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Finding Jersey - Part 4

This post is part of a series. To read part 1, go here.

My hunt for a little girl nicknamed "Jersey" discovered in a collection by Paul Holbrook, a collector of vintage negatives, began with a desire to know the identity of the girl with the big eyes. The pictures were often out of focus, but I didn't care. I simply wanted to know more about her and her family.

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.

The more I researched, the more I was convinced that "Jersey" was actually Shirley Buhl, the youngest daughter of Oscar and Clara Buhl.

Paul had some older pictures of "Jersey".

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.

But without pictures to compare, I didn't think I had enough proof.

So, I enlisted help.

Years ago, my sister in law Valerie and I joined forces as we researched the family tree that we both married into. We took a road trip and visited a historical society, courthouse and cemeteries. We were hooked and Valerie unwittingly became my partner in crime when it came to genealogy research. We not only researched our own family tree, we researched others. Any mystery that we came across, we shared clues and discussed theories across the miles. Valerie lives in Michigan and I am in Pennsylvania. But thanks to technology, we can easily team up and share information.

A few months ago, she asked what I was working on and I sent her the pictures of "Jersey". As clues unfolded and facts came to light, I passed them on to Valerie.

I call Valerie a 'super slueth'. She often digs up a gem that I missed or finds that needle in the haystack that ties everything together. This was one of those times! Going off my hunch that "Jersey" was actually Shirley Buhl, Valerie was able to find Shirley Buhl's yearbook picture!

And guess what!? She looks very much like an older version of our little "Jersey"!

Shirley was also on the art staff for her senior yearbook. If she could have only known how many people would be looking at the pages she worked on!

What do you think? Valerie and I think it's a match! Along with the other clues we have found on this Buhl family along the way, we believe that our "Jersey" is, in fact, Shirley Buhl!

Picture courtesy of Paul Holbrook. Used with permission.

More to come! Stay tuned...

To read how I discovered Jersey's identity, go back to the beginning, here.

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Kim Ansberry
Kim Ansberry
Oct 03, 2020

Great work! I love having a name to go with a face. Thanks!


Fascinating Julie and a great job! And you know I totally get how intriguing we find these searches. You've inspired me to focus on a search re a fascinating photo of my grandmother Ethel Isabelle "Issy" Van Pelt (married to John Doddridge Lyons) in a gorgeous flapper outfit, in her early 20's, in front of a wall of giraffe frescoes. My sister convinced taken at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY (my grandmother was related) but after reading your post I began serious Googling of giraffe frescoes (including Bermuda where they honeymooned) and can't find this most interesting wall behind her. The hunt is on. Look forward to your next post! Daina

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