Mystery photo: Miss Nelligan, a handsome woman

I have a handful of mystery photos which I will feature on this blog. This one has a surname on the back: Nelligan. If anyone is related to the person in the photo, I would love to return it. The Thomas Nelligan and Maurice Nelligan families were either somehow related to or merely neighbors and friends of the Maurice Ahern (alternate spelling Ahearn) family in Cambridge, MA.

Many of the Nelligans appear on the census listings living on and around Dublin St. which later became Sherman St. Thomas Nelligan was married to Hanorah “Hannah” and their children were: Mary Ann b. circa 1866, Margaret b. circa 1868 (married name was Hayes), Hanora b. circa 1869, David b. circa 1873, Thomas b. circa 1875, and John P. Nelligan b. circa 1878 who became a doctor and appears with his family on the 1920 census on Mass Ave in Cambridge.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Maryanne Trelegan Curtis on November 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Most likely this is a picture of Miss Nelligan,who was a school teacher in North Cambridge many years ago–she was a friend of my grandaunt,who also was a school teacher abd was born near Sherman St..


  2. Posted by Laura Duncan on December 5, 2010 at 3:22 am


    I believe that John P. Nelligan was my great grandfather. My grandmother, Honarah Nelligan (later Snowdon) was his daughter. I know that he was a doctor in Cambridge Mass in the early 1900’s. So, Miss Nelligan, then, would have been my great great grandmother! How did you come to posess this photo? I would love to correspond. Hope to hear back from you.


    • I am so glad to hear from descendants of this lady in the photo. My mother received the photo from her aunt the late Margaret Barrett, who told us that the Nelligans were friends of the Barrett, Ahern and Brady families. Margaret’s mother Mary E. (Brady) Barrett was my great grandmother, and her mother was Mary E. “Lizzie” (Ahern) Brady. They lived in the same neighborhood in Cambridge MA. My Mom gave me a few of the old photos before she retired to MS.

      I have not been updating my blog recently since moving to NH this summer but hope to revive it over the winter. 🙂 Please e-mail me if you are interested and I can mail you the photo, which I may have to find because we still have a few boxes to unpack.

      Happy holidays!,


      • Posted by Laura Duncan on December 7, 2010 at 3:05 am

        Hi Beth,

        Thanks for getting back to me! I came across your blog when researching my own family roots. My husband recently subscribed to and we have been developing our family trees. We think the woman in the photo is Hannah, who lived roughly from 1830-1900. She would be my great, great grandmother. I would love to have the photo when you get the chance to look for it. My email address is If you wouldn’t mind emailing me there I’ll send you my home address. No hurry, I know how long it takes to get settled after a move. Thanks again! Laura

  3. We have Neligan/Nelligans connected to Barret in the large database I keep. Looks like my ancestors, from Dingle-Ballinvounig


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