Welcome!

I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beware the Wandering E: Virginia Comly, Hastings, Nebraska, 1886



The reverse of this cabinet card reads, "Virginia Comly, 10 months, 1886."   The photograph was taken at the Churchill Studio, opposite the New Opera House in Hastings, Nebraska.  I found the Comly family in four different censuses, with four different spellings:  Comley, Comely, Comly and Conely.  That "e" sure wanders!

Virginia first appears on the 1885 Nebraska Census for Hastings, Adams County.  She is living with her parents W. J. Comley, 36 and Virginia, 40, and sister Ella, age 8.

She also appears on the 1900 US Federal Census in Hastings, Ward 2, Adams County, Nebraska.  Her mother's first name is shown as Anna now, and her sister,"Elinore M."  Her father's first name appears as William.  His birthplace is PA, while Anna's is OH.  The 1900 census tells us that Virginia was born in March of 1885, which means the photograph was taken in January of 1886.

In the 1910 Census, Virginia and Ella no longer appear with their parents, still living in Hastings.  I lose track of Virginia after the 1900 census.

If you have Adams County, Nebraska roots, I found two items that might be of interest.  Your local library might be able to bring in a copy for you on interlibrary loan.
The first book is titled Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Adams, Clay, Hall and Hamilton Counties, Nebraska and the second is Adams County, Nebraska: A Pictorial History. I doubt if there would be anything in either book specifically on the Comly family, but they would likely provide helpful background information on the area.

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