Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


This is a tricky search. Even though we know this is Edwin Moody Jr, brother of E. C. M. N., and photographed by J. L. Sweet in Clinton, MA, looking on ancestry dot com results in a multitude of Edwin Moodys in Massachusetts during the later half of the 19th century. We know the photographer was in business at least in 1874, 1878 and 1879. Since this fellow does not look like he is 20 years old – more like 30-40 – I can narrow my birth year in the search to 1845-1860. 

Narrowing of the search resulted in finding Edwin A. Moody, son of Edwin and Nancy, born in 1840. The Massachusetts Town and Vital Records indicates this information on a marriage record in 1869. At that time, Edwin married Annie T. Clark.

Further searches revealed this might have been a second marriage for Edwin, as there is another record in the same state for Edwin Moody, son of Edwin and Nancy, born in about 1838, and marrying Mary A. Towle, in 1860. We can assume Mary passed away soon after their marriage as there is no other mention of her.

Another census search revealed that Edwin A. Moody Jr had two older sisters, named Caroline “Carrie” and Mary Ann – possibly the C. and the M. referenced on the card. It is also possible *this* Edwin fought in the American Civil War, as I found records of two different Edwin A. Moody’s – one died in the war and one survived with an injury. I’m confident this isn’t the Edwin who died in the war due to the type of card (rounded corners popular after 1870), the photographer’s known dates of business, and the apparent age of the subject.

IF this is our Edwin Moody, he became a plumber and lived quietly through the years. He and Annie welcomed a son, William P. “Willie” in about 1872. 


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