I picked up this photograph a year or two ago at a yard sale in Mattapoisett. I see old photographs now and then at antique malls and sales. Many are forgotten faces that nobody knows or remembers. This is mostly because nobody took the time to write the name of the person on the photo or kept the photo in the family.
This photo, however, has a name written on the back:
So, for a few dollars I bought the photograph and I thought I would find out who she was. I’ve done this before and it usually doesn’t take long to locate an identity through a little research.
I’m assuming she was local since the photographer is marked on the front of the photograph, “Sherman New Bedford, Mass.” The photographer is Francis P. Sherman, a Fairhaven resident who opened up a studio in October of 1886 at 174 Union Street in New Bedford. At that time the address was located at the corner of Union Street and 4th Street.
I haven’t had any luck tracking down Anne Nerbonne or Anne West. I found an Anne West living in New Bedford at 146 Union Street but that was in the 1830s, much too early for this woman.
Around 1910 I started seeing Nerbonne appearing in the census records. But no record of Anne Nerbonne.
I’ve also searched marriage records up to 1915 for a West/Nerbonne union in Massachusetts but no luck.
The closest match I found was a woman named Anne Paull Nerbonne who was born in 1897 and died in Fairhaven in May of 1995. I’ve ruled her out for a couple of reasons. The first being her birth year. I think she would be too young to be the woman in the photograph. I’m also going on the assumption that the woman I’m looking for had a married of West with her maiden name being Nerbonne.
I’ve come to a dead end trying to locate this dead person. It is possible that the name isn’t Nerbonne. I’ve tried variations of the name including Merboune, Nerbourne, Nerbone and others without luck. It is also possible that the name on the back isn’t the name of the woman in the photo. I could be a previous owner of the photograph.
I thought I would share this photo in the hopes that maybe a reader will have some thoughts on her identity or a descendent may happen to come across it and recognize her.