Photograph of the Week – Doran Children of Hudson County, NJ

The top photograph, of the three oldest children of Bernard and Mary (Mahoney) Doran, was restored by my brother-in-law using Photo Shop. He did a wonderful job fixing this picture because it had a tear right across the middle, and had broken in half.  He eliminated the tear in order to “pull” the two sides together. Margaret (born June 1921) is the baby in the stroller, and she had the crack going right across her pretty little face. Now the original beauty of the picture comes out. This early version of a baby stroller seems to be made of metal, possibly tin, and she looks very comfortable posing for the photographer.

Also in this lovely photo are Margie’s two older brothers. Bernard Jr., called Bernie (born 1917), the oldest sibling, is wearing a sailor suit with short pants and knee socks. Sailor suits for little boys were very fashionable after World War I.  James (born 1919) is standing on the other side of Margie, and his unruly hair looks like it has never seen a brush. His hair was flaming red earning him the nickname Red, but his  family called him Jamesy.  Most likely this picture was taken in Kearny, NJ, because that is where the older Doran children in my Irish-American family were born.

When looking at old photographs always turn over the picture and look for clues. The photo below obviously hasn’t been restored. It has been damaged on the left so much, that I think an entirely new pony picture would have to be “pulled” together. But what is wonderful is the face of the boy riding the pony; obviously a great treat for a city kid. Here little Peter (born1926 in Harrison) is smiling shyly for the camera. On the back is what the photographer must have jotted down to help identify the purchaser. Written in blue ink –  “Peter Doran, 310 Warren St., Harrison, NJ” – a wonderful clue for anyone searching records for genealogical purposes.  Looking at the 1930 Federal Census at the Doran family is indeed living at 310 Warren Street, in the 2nd Ward of Harrison, Hudson County, NJ. Listed under the alternative spelling of “Duran” are the parents, Barney & Mary, and the children:  Bernard Jr., James, Margaret, John, Peter & Billy. The census was taken April 18, 1930, and Peter Doran was 4 and a 1/2 years old – right about when this picture was taken. Have fun searching your old photos for clues!

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