Mystery Christmas Photo

Update: I subsequently figured out who most of the people in this photo are- see “Finding Uncle William“.

Among the photographs Kerry scanned and made available on Snapfish, I found this one to be pretty interesting. It’s apparently a Sheehan family Christmas gathering. The problem is that I can’t identify some of the people in the picture.

mysteryxmasphotoFirst of all, when and where was the photo taken? Almost certainly at Grandfather’s house, since he’s seated in the center. He bought the house on Marsh Avenue in 1942, so assuming that’s Dad sitting in the front, that would date it to 1945 at the earliest- the year Dad returned home from the war.

So who are these people? Let’s start with the easy ones- Sitting in the front row, on the right hand side is Dad. behind him, seated from left to right, it looks like Grandfather Sheehan, Aunt May, Grandmother Sheehan, and… someone. I believe the two women standing in the background are Aunts Kathleen and Helen. I don’t have any idea who the two men are, but it looks like they may be wearing uniforms?

Going back to the front row- the four young men on the left may be Uncle William’s sons.

William’s sons were (with their ages in 1945): Francis (11), John (13), William Jr. (15), and Thomas (16). William Jr. passed away in 1988, and John died in 1995. Francis died in 2014. As far as I know, Thomas is still alive.

One of the two unidentified women, most likely the one sitting next to Dad, may be William’s daughter Eleanor, whom we knew as “Rusty”, and who would have been 17 in 1945. Rusty died in 2004. The other young woman may be Helen and William’s daughter Mary, who would have been about 19 in 1945. Mary died in 1981.

If anyone has any other suggestions, let me know!

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