Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It Started With a Question

While I have been working hard on my second Caitlyn Jamison mystery, Fatal Dose, hubby has been working equally hard on his Decker family genealogy. This week I finished the third manuscript edit, and then spent over three hours utilizing Word’s “Find” feature to identify each time I used the word “had.” I was amazed at how often I use that word without knowing. During that process I also identified words and sentences that weren’t needed. The manuscript is now about 300 words lighter than when I started.

But back to genealogy. Yesterday hubby turned around and asked, “Do you have a Blanche Tucker in your tree? She was a school teacher.” My answer was, “I don’t know.”

That prompted me to pull out my Tucker genealogy and figure out where I left off. I opened the Index of names document I started several years ago and decided my first step would be to finish the Index. That accomplished, I printed it and also printed the Index I created from Jessie (Tucker) Agard’s journal entries (not finished), as well as notes I made from William Lanning Tucker’s 1924 diary. These Indexes will be a good resource as I go forward.

That done, I told hubby this morning, “Yes, I have a Blanche in my tree. She was married to Emmitt Tucker (b: 1887), son of Freddie Tucker (b: 1855), grandson of Ezra D. and Caroline (Lanning) Tucker.  Emmett and Blanche had a daughter, Grace. Grace married first, Nelson Sansouci (announcement in previous post).

Blanche (Rumsey) Tucker is the daughter of Mahlon and Adeline (Douglas) Rumsey of Newfield, NY. 

Emmitt and Blanche celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on 23 December 1966.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Mystery of Lena Stanley Myers – Solved

We think. Over six years ago one of my hubby’s high school friends asked for help in finding out who her grandfather was. Her father was adopted, and he let the family know that he never wanted to know who is birth parents were. Years after his death, his children did want to know.

Our friend’s brother had a couple of documents that got us started, but it took a number of months (years) and much searching to figure out that the mother – Lena Stanley of Trumansburg, New York, but we could never be sure who the father was. We found out that Lena married Cornell prep school student Joseph Myers of Des Moines, IA, and that they had took a steamer to Texas for their honeymoon. These events were reported in the newspapers.

When Joseph’s father found out he had married, Joseph was pulled out of Cornell in Ithaca, NY and sent to Harvard. A year and a half later Lena had a child – our friend’s father.

The adoption situation of this child created questions. But the bigger question was – Who was the father of the baby born in 1906? We developed a number of scenarios.

The baby was born in February 1906; Lena and Joseph’s annulment proceedings were in the fall of that year. The annulment documents state nothing about a child. Instead, Joseph agreed that the marriage had never been consummated (remember the newspaper articles about their honeymoon cruise), and the reason was he was being treated for venereal disease at the time of their marriage. The annulment took place in a county away from where the couple would have been known. So many twists and turns to this story.

The mystery continued all these years, until recently when our friend’s brother had his DNA tested through and someone contacted him with a close match. Our friend received an email recently with a photo attached – Here is your grandfather!

The man identified as the father is Gonzalo Martinez-Fortun, a Cuban, possibly in the area attending Cornell University. The census shows him living in Trumansburg, New York a couple of blocks from Lena’s residence. Gonzalo returned to Cuba 1 July 1905, eight months before the baby was born. His family suspects he never knew Lena was pregnant.

Our friend sent a photo of her father, and a photo of Gonzalo, and we can see the similarities.

And so another mystery solved. It took years of research and the miracle of DNA to finally five our friend the closure she desired.When Gonzalo's eldest grandchild was told of the story, she now wants to come to New York and meet everybody. What fun that would be.

For more on this story, scroll down and click on the links to Lena Stanley of blogs written In February and April 2011.