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Photo Detective: Bridging the Past
Pinpointing the location of a New York street scene.
Genealogists know brick walls aren’t torn down over night. It took Janet Meleney nine years to scale the wall in front of this photograph, which she submitted to the Photo Detective column in 2002. At that time, Meleney believed the two little girls dressed identically were Carrie Ella Coit (1858-1934) and C. Miriam Coit (1856-1921). Behind them, Meleney believed, was their mother Ellen Nafie Coit (1827-1893). I was able to confirm these identities by matching up facial features I saw in additional photographs Meleney had sent.
I was also able to confirm the image was taken in the late 1860s, but I didn’t know anything about the bridge the Coits are standing on. I featured the photo in a short online piece hoping that someone would recognize it.
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