family Search profile. I uploaded two additional photos of Jay to my Flickr Photostream.

Mary A. Conroy (1909-___)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Mary Conroy, 108 Newberry St., Portland, #136.”

Mary Conroy circa 1936

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Mary A. Conroy, a clerk working at 594 Congress and residing at 108 Newbury.

The 1940 US Census reports Mary Conroy, the 30-year-old daughter of Christopher and Annie Conroy, living at 92 Federal Street.

Family Search identifies Mary A. Conroy, the daughter of Christopher and Ann (LNU) Conroy, as ID GWQD-S2T. I am quite sure this is her about 1936. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile.

Rita Consoli, circa 1936

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

Rita Consoli

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Rita Consoli, 536 Cumberland Ave., Portland, #403.” The photo appears to be of a woman in her 20s.

I was unable to find Rita Consoli in Portland during the mid-1930s.  A review of the address, 536 Cumberland, found various people[iv] living there during the 1930s, but none had a surname similar to Consoli or Rita’s first name. There was a considerable turnover of the units there, suggesting Rita may well have been there for only a short time.

Alternates

A Filomena Rita Consoli was born 22 May 1905 in Lagonegro, Italy, and immigrated to the United States on 2 August 1926. She is a possible candidate to be the subject of this photo.

A Rita Consoli was born about 1921, who graduated from Wakefield High School (Wakefield, MA) in 1937. The woman in this photo looks considerably older than high school age. She is an unlikely candidate to be the subject of this photo.

The 1930 Census found the 14-year-old Rita Consoli living with her parents, Fred and Josephine Consoli in the Bronx, New York. It also found a 10-year-old Rita Consoli residing with her parents, Samuel and Adeline Consoli, in the Bronx, New York.

I don’t believe either of these is the correct Rita Consoli, so I have added her photo to Dead Fred.  I also uploaded two photos of Rita to my Flicker Photostream.

Unknown Boy – [Child of Anastasia Constantine (?)] c. 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Anastasia Constantine, 453 Cumberland Ave., Portland, #192.”

Constantine (?) Child circa 1937

The 1938 Portland City Directory lists James and his wife Bessie J., living at 453 Cumberland.

The 1940 US Census lists James Constantine and his wife Bessie A. living at 453 Cumberland Ave. It lists no children.

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists James and his wife, Bessie A., living at 256 Danforth.

Likewise, the 1930 US Census lists James Constantine and his wife, Bessie, living in Portland (256 Danforth St.) with no children.

I am not convinced that Bessie’s middle name was Anastasia. Additionally, I can find no evidence that James and Bessie had any children. That leads me to speculate that James may have had a sister-in-law named Anastasia who was visiting James and provided his address. In any event, determining this child’s identity eludes me.

I have added this child’s photo to Dead Fred and posted a second copy to my Flickr stream. I posted another photo of this child to my Flickr Photostream.

Conclusion

I had:

    • Three successful identifications where I could post five profiles on Family Search
    • One probable identification posted to Dead Fred.
    • One non-ident also posted to Dead Fred.

Final Note

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.


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.

[iii] Wikipedia – Jay Hall Connaway – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Hall_Connaway

[iv] Joseph and Amelia Ryan, Beneva Mishoe, Stela Martin, Carl Strout, Charles MacGrath, James Stamos, Mrs. Nellie Harding, Mary Hannigan, and several Grants.

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 12

Dexter, Dixon, Dodge(2), & Doherty

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Photo Friday, I look at identifying more negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The names on the envelope are of the individual who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is important to analyze the photo and information to positively identify the photographs.[ii]

Mrs. G. N. Dexter – 129 Pleasant St., Portland, ME

Copy of Envelope Writing

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio (Portland, ME) collection. The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. G. N. Dexter – 129 Pleasant St., Woodfords #34.” (Woodfords is a neighborhood in Portland, ME.)

Mrs. G. N. Dexter – 129 Pleasant St., Woodfords.

I have been completely unable to identify this individual. The low ID number (34) suggests the photo was taken about 1934. I have not found any individual named G. N. Dexter, nor any Dexter who has the middle name starting with “N.” Likewise, searching for address 129 Pleasant did not reveal anyone with a similar name.

Image posted to Dead Fred.

There were two additional photos of Mrs. G. N. Dexter which I have uploaded to my Flickr Page.

 

Cynthia Alberta (Brimmer) Dodge (1893-1986)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs Ira Dodge – Crosby St, Portland # 768.”

Mrs. Ira Dodge

The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Ira J. Dodge and his wife Cynthis B., living at 28a Crosby.

Cynthia Alberta Brimmer, (born 16 April 1893) married Ira James Dodge in Brewer, Maine on 29 April, 1922. Cynthis was the daughter of George W. and Isabel (Carr) Brimmer.

I’ve posted Cynthia Alberta Brimmer’s photos to her Family Search profile L5Z8-KKW.

Martha Dodge – circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Ira Dodge – Daughter Martha – Crosby St Woodfords #10.”

Martha Dodge – circa 1937

I looked at Mrs. Ira Dodge of Crosby Street (above), so this identification was easy. The 1940 Census indicated she had two children, Patricia and Martha. Martha was 12 years old during the 1940 Census. If this photo was taken about 1936, she would have been about 8 years old, about right for the image.

Martha R Dodge has a profile on Family Search, ID L5Z8-KVL. I have uploaded three of her photos to her Family Search profile.

Wendel Wallace Doherty (1887-1949)

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio (Portland, Maine) Collection. The envelope this negative was in says, “Wendell W. Doherty – 562 Congress St., Room 613 #82.”

Wendell W. Doherty

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Wendell W and Agnes C Doherty was a music teacher at 562 Congress, Room 613 and sec 249 Middle. His home was at 249 High.

The 1940 Federal Census indicates Wendell Doherty of 249 High Street was 53 years old, born in Maine, Married to Agnes C. Doherty, and has two children.

Further research found Wendell Wallace Doherty was born June 21, 1887, in Mechanic Falls, Maine.

Wendall W. Doherty married Agnes Catherine La Rochelle on 27 Dec 1915 in Portland, Cumberland County Maine. His marriage record indicated his father was John A Doherty and his mother was Sarah Waldron.

There was no profile for Wendall Wallace Doherty in Family Search. However, John A Doherty and Sadie Waldron.

I was able to confirm the relationship by the 1900 Census, which shows 13-year-old Wendel living with his parents John and Sarah with several siblings.[iii]

I created a profile for Wendel on Family Search, GH8T-WJ8 and uploaded his photo to that profile.

Unknown [Dixon?] – circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Chas A. Dixon – 170 Bolton St, Portland #880.”

Young Woman, possibly related to Charles and Nellie Dixon of Portland, Maine

The 1937 Portland City Directory reports Charles A. D. Dixon and his wife Nellie G loving at 170 Bolton.

The 1940 Census found Charles A. D. Dixon living with his wife and son, Charles at 156 Brentwood Street. Nellie is 54 years old. The photo is clearly of a girl much younger. So, the 1940 Census does not provide a likely subject’s name.

The 1930 Census found Charles living with his wife and two sons at 11 East Kidder Street. Again, the census records do not provide a likely subject for the person.

This photo is of an unknown person, possibly related to Charles and Nellie Dixon. Possibly others who know the family will be able to identify the individual

Conclusion

I had:

  • Three successful identifications where I could post to Family Search.
  • One partial identification posted to Dead Fred.
  • One unsuccessful identification.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of a family member, I would love to hear your reaction.


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.

[iii] https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MML4-3JC

Ancestor Sketch – Laurance Louis Harmon

Howell-Welch-Harris-Harmon Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Paul, the husband of my wife’s niece, said he didn’t know much about his great-grandfather, Laurance Louis Harmon. I was invited to be the godfather to his children several years ago. As I believe it to be important for children to learn about their ancestors, I am excited to learn about Paul’s ancestors so I can help my godchildren to learn more about where they come from. Finally, Paul’s ancestor was born in Scarborough, to a family name long known to me as a volunteer at the historical society.  As I quickly learned, besides Paul’s great-grandfather, I learned of six more greats in his family tree, which means much more research in the future.

Howell-Welch Project – Ancestor #14

List of Greats

  • 1st Great-grandfather: Laurance Louis Harmon (1897-1941)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Lewis Lunbard Harmon (1863-___)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Joseph Harmon
  • 4th Great-grandfather: John S. Harmon
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Joseph Harmon
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Nathanel Harmon
  • 7th Great-grandfather: John Harmon

Laurance Louis Harmon (1897-1941)

Birth

Although spring had arrived a few weeks earlier, the morning that Laurance[1] Louis Harmon was born, April 11, 1897, there was light snow and a temperature of 33.  Laurance was the third, and last, child born to Lewis and Lucille (Cousins) Harmon. Medical Doctor, Martin Coffin, attended the birth in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine.

Childhood

The 1900 Census found 3-year-old Laurance living with his father, a farmer, mother, and two siblings, Ernest (age 11) and Velma (age 8). They were at school and Laurance was too young to attend school yet.

The 1910 Census found 13-year-old Laurance attending school but his siblings were both working. Earnest was laboring at a sawmill and Velma was doing housework. His father was still a farmer.

Laurance followed his father into farming, as the 1915 Portland City directory reports. The 17-year-old was living with his father (L. L. Harmon). His mailing address was RFD 2, Gorham.

Marriage

Laurance married Mildred R. Swain on 1 October 1917. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John A. Ford in Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine.

Laurance and Mildred would have four children, a boy and three girls.

Military Service

On 5 June 1918 Laurance registered for the draft. He and his new wife were living at 7 Grace Street, Portland, Maine. He was employed as a machinist at Peterson Motor Company, 327 Forest Avenue, Portland. It was described as tall, with a slender build, blue eyes and brown hair.

Two months later, on 28 August 1918, John was inducted into the army as a private. He was assigned to the 43rd company, 11th Rec Batallion, 151st Depot Brigade at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.

The 43rd Company, 151st Depot Brigade – Camp Devens, Massachusett

Camp Devens was an epicenter for the Spanish Flu in 1918 where over 850 soldiers, mostly privates like Laurance, died.[2] The War ended on 11 November 1918. Laurance was discharged, three months after arriving, but a month after the war ended, on 5 December 1918 with an honorable discharge.

Adulthood

After his short time in the service, the young family located to Westbrook where Laurance worked as an auto mechanic until at least 1922.

The 1930 Census finds Laurance living with his wife and three oldest children in Gorham. He is still working as a mechanic in a garage. He is living on County Road in Gorham, near the Scarborough line.

The 1940 Census continues to find Laurance living with his wife and four children on County Road, and working as a mechanic at a machine shop

Death

Laurance Louis Harmon died 4 April 1941. He was buried in the South Gorham Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland County Maine. He was survived by his wife and his four children.

Events by Location

  • Maine, Cumberland, Gorham                 – Residence 1915-1917, 1930-1941, Death, Burial
  • Maine, Cumberland, Portland                – Residence 1918.
  • Maine, Cumberland, Scarborough        – Birth, Residence 1900, 1910.
  • Maine, Cumberland, Westbrook            – Marriage, Residence 1917, 1919-1922.
  • Massachusetts, Camp Devens                – Military Service 1918.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Try to find Laurance’s military record to see why he was discharged after only three months.
  • Determine the exact property he purchased along County Road in Gorham.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Sources

  • 1900 Census, Various, 1900 Census – Lewis L Harmon – Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMLF-FL3 : accessed 20 December 2020), Lewis L Harmon, Scarborough town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78, sheet 18A, family 436, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,591.
  • 1910 Census (NARA, 1910), Various, 1910 – Lawrance C. Harmon – Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MR3M-H97 : accessed 19 December 2020), Lawrance C Harmon in household of Lewis L Harmon, Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 101, sheet 20A, family 467, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 538; FHL microfilm 1,374,551.
  • 1930 Census (FS), Laurence Harman – Head – Gorham, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XM8L-7KP : accessed 19 December 2020), Laurence Harman, Gorham, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 17, sheet 7A, line 2, family 105, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 830; FHL microfilm 2,340,565.
  • 1940 Census (FS), Family Search, 1940 Census – Lawrence Harmon – Gorham, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMMW-WMH : 28 February 2020), Vyra A Harmon in household of Lawrence Harmon, Gorham Town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-27, sheet 6A, line 37, family 92, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1474.
  • Find a Grave, Laurance L Harmon – Memorial #127906305. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 December 2020), memorial page for Laurance L Harmon (1897–1941), Find a Grave Memorial no. 127906305, citing South Gorham Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine, USA ; Maintained by Maine 101 (contributor 47130320).
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Alton [No Name] Harmon – 11 May 1919. Citing this Record. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-7HYM : 16 December 2020), MM9.1.1/Q24N-7HYM:, Birth 11 May 1919; multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm 10,133.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Laurence L Harmon – 11 Apr 1897. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZQD-3P8 : 16 December 2020), Lawrence L Harmon, 11 Apr 1897; citing Scarboro, , Maine, United States, multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Ruth Marie Harmon – 19 Jul 1922. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-9GQ7 : 16 December 2020), Ruth Marie Harmon, Birth 19 Jul 1922; multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm 10,128. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-9GQ7.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Laurence Harmon & Mildred R Swan – 1 Oct 1917. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-SHR3 : 16 December 2020), Laurence Harmon and Mildred R Swan, 01 Oct 1917; citing Westbrook, Cumberland, Maine, United States, multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm.
  • Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996, Family Search, Marriage – Laurence Harmon & Mildred R Swan – 1 Oct 1917. “Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCN2-TRK : 27 November 2014), Laurence Harmon and Mildred R Swan, 01 Oct 1917; citing Marriage, Maine, United States, State Archives, Augusta.
  • Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957, Family Search, Military Service – Laurance or Laurence Louis Harmon 1918. “Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KG9Q-67X : 11 March 2018), Laurance Or Lawrence Louis Harmon, 28 Aug 1918; citing Military Service, United States, State Archives, Augusta.
  • Maine, World War I Draft Register Index, 1917-1919, Family Search, Draft Registration – Lawrence Louis Harmon – Inducted 28 Aug 1918. “Maine, World War I Draft Registration Index, 1917-1919,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2HM-P1F5 : 15 March 2018), Lawrence Louis Harmon, 1917-1919; citing Draft Registration, Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States, Maine State Archives, Augusta; FHL microfilm 005652220.
  • Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME, ), Genealogy Bank, Alton S. Harmon – Obituary 27 May 1998. Portland Press Herald (Maine) 27 May 1998, obit for ALTON S. HARMON CONSTRUCTION WORKER, WWII VETERAN, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F9C33C5B8BC7A98 : accessed 19 December 2020). https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F9C33C5B8BC7A98.
  • S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Portland, Maine – 1915-’17 – Page 212 – Harmon – Portland, Maine – 1915-’17 – Page 213 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Westbrook, ME – 1930 – Gorham Directory – Page 241 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Westbrook, ME – 1934 – Gorham Directory – Page 178 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 , Ancestry, Laurence L Harmon (1897-1941). National Archives at Washington DC; Washington DC, USA; Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941; NAID: A1, 2110-C; Record Group Number: 92; Record Group Title: Records of the O.
  • S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry, Alton Swain Harmon (1919-1998) – No Image. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/28283679:60901.
  • S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry, Lawrence Louis Harmon (1897-1941) – No Image. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/89437:60901.
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Draft Card – Laurence Louis Harmon – Registered 5 June 1918. “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZFY-BQX : 24 August 2019), Laurence Louis Harmon, 1917-1918.

Endnotes

[1] Laurence and Laurance are used interchangeably throughout many documents. His military service record even uses both on the same page. I have standardized by using “Laurance” because it is the spelling used on his tombstone and is likely the spelling he used later in life.

[2] Internet – Wikipedia – Fort DevensEstablishment during World War I

Ethel Wright Collection – Part 6

Baker, Baldwin, Bangs, Barry, & Bassett

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

This week for Photo Friday, I look at identifying five more negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The names on the envelope are of the individual who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is important to analyze the photo and information to positively identify the photographs.[ii]

Child of Mrs. Leroy Baker
(Probably) Richard Baker (1933-2018)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Leroy Baker – 684 Forest Ave., Portland.”

Child of Mrs LeRoy Baker ()

The 1936 Portland City Directory reports Leroy R. (Alice A) Baker living at 684 Forest Ave., Portland.

The 1940 Census reports Leroy R. Baker at the Maine State Prison.

The 1940 Census also reports Alice A. Baker living with her mother, Isabell Boyle, a brother, Lawrence, and Alice’s three children; Richard L., Barbara J., & Isabell R. ages 6, 5, and 2 respectively.

I believe this child is either Richard or Barbara. I believe that because the photo is of a single child it was taken about 1934 of Richard. If it had been taken in 1935/6, I believe the photo would have been taken of the two children together. I see the bonnet and the sweater, however, the dress at that time is not sufficient to persuade me to believe it is a photo of Barbara.

I found a person online (at Ancestry.Com) in who appears is a grandchild of Leroy and Alice. I’ve asked that person if they can identify the apparent uncle/aunt in the photograph.

I created a profile for Richard Baker (1933-2018) on Family Search but have not uploaded the images to that profile, however, I have uploaded them to my Flickr Account – See Photo 1 & Photo 2. I hope that the descendant of LeRoy and Alice can confirm the identity of the child in the photo.

Nancy Baldwin (1934-2012)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Wm Baldwin – 51 Morning St, Portland #679”

Nancy Baldwin ca. 1934

The 1937 Portland City Directory shows William G. Baldwin and his wife Gertrude J. residing at 51 Morning in Portland.

The 1940 Census shows William and Gertrude living on Morning with their five-year-old daughter, Nancy.

Family Search suggests this couple is William George Baldwin (1910-1970) and Gertrude J. Quinn (1916-Deceased)

Several Ancestry Trees suggest that Nancy Baldwin is the child of William and Gertrude and that she was born 25 May 1934 and died 7 May 2012. As such, I’ve created a profile on FamilySearch, LYWL-4K3 and uploaded one of the images to that profile.

Mrs. Blanche Bangs

The envelope this negative was in says, Mrs. Blanch Bangs – 92 Vesper St., Portland.”

Mrs. Blanche Bangs

The 1920 Census shows Blanche Bangs, wife of H. John Banks, living at 92 Vesper Street, Portland. Blanche was born circa 1893 in Canada.

The 1930 Census shows Blanche living at 92 Vesper, but she was a widow.

The 1940 Census shows Blanche still living at 92 Vesper, and still a widow.

In 1935, about when this photo was taken, Blanch would have been about 43. The woman in this photo appears to be in her 40s to me, so I believe it to be Blanch.

A quick search for Blanche on Family Search failed to yield a clear result, so I took a closer look.

1930 Census – Blanche Bangs Age 37 Widow, Married at age 27. She was born in Canada. Her father was born in England and her mother was also born in Canada. She came to the states in 1911.

Looking back on the 1920 Census, Blanche’s mother, Roxanna M. Bangs was living with the family. That helps confirm a Record of Marriage that indicates H. John Bangs married Blanch Halstead on 26 November 1919. H. John’s mother was Roxanna Bangs. Blanche’s parents were Joseph Halstead and Julia A. Noble, who were living in Portland at the time.

Blanche Halstead, the daughter of Joseph and Julia (Noble) Halstead, has a profile on FamilySearch, LYL4-KL1.

Alice M. Barry

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Alice M Barry – 407 Chapman Bldg, Portland #79.“

Alice M. Berry – ca. 1934

First, the Chapman Building is the original name for the Time and Temperature building in downtown Portland, Maine. It is a fourteen-story building at 477 Congress Street.

The 1940 Census indicated three “Alice M Barry’s” in Cumberland.

  • Alice M. Berry, Age 55, Wife of Edward C. Berry. She lived with her husband at 174 Edwards Street in Portland.
  • Alice M. Barry, Age 38, Daughter of Thomas E. & Nellie T. Barry. She was a clerk typist for the Government in 1940. She lived with her parents at 218 Pine in South Portland.
  • Alice M. Berry, Age 45, wife of Norris J. Berry, lived at 277 Maine Street, Westbrook.

The Portland, Maine, City Directories for 1933 through 1937 complete the identification.  reports

  • 1933 – Alice M Barry – Sten[iii] r 218 Pine SP
  • 1934 – Alice M Barry – Sten 477 Cong Room 407 – R 218 Pine SP.
  • 1935 – Alice M Barry – Sten r 218 Pine SP
  • 1936 – Alice M Barry – Sten 317 Cong r 218 Pine SP

From the city directories, we can be certain the photo was taken in 1934 or 1935. From the directories and the 1940 census record, we can be certain this Alice M Barry is the daughter of Thomas E. & Nellie T. Barry. In 1940, Alice was 38 which suggests she was about 32 in this photo. The woman in the photo seems to be in her early 30s, so I’m confident this is her.

Family Search has an Alice M Barry, born 3 September 1902 to Thomas Edward and Nellie “Ellen” T (O’Donnell) Barry. Her profile on FamilySearch is G9F3-LM4.

Hope Cleone (Bassett) Shedin (or Sheddin)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Hope Bassett – Me Gen Hospital City #318.”

Hope Bassett ca. 1934

A search on Ancestry quickly found a high school yearbook photo of Hope Cleone Bassett in the 1932 Augusta, Maine yearbook. That photo is clearly of the same young woman who was born October 9, 1914.

In 1935 Hope was working in Augusta as a nurse and in 1938 she had moved to Portland where she was a nurse employed at 22 Arsenal which was the Maine General Hospital, the predecessor of the Maine Medical Center.

The 1930 Census indicates that Hope C Bassett, of Augusta, Maine was the daughter of Jacob P. H and Anna E. Bassett.

Hope died on 13 September 1977.

Hope did not have a profile on Family Search, however, her parents did. Because I learned that Hope died, I created a profile for her on Family Search – ID 27VJ-8CT and uploaded the images of her that I have.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of a family member of yours, I would love to hear your reaction. Have you seen the photo before. Do you disagree with my assessment?


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.

[iii] “Sten” is the abbreviation for Stenographer used in these directories.

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 5

Austin, Axelsen, Axelsen, Baird, & Baker

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Photo Friday, I look at identifying more negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The names on the envelope are of the individual who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is important to analyze the picture and information to identify the photographs positively.[ii]

Not William L. Austin

Unknown – Probably Not William L. Austin

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. William L Austin – 44 Brown St. Portland – #724.”

William Austin does not appear in the 1934 or 1935 Portland City Directories.

The 1936 Portland City Directory indicated William Austin was the householder at 53 Franklin, Apartment 9. Likewise, the 1937 City Directory shows William at 53 Franklin, Apt 9.

The 1938 Portland City Directory indicates William Auston residing at 7 Tolman Place.

The 1940 Census indicates William L Austin living at 7 Tolman Place as a widowed lodger. He was 75 years old.

If the photo were taken about 1935, as the other pictures in this collection were, then William L. Austin would have been about 70 years old. The man in this photo is definitely not near 70 and appears, to me, to be about 50.

So, I have no idea who this person is.  Although the photo was paid for by William L Austin, I do not believe it is of him.

Alfred J. Axelsen

Alfred J. Axelsen circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Alfred J Axelsen – 45 Randall Ave, Portland #252”.

The 1935 Portland City Directory indicates Alfred J Axelsen was a painter employed at 228 Sherwood and resided at 45 Randall, which confirms his identity.

The 1930 Census enumerates Alfred J. Axelsen living with his Father Jens Axelsen, apparent mother Maren, and a sister, Laura.

Further research indicated that Alfred Julius Axelsen was born on 8 October 1908, married Margaret Winslow in 1933, and died 5 November 1983. I am confident this photo is of him.

This individual has a profile on FamilySearch, ID GQW1-GCV; I posted two photos of Alfred there.

Mildred Christine (Weston) Axelsen

Mildred Christine (Weston) Axelsen ca. 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. A. M. Axelson – 237 Sherwood Street, Portland #1054.”

The 1937 Portland City Directory is somewhat confusing. It indicates, in part:

  • Axelsen, Alfred J painter 237 Sherwood r 45 Randall
  • August M (Mildred C) painter 1754 Wash av h do
  • August M (Caroline E) mold maker 54 York h 43 Dorset
  • —Niels jr r 237 Sherwood

The 1940 Census places August M. Axelson and his 40-year-old wife, Mildred, at 45 Randall St. It also places August M. Axelson, and his 49-year-old wife, Caroline, at 43 Dorset Street.

The 1930 Census places August M Axelson living at 237 Sherwood Street with his wife, Mildred. August M. Axelson and his wife Caroline are residing at 43 Dorset Street.

So, it is clear Mrs. A. M. Axelsen is Mildred. Mildred was born about 1899, so she would have been about 36 in 1935. The woman in the photo appears to be about that age, so I believe this to be Mildred C. Axelson.

Mildred Christine Weston married August Mienerdt Axelsen on 1 June 1927.

Mildred has a profile on FamilySearch, ID L2JB-L79, and I have uploaded my photos there.

Elsie (McLeon) Baird

Elsie (McLeon) Baird, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Elsie Baird – 20 Vesper St, Portland #656.”

The 1937 Portland City Directory indicates that Elsie M. Baird was the widow of John H. Baird and lived at 20 Vesper.

Further research indicated that Elsie M Baird (nee McLeon) was born about 1887 in Scotland. She had a daughter, also named Elsie, who was born in 1910. If the photo were taken about 1935, as many of the pictures have been taken, Elsie the mother would have been about 48, and Elsie, the daughter, would have been about 25 years old. The woman in these photos appears to be in her 40s, so I believe it is Elsie, the mother.

Elsie does not appear to have a profile on Family Search; however, she does have a memorial on Find-a-Grave. I uploaded copies of the images to Elsie McLeod Baird – Memorial 152470097.

Eleanor Baker

(Or possibly Beatrice E. Baker)

Possibly Eleanor Baker, possibly Beatrice E. Baker.

This negative envelope says, “Miss Eleanor Baker – 130 Highland St Portland #986.“

The Portland City Directory for 1936 shows an Eleanor residing at John Decker Ocean House Rd, CE, p o SP

Eleanor does not appear in the 1935 Portland City Directory; however, a Beatrice E. Baker does appear living at 130 Highland in the Directory. The Directory suggests a family consisting of:

  • Beatrice E. Baker, Stenographer at 289 Forest Ave. Residing rear of 130 Highland.
  • Elmer S. (Ruby A) Painter emp 362 Cumberland av householder 130 Highland.
  • Harold F (Florence V) Carpenter householder rear 130 Highland.

Beatrice E. Baker married Wilton J. Rosenblad on 23 August 1935, explaining why she doesn’t appear in any subsequent city directories.

A review of many individual trees revealed no individuals name Eleanor in the families. That aside, I believe that “Eleanor Baker” of the photo is Beatrice E Baker, born 12 May 1913. The image had to have been taken before 23 August 1935, so her age in the picture had to be about 22 years old.

Beatrice E Baker is in 9 public trees on Ancestry.Com and if any of them know of Beatrice’s middle name or can identify her in the photo, I will have confirmed her identity.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of a family member or clarify my identification, I would love to hear from you.

There are additional photos on my Flickr Site. See https://www.flickr.com/photos/dontaylor50/albums/72157716308896207

 


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. Individuals may use these photos in their genealogical endeavors.