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Finding Jersey - part 3

My hunt for little "Jersey" and her family was about to get a HUGE boost! Paul Holbrook, the owner of the glass negatives said that he remembered writing on one of the envelopes. He was able to discover that one envelope said "Joe Buhl Newark NJ"


Could these be the Buhl children? Perhaps Joe Buhl was the father?

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


A father with one of his girls:


Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.


Unfortunately several searches for a Buhl family with three children that matched the ages of the children in the pictures turned up nothing. A Joseph Buhl was located that was in the right age range to be the father, but he had no children.


Then, I remembered the Treadwell case. Maybe Joe/Joseph Buhl was the brother! I did a search for a younger Joseph Buhl and found a family living in Belleville, Essex County, New Jersey.


The 1940 census showed a family with Oscar Buhl and wife Clara with children Joseph, Marilyn and Shirley.


Could our Jersey girl be Shirley Buhl?


In the 1940 census, Joseph was 14, Marilyn was 8 and Shirley was 5. The age gaps between the children seemed about right.


I searched for days and found very little on the family. I had trouble finding anything to prove that the subjects in these photographs were the Oscar Buhl family of New Jersey.


So I looked for other clues. I noticed the house in these two images.

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.



Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.



I took in all the clues, including the pillars, the type of stone, the placement of the door, the bay window, and the house with a balcony next door.


Then I dug up everything I could find on Oscar Buhl. Thankfully he was in city directories for Newark New Jersey in the 1930's and 1940's (about the time of our pictures).


With several addresses to look up, I went to Google maps. I hit a snag on one address, but soon found that the street had a name change. It was a flat front brick apartment building and looked nothing like the home in the picture. Then I went to 830 S. 16th Ave. Newark NJ. The Buhl family were living there in 1937, when Shirley (our little "Jersey") was and Marilyn was five.


What do you think?




Accessed via Google Maps, street view June 2020.


Obviously there have been many changes. Could the photographer have been standing on the neighboring porch? Notice the stone foundation. Perhaps it once came up higher to form a ledge on the porch? The door and the window are in the right place and the neighboring house has a balcony!


The Buhl's were living here in 1937. The little girls on the porch seem to be the right age. Marilyn would have been five and Shirley would have been about three years of age.


I can't wait to tell you what I found out next!

Stay tuned...


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