This is a photo of Ellen “Nell” Donnelly, who became Mrs. John McLaughlin.
I’m pretty sure John and Ellen Donnelly McLaughlin had just one daughter, Mary McLaughlin, who never married and — as far as I know — died without issue.
Mary was a sharp-tongued woman with long, grey hair that she pinned up. She traveled a lot, collected things for resale, and left a considerable fortune when she died… almost all of it to charity.
So, people like my father — who spent a lot of time with Mary in her late years — were kind of stunned when she left them nothing.
The thing is, she’d often mentioned “someone’s” will she’d read, and the person left everything to charity, a little here and a little there. She kept saying how it was one of the most interesting wills she’d ever seen. To this day, I have no idea if she’d copied the idea herself, or if she was simply dropping hints to everyone, describing her own will.
I liked her a lot. She was a merry woman with a hearty laugh, and she was always very entertaining. I think she had a falling-out with my maternal grandmother over some joke Mary had made, but that incident was far beyond my understanding. Mary was a fun relative, and I’d enjoyed every time she visited us.