In a hallway in my husband’s aunt’s home near Chicago is a collection of his grandparents’ wedding photographs. Trapped within the old frame, the pictures would be damaged if I tried to retrieve them to obtain a copy. Every visit we’ve made, I’ve stared at those pictures, trying desperately to commit those details to memory. With this visit, though, we were blessed with a reprieve from that hopeless task: a cousin brought us his mother’s copy of the set.
Now, I can piece together the wedding photograph of bridesmaids and groomsmen with a photograph on loan from the set I received from the William Tully branch of our family earlier this summer. For, you see, those bridesmaids were cousins.
The inscription on the back of the original set in the hallway explained that the bridesmaids were Rita Dempsey and Edna Tully. (The groomsmen, by the way, were William Tully—Agnes’ brother—and Michael McCaughey, who was soon to be Edna Tully’s husband.)
The wedding of Agnes Tully and William Stevens took place at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Chicago, a building now no longer in existence. The date of the photograph was June 12, 1912.
Comparing this picture of Agnes and her cousins with an earlier one, received from her uncle William Tully’s collection, it is fairly easy to spot Edna Tully, though the match for Rita is not as obvious. A note on the back of the photograph states, “Left to right, Cousin Maggie, Esther, Margaret, Edna, Rita; Edna was about 15 or 16.” If Edna was aged 15 in this photo, that would date the picture about 1905.
I am presuming that this Maggie is the mother of Rita (who also happens to be a Margaret). The three girls in the middle are sisters, all the daughters of William Tully, brother of John (and not to be confused with the William Tully who was son of John, and groomsman in the wedding photo). Oh, the woes of namesakes: how many Margarets and Williams can one Tully family have?!