Hanley Photo and Frame Mystery

I have an oval framed photograph in my family archives that I I haven't been able to identify. It was in one of several boxes at the Leaning Tree Lodge, a cottage that has been in the Hanley family for over 60 years.


I posted an "Are they the same?" question to The Psychogenealogist Facebook Page a few weeks ago. 

The general consensus was that it was NOT The Jack Hanley (1885-1946) that I thought it could be. I still think there is a possibility that it is Jack, but many commenters made good points about why it might not be.

I needed to investigate further so I disassembled the frame in hopes of finding clues. 

Here was the back of the framed photo:


I removed the back of the frame and it revealed this:


Here is the photo with all of the parts disassembled:


Here is a higher resolution scan of photo in questions:

photo mystery.jpeg

Here is the back:

photo mystery 2.jpeg

I increased the resolution and contrast of the back. Then I cropped in close to what you can see, faintly, says "VELOX" printed diagonally from bottom left to top right:

photo mystery 3.jpeg

And here is a scan of the makeshift photo matting that was used to display the original photo. It is a Merry Christmas postcard with a littler girl on the front:

photo mystery 1.jpeg

There is some incomplete writing on the mat that says: *"ara" and "ann"*. I don't know who that  is.

When I started losing confidence that this was Jack Hanley, I had some hopes that this was actually a photo of my 2nd great grandfather (Jack's father), Patrick Hanley (1857-1923), someone I had never seen a photo of yet.

My hopes were quickly dashed because the photo was just too modern. The "VELOX" photo paper that was used was common in the 1940s and 1950s. Plus, while the photo mat could have been added much later, it seemed too modern to account for anything much before the 1950s. Plus, the man's suit and tie appear to be 1940s era.

Examining all the details of the photo and the frame I think it still COULD be Jack Hanley, but I am not certain.

I would be gobsmacked if it wasn't a Hanley though. The family resemblance just seems too strong for it to be otherwise.

My best guess is that this is a Hanley around the age of 60 +/- around 1945.

I know it is not my great grandfather, Michael John Hanley (1890-1964), but I think it is either his brother, Jack, or his other brother, Eugene Timothy Hanley (1896-1958). Here is a photo of Eugene.

Eugene Timothy Hanley (1896-1958)

Eugene Timothy Hanley (1896-1958)

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!


  • Who is in the original photo?
  • Who did the frame photo belong to?
  • Who is the girl on the Christmas postcard used for the matting?