Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mary Bestick Brady and Friends

This is a photo of my great-grandmother Mary Bestick Brady (on the right) and 4 unidentified persons. This photo has been retouched--the original was a tintype that had creases across some of it.

Mary was born in Newark, NJ in 1838, and her husband Garret Brady died there in 1886. In this photo, I believe Mary is in mourning attire and she appears at least 50 years old to me. So I believe this photo was taken between 1886 and her death in 1908. Also, if Garret was alive, I expect he would have been included in the photo.

The other people in the photo appear to be related, to each other and possibly to Mary, based on facial resemblance. The eyes and mouths on the 3 closest to Mary make me think that they are siblings or otherwise closely related to each other. The face of the lady in white is a bit fuzzy, so it is hard to say if she strongly resembles the others or not.

If the photo was taken around 1886, then the 2 boys could be Mary's youngest sons, William (born 1872) and Garrett Leo (born 1874.) But then who are the 2 women? Several sources confirm that Mary's only daughter, Mary Ellen, died at the age of 2. The women appear to be too young to be Mary's long lost older sister Catherine. The 2 boys do not appear old enough to be married yet in this picture. So it seems unlikely that the 2 young women are daughters-in-law of Mary.

Besides her immediate family, Mary had other Bestick relatives that she could have been photographed with for some occasion. Mary had Bestick relatives in Bridgeport, CT, and she may be related to the Bestick families in New York City and Braintree, MA. I don't have any photos of those families for comparison.

Another possibility is that Mary was photographed with relatives of her mother, Ellen McSorley Bestick. There were McSorleys closely associated with the family in Newark, including Patrick and Rosanna McSorley Cox. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the McSorleys for comparison either.

So for now, Mary's associates in this picture remain a mystery. I welcome any comments or suggestions (or photos of Besticks and McSorleys.)

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