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Groups, Scans &
Background Information

The picture above: taken on the 'back porch'--at the west end of the house--at 100 Orange Street, this is the first family group portrait at what was then the new house. Shown are an unknown woman, possibly Anna Cahalan McInerney; her brother Richard Cahalan (referred to on this site as 'Richard Cahalan I' since two more follow him in the family); their mother, Mary Mulfahey Cahalan, one of the immigrant couple from Ireland; her son Dr. James Cahalan; James Cahalan II, the son of John C. Cahalan Sr. and Anna Hogan Cahalan, who lived to the age of three--making this the only picture in which we can identify him definitely; John C. Cahalan Sr.; his wife Anna Hogan Cahalan; and a servant girl tentatively identified through census data as Katy Petrick.

The Gray Velvet Album: the family album of John C. Cahalan, Sr. and Anna Hogan Cahalan

Joseph Cahalan's photographs:

Aunt Sarah Knapp's collection:

Aunt Catherine's wicker suitcase, including:

On this page, photographs are grouped and accessible in the way I organized them by their source and by the order in which they were first scanned.

Since they came to me without much order, I separated them into groups by subject (who is shown in the photos), by approximate year and location, and finally by that part of the collection or member of the family from which they originate. Different groups called for different criteria--it was obvious, for instance, that the Gray Velvet Album photos ought to be grouped together; Aunt Sarah's undeveloped negatives, however, are together by type, even though their images overlap her snapshots, which are separate here.  (They are grouped together by subject on the previous Photographs page.)


Overall, there are four source-groups of photographs:

  • The Gray Velvet Album, which seems to have been the family photograph album of John C. Cahalan Sr. and Anna Hogan Cahalan. This was in the possession of Catherine Cahalan on her death in 1985, and came to me through my grandfather, Joseph Cahalan.

  • The collection of family photographs and memorabilia kept by my grandfather, which came to me at his death in 2006.

  • The photographs, snapshots and undeveloped negatives of Sarah Knapp, sister of Della Knapp Cahalan, wife of John C. Cahalan Jr. and my great-grandmother. My grandfather had some of these at his death in 2006, but I can't say with any certainty from whom he received them. Because his sister, Ann Marie Cahalan Sullivan, cared for Sarah at the end of her life, some of the images--and all of the negatives--must have come to my grandfather through her at Sarah's death in 1984.

  • Finally, at the death of Catherine Cahalan, the last-surviving child of John C. Cahalan Sr., my grandfather received a wicker suitcase of photographs and memorabilia. 

Each of these groups reflect the interests and lives of those who held them. The Gray Velvet Album was clearly a household object, and was organized without identifications since the immediate family knew who they were seeing in each photo. The wicker suitcase contained material pertinent to Catherine Cahalan and her siblings, Marion and Richard, who lived together throughout their lives. Sarah Knapp's photos record her immediate family as well as her interest in genealogy as a descendant of one of the earliest families to settle the Downriver area, and her great affection for her niece and nephews. My grandfather's photos show his childhood and family as he grew up at 415 Maple Street. (I have excluded the family photographs from my grandfather's collection after the birth of his oldest child, my mother, and the death of his grandfather, John C. Cahalan Sr's death in 1939. This is the date at which this site, approximately, ends. My grandfather's later photographs will be made available at a site to be titled The Photographs of Joseph Cahalan.)

All of the images are numbered, in the order in which they were scanned (so lower numbers are not necessarily earlier pictures: this was just a device to keep them organized); some numbers are missing due to extra prints of the same image that I left out to avoid duplication; and physical copies of all of the photos, as well as some of the ephemera that came with them, are filed in the order they're listed, under the dates on which they were scanned. This, too is just an organizational device. I explain this further on each page devoted to a part of the collection, linked at left.


The work of organizing this site and its pictures, and identifying those in them, is ongoing and updated as time and opportunity allow.

If you'd like a high-resolution of any particular image, please email me, and--while I have you here--I'd also like to make a plea:

If you have scans of additional material, or want me to scan your pictures for you, please contact me at my email address: It's my hope to give everyone in the family access to everything that survives. Thanks!

If all of this seems a little fussy, please take it as a sign of the care I've taken with a group of images which belong to all of us. As usual, any errors in attribution are mine, and I'm always happy to hear corrections, comments, guesses or suggestions.


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