Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cabinet Photograph of Ferdinand Cortez Nealey of Maine; by his own studio

Cabinet photograph of a man identified on the reverse as "Ferd Nelley", taken by the F. C. Nealey studio of Brooks, Maine.  

In all likelihood, Ferd Nelley was Ferdinand Cortez Nealey (1863-1951), the F. C. Nealey who appears in the studio imprint.  Nealey would also have studios in Winterport, Maine, and Houlton, Maine, and he traveled with his camera to other locations, for graduations and other events.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections requested]

Ferdinand Cortez Nealey (1863-1951) was born 15 March 1863 at Monroe, Maine, the son of Joseph T. and Lucy (Couillard) Nealey. The birth date comes from an unsourced mention on Ferdinand's FindaGrave memorial, and the place and his parents' names come from his marriage record.

At the time of the 1900 Census, Ferdinand was rooming at Belfast, Maine, and working as a photographer.  He traveled throughout the state photographing civil officials, buildings and vistas.

Perhaps it was on such a trip to Aroostook County, Maine, that he  met his future wife, Eva Germaine Nickerson (1878-1968), whom he married on 18 November 1902 at Caribou, Maine.

Eva was born 25 May 1878 at West Houlton, Maine, the daughter of Civil War veteran Henry Oscar Nickerson and Alice Julia (Estabrook) Nickerson, who were natives of Linneus, Maine; from information on Eva's FindaGrave memorial and marriage record.  

Ferdinand and Eva made their home at Houlton, Maine, where they raised at least three children, a daughter and two sons, and Fred  operated a photography studio. 

Ferdinand died at Houlton in 1951; Eva died in 1968.

If you have corrections to the information above or more information on the Nealey and/or Nickerson families, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.


  1. What a neat find! Thank you for contacting me about this picture taken of my Grandfather. Your history of the family appears to be correct and quite extensive! Ferdinand also went by F.C. Nealey, so you may find images taken by him with that identification. I would be very interested in finding pictures of places and vistas that he took. Often the scenic pictures do not have an identification on them that is very prominent but you might find a small id on the back of some!

  2. So glad we connected through your grandfather! If you have some of his work that I could add to this post, for the benefit of others who might happen by, I'd be very grateful. I have to wonder about his names Ferdinand and Cortez - at least one of his parents must have loved history?? I found at least one other post from this blog that featured an F. C. Nealey photograph: There may be more.