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 at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Monday, August 27, 2012

Who is Nine-month-old Lottie Brown [Cilley?], Daughter of Olive, Probably From Maine?

This little cutie has given me a very hard time.  I can't seem to figure out who she is. This baby portrait was found with another baby photo from around the same time period with the same notation on the front of the card that reads, "Merl Cilley." 

There isn't a photographer's imprint on the front of the card, but on the reverse we are given several clues.
First, the child is identified:
"Lottie Brown, Age 9 months 2 weeks.  Died Dec. 26, 1915"
 "Aunt Olive's Children also other picture."

And finally there is, what I believe to be a photographer's rubber stamp on the back.  It simply says, "True, Clinton, ME.

I located Samuel M. True, a photographer, who worked out of Clinton from 1900 to at least 1912.  He could have been in business earlier than 1900, but I was unable to find him in the 1880 census, nor is he in the 1920 Census in Kennebec County.  However, I did locate his wife Carrie and their children in the 1920 census and she is listed as a widow.

As for Lottie Brown, we know that her mother's first name is Olive.  I could not find any Lottie or Charlotte Browns in the censuses with a mother named Olive.  I went further afield, and found several possibilities, none seemingly more likely than any other.

The one clue that could help us pinpoint which Lottie Brown is correct is, of course, the death date provided on the back of the image.  If we can locate a death record for Lottie Brown who died 26 Dec. 1915, her parentage and/or birth date may be noted as well.  Unfortunately, the image of the other child has no inscription other than the same photographer's stamp.  Merl Cilley, the name that appears on both photos may be the recipient and is likely related.  One could have a look at his ancestry, but that's a rather time-consuming approach.

How would you proceed?  


  1. So sad - she was a beautiful baby.

  2. I have a theory for you -

    Looking at Merl Cilley, one finds his mother's name is Olive E. Cilley nee Maloon. She was married to Shadrack Cilley. I've looked at a half dozen family trees in Ancestry.Com and can find no one that could be "Aunt Olive" -- except Olive E. Cilley.

    I theorize Lottie Brown was Lottie Brown Cilley - and Merl's little sister.

    https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MR34-2C6 and https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MFZL-7RK shows that it could be possible. She would have been about 43 years old in 1915.

    Olive and Shadrack lived in Waterville, Kennebec, Maine which is a couple miles from Clinton and Shadrack once lived in Clinton proper.

  3. Iggy, have a look at this gravestone: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=92570890&PIpi=62433227
    Do you think Edna M. might be Lottie?
    Clarence's middle name is interesting, too.

  4. There is also the notation on Clarence Brown Cilley's memorial at he was "Adopted by Shedrick & Olive Cilley"

  5. Most intriguing!

    You have two photos? Is the other one another baby girl? The note says "Aunt Olive's Children also other picture." Children and not Child. I think Edna was Lottie's older sister (by a year) and they, of course, might not have ever met each other.

    The "flip side" of the grave stone mentions an Alice Brown (1896-1952)... perhaps there is a lead there! :)

  6. This website confuses things more:


    ...showing Clarence and Alice... whose birthdates predate Shaderick (however he spelled it officially!) and Olive being married. Not that it didn't happen... but its not likely "back then, is it?"

  7. My aching head! I was doing some snooping on Ancestry and discovered that Olive Maloon's sister, Ida M. Maloon, first married a man named Cassidy, then after he passed away, Joseph Brown. I immediately thought Alice might be a her daughter, but Ida and Joseph married three years after Alice was born, in 1899. Not impossible of course, but unusual for the day. So then I decided I was seeing connections where there weren't any. But then I found this Cilley site:
    Notice the surname of the adopted son Clarence (who in all the censuses I've seen appears as Clarence Brown Cilley.)
    So here is what they say about Alice Brown:
    But then, the notation about Clarence Cassidy (http://cilley.net/thecilleypages/cilley-en-o/p32752.htm) says that he was the son of Shadrick/Shedrick Cilley's sister! I had a look at three of his sisters (Lillian May, Lenora & Samantha) and didn't find any Cassidys there. I'd love to get my mitts on the book where this info came from: by Annie M. Cilley. "The Cilley Family Roots of New England." 845 South Main St, Bountiful, UT 84010: Family History Publishers, 1996.

  8. This is one tightly wrapped onion -

    Shaderick had a couple more (half) sisters. His father remarried.

    I don't know if this will ever be unravelled - but I've enjoyed the exploration! Many thanks for posting the photo!

  9. My husband is Carl Cilley and his uncle was Merle Cilley. His grandmother was Olive. I have more information. Please contact me at trena1947@gmail.com