Showing posts with label Ruth Nave. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ruth Nave. Show all posts

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Women's History Month: Marriage Records

Today's instruction from Lisa Alzo at The Accidental Genealogist is:

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I have a marriage record for my maternal great-grandparents and my paternal great-grandparents, and for my maternal grandparents, but not for my paternal grandparents -- just haven't got round to that one yet.

My maternal great-grandparents were Francis Harvey "Frank" Reed and Florence Elizabeth McKee. The marriage was announced on page 1 of the Monticello (Indiana) Herald, Thursday, September 18, 1884: "Married, at the residence of the bride's mother, on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1884, at 12:30 p.m., by Rev. L. J. Natzger of Logansport, Mr. Frank Reed, of Portland, Ind., to Miss Flora McKee, of this place. The ceremony was witnessed by a number of friends and relatives and the happy couple were the recipients of many handsome and appropriate gifts. They left on the afternoon train for Logansport, their future residence, bearing with them the well wishes of many friends in this locality."

On the marriage certificate itself, the minister signed his name as Lyn Naftzger, so the newspaper had it misspelled, but one can hardly blame the poor copywriter!

I do not have a wedding picture, but I have a picture of the two of them many years later. They look like typical reticent midwesterners!

My maternal grandparents, Benjamin Franklin Reed, also called "Frank," and Ruth Nave, were married 23 November 1913 in the county courthouse at South Bend, Indiana. He was a railroad switchman and she was a telephone operator. I have no photographs of them at all.

My paternal great-grandparents, Oscar Merry Packard and Sarah Augusta Hetherington, were married 17 August 1871 in Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois. I have no photographs of either of them.

I do know that my paternal grandparents were married sometime around the turn of the 20th century in southern California. My great-grandfather had brought his young family to southern California sometime in the 1890s, and it was a good place for him to be in the next 30 years, as he was a real estate salesman and developer. I do not know if my grandfather, Walter Hetherington Packard, had followed his father's footsteps originally, but later on he was supervisor of a local dairy. My grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Reynolds, is shown in a photograph in 1897, taken by a Los Angeles studio, and has signed her name "Bessie Reynolds" on the back. I do not have a photo of their wedding day, either. The only photo I have of my grandparents together is this photo, later in life, with their son Arden, who was visiting home on leave from the United States Naval Academy, probably 1932 or 1933. Arden Packard was my father.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: A-HA!

Once again it is time for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. So here are tonight's instructions:

1) Think of any number of genealogy events or moments that make you have a genealogy happy dance, an ah-ha moment, or a genea-gasm.

2) Tell us about them in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I didn't know until I was 10 years old and my cousin told me, that her mother and my mother, sisters, had been intra-family adoptions. Their father died in a railroad accident in 1917, when my mother, the youngest of three, was not quite a year old. They were adopted by uncles and their wives. I've told the story before here, so in a nutshell I'll just say that I never knew my mother's biological mother, my grandmother Ruth Nave. She lived a sad life, according to my aunt, had at least one other marriage if not two, and her last husband's surname was White. The other thing my aunt told me, about 30 years ago now, was that Ruth Nave died in 1951.

So one day I was at home not feeling very well, and I was messing about on the Internet and I decided to go hunting for grandma. I was at the website of the city of Logansport, Indiana, where my grandfather grew up. I remembered something about a Mount Hope Cemetery, so I went looking at the cemetery's website, which was linked from the Logansport website. There I found my great-grandparents in their family plot, and an apparent grandson that I had not known about buried there, too. I also found my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Reed, whose tombstone was marked B. F. Reed. He was not buried in the Reed family plot, however, but with his in-laws, Teter Nave and his wife Lizzie. Odd, I thought, because the Reed family had made the funeral arrangements and held the funeral from their home, according to my grandfather's obituary. Either they had acceeded to a wish from their not-terribly-favored daughter-in-law, or this was their way of saying to their son, of whose wife they did not approve (according to my aunt), "You made your bed, now you lie in it!"

But where was my grandmother? The tombstone marking my grandfather's grave also had my grandmother's name on it, as "Ruth, his wife." Her birth year, 1892, was on the stone, but the other date was missing. Was she not buried there? She had married again -- had she and her subsequent husband even stayed in Logansport? I couldn't search all the listings, because there were some 80.000 interments in that cemetery. So, feeling dejected, I closed the browser and was going to get up from the computer until I remembered what my aunt had told me: She had a husband whose surname was White, and died in 1951.

So I went to the index listing at the cemetery website, and there she was -- Ruth White, died 1951. And she was indeed buried there in the Nave family plot, right next to my grandfather, her first husband. Mr, White, then, must have been an understanding fellow. I later obtained a transcription of her death certificate from the Cass County (where Logansport is located) Health Department, and the informant on the certificate was Harold White.

Well, that was an A-HA moment, for sure, finding the grandmother I never knew and never would know, except to know where someday I need to visit her and let her know that her granddaughter thinks of her from time to time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Time Travel

Randy Seaver, whose blog is Genea-Musings, posted last night a challenge:

"1) Let's go time travelling: Decide what year and what place you would love to visit as a time traveller. Who would you like to see in their environment? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

2) Tell us about it. Write a blog post, or make a comment to this post, or on Facebook, or in Genealogy Wise."

I'm a bit late, because we are still catching up from having been in Atlanta and North Carolina for a week. Here is my response:

The person I would like to have visited would be my grandmother Ruth Nave Reed Pennington White, and the time between 1930 and 1951, the year of her death. The place: Logansport, Cass County, Indiana.

Ruth Nave married my grandfather Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Reed on 25 November 1913. They had three children: Donald, Margaret, and my mother Martha, who was born 20 December 1916. Now, it is possible that these three children were all crowded into that three years, but it is also possible that the bun was already in the oven. The couple made their application, got their marriage license, and were married all in one afternoon, at the St. Joseph County Courthouse, South Bend, Indiana.

Sometime after my mother died in 1980, I visited my aunt Margaret in Orlando, to get some answers I needed before it was too late. My mother would not talk about her mother, retaining some anger all her life at the feeling that her mother had abandoned her. She was adopted and raised by her uncle Perry Wilmer Reed and his wife Mary LeSourd, in a loving home, with Perry and Mary's own children Robert and Elizabeth. But still she carried resentment.

I asked my aunt Margaret about my grandmother, and she said that the Reed family had "ganged up" on Ruth and taken the children away. She said that the Reed family did not like my grandmother, and it is possible that if her marriage to Frank Reed was a hurry-up thing, that there is the reason. The Reeds were good people, but could be rather snooty on certain matters of "place." Another reason they may not have liked Ruth Nave is that Ruth worked as a telephone operator in an age when "decent" women stayed in the home.

I think my mother never gave my grandmother any understanding. She may have felt that if she, widowed at 38 years old with three children, could keep the kids together, then my grandmother should have done, too. However, conditions were not the same in 1913 as they were in 1954, when my father died. And my mother had nothing but support and love from her in-laws, not the apparent hostility my aunt alluded had been the case for my grandmother.

My grandfather died in a railroad accident in October of 1917. My grandmother married again, twice, but my aunt said that grandmother had a very sad life. She died in 1951, and is buried next to her first husband, her first love, in Mount Hope Cemetery in Logansport, Indiana.

The question I would like to ask my grandmother is: "What really happened with mom and Aunt Margaret and Uncle Donald?" I'd like to know the story behind the facts.

The irony is that even though the Reeds, Frank's parents, made the funeral arrangements and had the funeral conducted from their home, my grandfather and his wife are not buried in the Reed family plot, but with Teter and Elizabeth Nave, Ruth's parents. Seems to me it might have been their way of saying, "You made your bed, now you lie in it."

Or it could have been that they relented a bit and granted a wish from their scorned daughter-in-law.


Frank Reed and Ruth Nave, Applications for marriage license, marriage license, and marriage certificate. 25 November 1913, St. Joseph County, Indiana, Clerk of Circuit Court, Marriage Book 26. page 88.

Elizabeth Nave household, 1930 U.S. Census of Population, Indiana, Cass County, Logansport, 1st Ward, Enumeration District 9-10, Dwelling number 76, Family number 76, National Archives Microfilm Publication T626, Roll 579, Sheet 38, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. In this census, Elizabeth's daughter Ruth is listed as Ruth Pennington.

Ruth White, death certificate, official transcript, Logansport, Cass County, Indiana, Book 16, page 115.

Mount Hope Cemetery database, Logansport, Cass County, Indiana, online: http://www. Section 12, Lot 0607, spaces 03 and 04.

Martha Reed, birth certificate, registered number 24565, 20 December 1916, State of Michigan, Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.

In re adoption, Martha S. Reed, In the Circuit Court of Escambia County, State of Florida, First Judicial District, 15 June 1920.

Benjamin Franklin Reed, death certificate, Registered number 10695, 20 October 1917, State of Michigan, Department of State, Division of Vital Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.

Now, who was saying that genealogical blog posts are unreliable because they don't post their sources?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Double Vision in the Census

I have on two occasions found family members listed twice in a particular census. I have also found some apparently not listed at all.

In the 1860 census, my great-great grandfather Charles Reed appears to have been listed twice. On the 11th of June, 1860, he is in the household of his father, Harvey Reed, in Wayne, Jay County, Indiana (M653, Roll 269, page 15). He is shown to be 19 years old, and by occupation a miller.

On the 12th of July, Charles Reed, miller, 20 years old, appears in the household of Vinson Nidey, a landlord, in Jefferson Township, Jay County, Indiana (M653, Roll 269, page 69). Is this the same Charles Reed? I think it quite likely, even with the slight age discrepancy, because just a few lines down on the same census sheet appears the family of Francis M. Wright, including his 16-year old daughter Clarissa H., who very soon after became the bride of Charles Reed. It appears the young man relocated with courtship in mind, or became smitten soon after relocating. Could be the beginning of a love story which included separation during the Civil War, and later widowhood for Charles Reed. And there is also the possibility that Charles Reed had already relocated to Jefferson Township earlier, and had just been included in his father's household by whoever was the informant even though he was no longer resident there.

The second instance of double listing involves my father, Arden Packard, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy 22 June 1929, after graduation from high school in Pasadena, California. On dates recorded by the enumerator as 4-5 April 1930, in Pasadena (T626, Roll 168, ED 19-1208, Sheet 4A) he is enumerated in the household of his father, Walter Hetherington Packard. It is probable that he was not actually present in the household on either of those days, because on 5 April 1930, he was also enumerated at the U.S. Naval Training Center, San Diego (T626, Roll 191, ED 37-56, sheet 10B).

On the Pasadena enumeration, his father's household, there is no occupation listed for my father. The informant apparently did not tell the census enumerator that my father was in the Navy, otherwise the enumerator would not have listed him, according to Item 73 of the Instructions to Enumerators, which states in part: "If . . . any family in your district reports that one of its members is a soldier, sailor, marine. or civilian employee of the United States with a post of duty or station elsewhere, you should not report him as a member of that family." On the San Diego census sheet, my father, age 18 at the time, is reported as a seaman in the U.S. Navy, and shown as having been at work the previous day (4 April 1930). He was, therefore, not in Pasadena on the day his father's household was enumerated.

My mother's parents, Perry W. and Mary Reed, do not show up in the 1920 census. I have looked for them in their native state of Indiana, in Illinois, where they had lived while Perry worked in Chicago, and in Florida, where they did relocate early in 1920. Perry Reed was a railroad freight agent, who had gone from Indiana to Florida to become freight agent for the Gulf, Florida, and Alabama Railway. Around that time, probably in the spring of 1920, they went to Indiana to retrieve my mother. Briefly, my mother's birth parents were Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Reed, Perry's younger brother, and his wife Ruth Nave. Frank Reed was killed in a railroad accident in 1917, when my mother was not quite a year old. According to my aunt Margaret, my mother's sister, the Reeds "ganged up" on their mother. The result was that my mother was adopted by Perry and Mary Reed, the adoption having been finalized 15 June 1920 in the Circuit Court of Escambia County, Florida, in the First Judicial Circuit.

Perry and Mary Reed were enumerated in the 1910 census in Chicago (T624, Roll 271, Sheet 8B), and in the 1930 census in Pensacola (T626, Roll 316, Sheet 12A). I have not been able to locate them in the 1920 census, and my suspicion is that they were en route from Indiana to Florida at the time of that enumeration.

If you suspect an ancestor may have appeared twice, pursue the investigation. Use neighbors, as I did with Charles Reed -- a bride-to-be or groom-to-be may reside nearby. Use other records, such as my father's Navy service record. Read the instructions to the enumerators, and bear in mind that they were not always followed.

If you think you are having double vision, you may be right!