The Smiling Bride

The Smiling Bride

I have several favorite photographs.  But, a wedding photo from the early 1900s, has captivated my interest ever since the day it fell into my hands

Not Your Usual Dour Turn of the Century Wedding Photo

You ever notice that no one seems particularly happy in old wedding photos?  It seems that the gravityy of the situation sits squarely on the shoulders of the bride and groom.  And, it shows it their face.

That’s why this old wedding photo stands out.  When I found it in a collection of photos sent to me by a cousin, Barbara, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the bride.

smiling bride has no name
This lovely, smiling bride may be a Pacheco cousin

You see that hint of a smile on her lips? A little bit of whimsy in her eyes? This bride seems so happy.

Maybe she’s thinking “Oh, I may be standing behind his chair now, but you wait till I run the household!”

Maybe it’s a little bit of nerves and she’s just about read to burst into a round of giggles.

Whatever it is, I’m drawn to her.  I want to know what she was thinking at that moment.

Another Wedding Photo without Names

This photograph was in my cousin’s grandmother’s album.  There weren’t any names on the back to give us an idea who this handsome couple was.

Family Photo Detective genealogy book
Maureen Taylor’s book helps us find the clues in old photos


One of them must be related since most of the people in the album were.  Most of the other photos were of direct family members and the extended family from E. 25th Street in Oakland, California.

Who could they be?  I think I know the answer.

Is the Bride the Woman on the Porch?

If it weren’t for that smile, this would be another unknown photograph.  But, I have seen that smile somewhere before.

Take a look at this photo of Marie (Pacheco) Corrie.  It was sent to me by my cousin, Rachelle.  It was taken in 1949.  Marie was just shy of her 60th birthday.  She was my grandfathers, first cousin.

Maria Pacheco Corrie at home
Marie (Pacheco) Corrie sits on her porch in Oakland

Now take a look at the wedding photo.  Can you see the similarities?  It’s in the eyes and the smile.

Marie was born in 1890 to Jacintha Rosa Moniz and Manoel Pacheco.  She married Joseph Corrie around 1910.

She and Barbara’s grandmother, Marie Gloria (Bonita) Medeiros, were first cousins.  Marie Gloria was 7 years younger.  The Pacheco and de Braga cousins were all very close.  Many grew up together in Hawaii, migrated from Hawaii to either Oakland or Monterey County, California.  They married and many raised their families in that same neighborhood in Oakland, Californa.

Marie Gloria had Marie’s sister, Bertha’s, wedding photo, as well as other photos of her family.  So, it’s not a stretch to think she might have the Corrie wedding photo, too.

pacheco wedding photo oakland 1900s
Wedding photo of Bertha Pacheco and Joseph Medeiros Andrew.

Where Can I Find Other Clues?

Bertha (Pacheco) Medeiros, Marie (Pacheco) Corrie’s sister, is the bride in the photo above.  I may be seeing what I want to see, but I swear there is a resemblance to our smiling bride.  The look in their eyes, the way they hold their head.

Unfortunately, this is the only known photo of Bertha, so I don’t have anything else to compare to.

My gut tells me that my nameless wedding photo is Marie Pacheco and Joseph Corrie.  I hope some day to find definitive proof.  There must be a photo of the couple out there somewhere!  For now, I will have to rely on my intuition.


This post was written for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge by Amy Johnson Crow, Week 2:  Favorite Photograph.

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Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website,

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