DNA – Glennis’ Paternal Search – Part 12

Following Morgan/Morgan (Orien & James)
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My half-sister Glennis is a DNA match on Ancestry.Com with several individuals who have common ancestors with Nathan Smith Morgan and his wife, Belinda Odell. In the search to determine Glennis’ biological father, I am continuing to develop a tree of the descendants of Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan of Pleasants County, West Virginia. This time I look at Sarah D. Morgan, Orien Morgan, and James Cyrus Morgan. They are the ninth, tenth, and eleventh of eleven (known) children to be examined.

Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan’s 11 (known) children

Child Children Notes/comments
Clara M Morgan Gail Hemsworth
Naomi Hemsworth
Married Everett Luzader

Married Earl Deem

Henry Clifford Morgan None. Died at age 15.
Lewis V. P. Morgan Lula Edna Morgan
Opal Jean Morgan
Died at age 2.

Married William Davis

Rosa Virginia Morgan Carrie Vernice May

Clara Bernice May

Mary Fannie May

Edna Marie May

Roy Harold May

Married Pearl W. Dutton

Married Hezekiah Martin Morrison

Married Floyd T. Williamson

Married Clarence Gorell

Married Della Olive Hooper

Dora D. Morgan None Died at age 2.
Ephraim Stokeley Morgan Helen Virginia Morgan

Ralph W. Morgan

Married Louis Scott – No  Candidates

Died at age 1

Nathan Spencer Morgan None (Apparently) Married Alice Redding
John A. Morgan Louise
Harold A
Mildred Eloise
Erma Ruth
Died as Infant.
Married Iris Edith Estep – 3 children.
Married Van Bert Franks – 1 child.Married Wilbert Clayton Bauer – No children.
Sarah D Morgan   See Dora D Morgan above.
Orien E. Morgan Melvel Cyrus
Clarence Kendle
Richard Albert
Glen E
Carl Morgan
Married – Daughter b. 1933

Married – Son b. 1938

Married 1936.

Not a Candidate

Died as infant

James Cyrus Morgan James J

Alice Morgan

Betty Morgan

Not a Candidate

Not Considered

Not Considered

Sarah D Morgan was born on 4 June 1876 to Francis & Fannie Morgan. This was a single birth. The same date and same parents indicate that the two individuals, Dora D. Morgan and Sarah D. Morgan are the same person. The child was buried as Dora D, so I use that name and have merged the individuals.

Birth, Marriage & Death CollectionOrion E. Morgan was born on 1 Sept 1878 in West Virginia. He married Grace Martin about 1906; they had five boys, Mervel, Clarence, Richerd, Glen, and Carl. None of them appear to have had boys between 1925 and 1935. He died in 1973 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

James Cyrus Morgan was born in October of 1880. He married Annie Cecil [LNU]. They had one son and two daughters, none of them appear to have children between 1925 and 1935.

That completes my look AT the children of Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan. I have not found any strong candidates with this group.  Francis was the first of twelve children of Nathan Smith Morgan and Belinda Odell, so I will continue…


Next, I’ll look at the descendants of Samson G Morgan, son of Nathan Smith Morgan and Belinda Odell, who was born in 1842.

Note – My Criteria:

  • “Candidates” are males born between 1925 and 1935.
  • “Not considered” are females who are unlikely to have had a male child between 1925 and 1935.
  • “Not a Candidate” are males born between 1915 and 1925 as being too young to have had a son between 1925 and 1935 and too old to be a candidate.
  • “Possible but unlikely” are males born between 1925 and 1935, but are not named Paul or Phil, which are the likely names of Glennis’ biological father, or otherwise don’t appear to fit the “likely candidate” criteria as being in Minnesota or Michigan in 1953. I will revisit these possibilities later of this project fails to find a potential candidate.


This is a quickly developed “notional” tree. I have all supporting documents regarding Orien Eli Morgan & descendants documents in a separate folder. All records used were found at the following sites:

For specific sources that I used, please email me or use the contact form below.

————–   * DISCLAIMER ————-

We’re Related – Barack Obama?

Famous Friday

Roberts/Blackwell/Harris Line
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Last April, through the application “We’re Related,” I was learned that my wife is related to her eighth cousin, twice removed, Michelle Obama. I determined that that relationship was “very probable.”  This year “We’re Related” suggests that I am related to Barack Obama. I am very sure that I’m related to President Taft, but Barack Obama? Could “We’re Related” be right?

Common Ancestor

“We’re Related” suggests that Temperance Overton (1679-1765) is our common ancestor. The lineage goes up my paternal (Roberts) line:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts (1926-1997)
  • Bert Allen Roberts (1903-1949)
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts (1882-1908)
  • Asa Ellis Roberts (1835-1887)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (1796-1867)
  • Sarah Harris (1765-1806)
  • Robert Harris (1741-1809) *
  • Robert Harris (1696-1765) *
  • Temperance Overton (1679-1710) *


I don’t see anything intrinsically wrong with the suggested pedigree from me up to Temperance. I know that a Sarah Harris married a David Blackwell, but I haven’t found adequate sources for birthdates, places or parents for either of them. I am a little uncomfortable that there are three generations for whom I haven’t confirmed the pedigree research.

Temperance Overton’s Descendants leading to Barack Obama as suggested by “We’re Related include:

  • Temperance Overton (1679-1710)
  • Elizabeth Haris Hudson *
  • Mary Hudson (1726-1792) *
  • Charles Bunch (1765-1792) *
  • Nathaniel Bunch (1793-1859) *
  • Anna Bunch (1814-1893) *
  • Frances Ann Alfred (1834-1918) *
  • Margaret Belle Wright (1869-1935) *
  • Private **
  • Private **
  • Private **
  • Barack Obama


I did a brief look at the Ancestors of Barack Obama on Famous Kin.  Their website indicated Barack’s ancestors as follows:

  • Barack Obama
  • Mother – Stanley Ann Dunham (1942-1995)] **
  • Grandfather – Stanley Armour Dunham (1918-1992)] **
  • Great-grandmother – Ruth Lucille Armour (1900-1926)] **
  • Great-great-grandmother Gabriella Lee Clark (1876-1966) **

Margaret Belle Wright (1869-1935) and Gabriella Lee Clark (1876-1966) are clearly not the same person. So, it appears that I need to look at which pedigree is more likely — The one with three “private” entries or the pedigree that is documented. I’ll take the Famous Kin and Geni suggestions over Ancestry’s ‘private’ entries.


Although entertaining, “We’re Related” in this case, proved to be an unreliable application that suggested a famous cousin that is unlikely to be related to me.


  1. * = Italic entries are “We’re Related suggestions that are unknown to my research.
  2. ** = Names and dates are from “Famous Kin.” See https://famouskin.com/family-tree.php?name=10012+barack+obama for details.
  3. Geni entry for Gabriella Lee Armour (Clark). See https://www.geni.com/people/Gabriella-Armour/6000000000240290231.

Ancestor Bio – John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-09
By Don Taylor

John Calvin Roberts was the first Roberts ancestor I was pretty sure was an ancestor. Years ago, when I did a Y-DNA test to try to determine who my biological father was, the five genetically closest individuals to me were all surnamed. Of them, I was able to follow three of their trees back to a common ancestor, John Calvin Roberts. Although we could have all shared an ancestor of John’s, in that my branch could have split off before John, he became a pivotal person in my research and I hypothesized that he was a common ancestor. It turned out that I was correct.

Research Roberts 2017 – Ancestor #64

List of Grandparents

John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)

John Calvin Roberts was born 03 Mar 1795 in Southwest Territory. He was the fifth child of the nine (known) children of Ellis and Rebecca (Brashears) Roberts. He was the only child born in the Southwest Territory. His four older siblings were all born in South Carolina and his three younger siblings were born after the Southwest Territory became a state, Tennessee, on June 1st, 1796.


John was six years old when Roane County was formed in 1801. It is even more likely that he experienced the excitement of seeing the United States nearly doubling in size with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The War of 1812 began when John was 17. Several researchers have indicated that John served in the War of 1812. I have been unable to confirm that service.[i] In any event, having the British in Tennessee would have made for exciting times.

John’s eight known siblings are:

  • Edward C Roberts 1787-1841
  • Robert Samuel Roberts 1789-1873
  • Rachael Roberts 1791-1856
  • Phillip Roberts 1794-1874
  • Bazzel Roberts 1797-1860
  • Elizabeth Roberts 1799-1855
  • Elijah Roberts 1801-1850
  • Mary “Polly” Roberts 1804-1823


Marriage Bond – John Calvin Roberts and Elizabeth Blackwell – Note solmization date at the bottom.

John married Elizabeth Blackwell on his 21st birthday, 3 March 1816 in Roane County, Tennessee. [ii] Elizabeth had 16 children over the next 27 years. Their first child, Calvin, was born nine months and a few weeks after their marriage.

Their children included:

  • Calvin Roberts 1816-(before 1848)
  • Elias R. “Robbie” Roberts 1818-1902
  • David R Roberts 1820-(before 1848)
  • Elijah Josiah Roberts 1822-1868
  • Elizabeth Roberts 1823-1848
  • George W Roberts 1824-1848
  • Francis Marion “Jack” Roberts 1825-1863
  • John F Roberts 1827-1848
  • Phillip Roberts 1829-(before 1848)
  • Amanda Roberts 1831-1849
  • Hugh Roberts 1833-1916
  • Asa Ellis Roberts 1835-1916
  • Robert Samuel Roberts 1837-1910
  • Bazzel Roberts 1839-1877
  • Rebecca Roberts 1841-1870
  • William Roberts 1843-1850


Sadly, the 1820 Census has been lost.[iii] One researcher suggests John and family were working the farm with his brother, Edward.

The 1830 Census finds John as the head of household consisting of 10 people, him, his wife, and eight children:

  •       Two males under five – Presumably Philip and John F.
  •       Two males 5 thru 9 – Presumably Jack and George
  •       Thee males 10 thru 14 – Presumably Elijah and Elias and either David or Calvin.
  •       One female 5 thru 9 – Presumably Elizabeth

From that, it appears that either David or Calvin died before the 1830 Census as it seems unlikely that either left home before the age of 14.

The 1840 Census finds John as the head of a household consisting of 13 people.

  •       Three males under five – Presumably Asa, Robert, and Bazzel.
  •       One male 5 thru 9 – Presumably Hughy
  •       One male 10 thru 14 – Presumably John F.
  •       Two males 15 thru 19 – Presumably Jack and George
  •       Two males 20 thru 29 – presumably Elijah and Elias
  •       One female 5 thru 9 – Presumably Rebecca
  •       One female 15 thru 19 – Presumably Elizabeth.

He appears in the census next to Robert S. Roberts, presumably, that is his brother Robert Samuel Roberts.

The 1850 Census is the first census that provides the names of people besides the head of the household. The census reports John’s household consists of the following:

  • John Roberts                        55
  • Elizabeth Roberts                53
  • Hughy Roberts                     17
  • Acy Roberts                          15
  • Robert S Roberts                 13
  • Bazel Roberts                       11
  • Rebecca Roberts                 10
  • William Roberts                    9
  • Elizabeth Nelson                 23

All were born in Tennessee except for John’s wife Elizabeth who was born in North Carolina. It is not clear who Elizabeth Nelson was. John’s daughter Elizabeth was born in 1823 and would be 26 years old during the 1850 Census, so I don’t believe it was her.

The 1860 Census finds John as the head of the household with wife Elizabeth and daughter Rebecca.

John’s wife Elizabeth died on 5 July 1867. She is buried in the Roberts Cemetery, in Roane County, Tennessee.

The 1870 Census finds John and his daughter Rebecca living in District 14 (post office Kingston), Roane County Tennessee.

Death & Burial

John Calvin Roberts died in April 1873 in Roane County, Tennessee. He is believed to be buried in the Roberts Cemetery. However, his marker has not been found and is presumed lost or to have never been erected.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com


  • 1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – John Roberts – Roane, Tennesee (A). 1830; Census Place: Roane, Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 180; Page: 55; Family History Library Film: 0024538.
  • 1840 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1840 Census – John Roberts – Roane, Tennessee (A). 1840; Census Place: Roane, Tennessee; Roll: 535; Page: 70; Image: 1022; Family History Library Film: 0024549.
  • 1850 Census (FS), Family Search, John Roberts – Roane, Tennessee – House Number 1415. Accessed:  6 August 2016. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCDB-2JV
  • 1860 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1860 Census – John Roberts – 14th District, Roane, TN – Post Office Kingston.
  • 1870 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, John C Robert, District 14 [Kingsto]), Roane, Tennessee. Roll: M593_1555; Page: 493A; Family History Library Film: 553054. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/7163/records/14326489.
  • Find a Grave, Find a Grave, John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873) [No Image]. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 23 February 2018), memorial page for John Calvin Roberts (3 Mar 1795–Apr 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 147852303, citing Roberts Cemetery, Roane County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Ralph Martin (contributor 47724249) . https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/147852303/john-calvin-roberts.
  • Gregory Vaut, Ancestors of Alexandra Catlin Vaut, Files (Personal), John Calvin Roberts – #78188. accessed 12 June 2016. http://www.acvancestors.com/g2/p2607.htm#i78188.
  • Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, Ancestry.Com, John Roberts & Elizabeth Blackwell. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


[i] One document often cited by other researchers indicates that John Calvin Roberts served in the War of 1812 also shows that John’s Wife Elizabeth has a Widow’s pension number. Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts, the wife of John Calvin Roberts preceded John in death and would not have been a widow and should not have had a widow’s number.

[ii] His Marriage Bond was dated 2 March 1816 and is occasionally cited as his marriage date by some researchers in error.

[iii] Family Search Wiki – Roane County, Tennessee, Genealogy, Census. See: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Roane_County,_Tennessee_Genealogy#Census


Ancestor Bio – Ethel May Carr Newcomb (1885-1977)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-09
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ethel May Carr was born, raised, and married in Somerville, Massachusetts. After marriage, she and her husband settled in Hingham, Massachusetts for several years. After their four children were born, she and her husband moved to Maine, first to Portland then out to Peak’s Island. She was widowed at the age of 71 and died 21 years later at the age of 92.

Blanchard Project 2018 – Ancestor BU11

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Priscella May Newcomb
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Ethel May Carr
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: John Harvey Carr

Ethel May Carr Newcomb (1885-1977)

Ethel May Carr was born on 23 Sep 1885 in Somerville, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. She was one of 14 children of John Harvey and Mary Ann (O’Mara) Carr. I have not discovered information on three of Ethel’s siblings that died before 1900, but her other ten siblings are:

Name Born Died
Berlada Laura Carr [Newcomb]*[i] 1874 1959
James Joseph Carr 1875 1895
William Harvey Carr 1877
Peter E Carr 1880 1906
John C Carr 1882
Jennie L Carr 1882 1883
Arthur H Carr 1883
Charles F Carr 1888
George Putney Carr 1889 1889
Ralph S Carr 1891

Certainly, six siblings who died young would have had a significant impact on her life. Adding to that tragedy in her life was the death of her father, John Harvey Carr, sometime before 1900. Her mother is identified as a widow and head of household in the 1900 Census.


When she was 17, she married Horace Upton Newcomb, son of Alexander Newcomb and Amelia Jane Allen, on 07 Sep 1903 in Somerville, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Geo. Whitaker, Minister of the Gospel, from Cambridge, MA, performed the ceremony.

Ethel and Horace were blessed with four children, namely:

  • Horace Arthur Newcomb
  • Priscilla May Newcomb
  • Theodore H Newcomb
  • Hugh Earl Newcomb

In contrast to her mother, Ethel only saw the death of one of her children; Hugh died in 1960 at the age of 50.

Shortly after their marriage Ethel and Horace moved to Hingham, MA. Sometime after 1910 and before 1918, Ethel and Horace moved to Maine. They lived at 14 North Street, Portland.

The 1920 Census indicates that they lived at 144 North Street. At first, I thought there might be a mistake in their address. However, I learned that the current 14 North Street was built in 1920. Today, 144 North Street is another much newer building, so I suspect they did live at both those addresses, but neither building still exist.

In 1927, Ethel and Horace acquired property on Peaks Island. The couple lived on Peaks Island until the death of Horace in 1956. After Horace’s death, Ethel moved to the mainland and in 1957 lived at 7 Avon Place in Portland.


Although Ethel was born in the United States, women who married aliens took on the citizenship of their spouse. So, the effect of marrying Horace was that she became a Canadian Citizen. She renounced and abjured allegiance to King Edward and became a citizen of the United States once again on 7 April 1936. Her husband became a citizen of the United States nine months later, on 5 January 1937.


Marker – Horace U & Ethel M Newcomb

Ethel died in Brunswick, Maine on 19 March 1977 at the age of 91. She was buried with Horace at Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland.


  • 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Mary Carr – Somerville, Middlesex, Massachusetts – ED 929, Sheet 10. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9TX-8KW : accessed 19 February 2018), Ralph S Carr in household of Mary Carr, Somerville city Ward 2, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 929, sheet 10B, family 208, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,665. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9TX-8KW.
  • 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, Horace Newcomb – Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2K8-RN7 : accessed 13 October 2017), Horace Newcomb, Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1217, sheet 18A, family 427, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 612; FHL microfilm 1,374,625.
  • 1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, Horace W Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFZ8-CSZ : accessed 13 October 2017), Horace W Newcomb, Portland Ward 1, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing ED 28, sheet 3A, line 40, family 57, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 639; FHL microfilm 1,820,639.
  • Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Ethyl May Carr Newcomb (1885-1977) – Memorial 132642017. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 February 2018), memorial page for Ethel May Carr Newcomb (23 Sep 1885–19 Mar 1977), Find A Grave Memorial no. 132642017, citing Brooklawn Memorial Park, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA ; Maintained by townsendburial (contributor 47629974). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132642017#.
  • Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Horace Upton Newcomb – Memorial #132641945. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=132641945.
  • Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Theodore H. Newcomb, Sr. (1907-1986). Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 16 December 2017), memorial page for Theodore H. Newcomb, Sr (1907–1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 168925076, citing Melrose Cemetery, Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Jody Payne (contributor 47680228). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/168925076/theodore-h.-newcomb.
  • Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952, Ancestry, Ethel May Newcomb – Petition. Source Citation – National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization, 1790 – 11/1945; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=MENaturalizationRecordsOrigs&indiv=try&h=1081569.
  • Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952, Ancestry, Horace Upton Newcomb – Petition. Source Citation National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization, 1790 – 11/1945; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=MENaturalizationRecordsOrigs&indiv=try&h=1081569.
  • Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-­1915, Priscilla May Newcomb. Citing this Record “Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639­1915,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F429­CF8 : 4 December 2014), Priscilla May Newcomb, 06 Aug 1905; citing , 18­13; FHL microfilm 2,080,164.
  • Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, Family Search, Horace Arthur Newcomb – 5 Dec 1903. “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch : 1 March 2016), Horace V. Newcomb in entry for Horace Arthur Newcomb, 05 Dec 1903, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; citing reference ID #p 309, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,057,436. http://(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXFK-CG6.
  • Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, Family Search, Hugh Earl Newcomb. “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 August 2017), Hugh Earl Newcomb, 20 Dec 1909, , Hingham, Massachusetts, United States; citing reference ID #p 184 no77, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,315,253. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXJN-V2N.
  • Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, Family Search, Theodore Harvey Newcomb – 19 Aug 1907. “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXJQ-PNN : 1 March 2016), Theodore Harvey Newcomb, 19 Aug 1907, Hingham, , Massachusetts; citing reference ID #52, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,315,133.
  • Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915, Family Search, Horace Newcomb & Ethel May Carr. “Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N44B-531 : 30 July 2017), Horace Allen Newcomb and Ethel May Carr, 07 Sep 1903; citing , Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,057,588.
  • Social Security Death Index (SSA), Family Search, Ethel Newcomb [Carr] (1885-1977). Source Citation
Number: 004-64-6432; Issue State: Maine; Issue Date: 1973. http://Ancestry.com.
  • S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Portland, Maine – 1957 – Page 520 – Newcomb. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USDirectories&indiv=try&h=901185029.
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Horace Upton Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZFY-G9Z.


[i] Interestingly enough, 11 years after Horace and Ethel were married, Horace’s brother, Hugh, and Ethel’s sister, Berlada, were married. It was Berlada’s second marriage.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 24

Cecil Theater – Mason City, Iowa

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection

Cecil Theater Clipping – Donna Darling and Girls

Key features:

  • The venue is the Cecil Theater in Mason City, Iowa
  • The show is the “Donna Darling and Girls”.
  • Also on bill
    • La France & Co., “World’s Greatest Head Balancers”
    • P. Wilson and Addie “As you like it”
    • Kelly and Carseth in “Days of ’95 and ‘25”
    • Flo Jordan and Boys in “A Whirl – A Twirl, and a Girl”
    • On The Screen – Betty Compson in “Ramshackle House”

In the clippings is also an article, “Musical Comedy Cecil Headliner.” It reads:

Musical Comedy Cecil Headliner

Head balancing Act Also on Vaudeville Program for This Week-End.

The Cecil theater vaudeville program is to be given today and Sunday shows more than ordinary promise. The five stage acts from the Orpheum circuit include several that should appeal to Mason City theater goers.

The Cecil will have a pretentious headliner on the vaudeville stage today in Donna Darling and Girls in songs and steps, a bevy of beautiful musical comedy beauties in the presentation of the latest songs and dances. Miss Darling is a former star with Flo Zeigfield and Chin Chin revue and is assisted by a number of lovely young women who present a routine of the latest popular catchy song numbers and also the latest dances. Special stage setting enhance the beauty of the offerings.

George P. Wilson is a woman hater and he voices his trials and tribulations with the fair sex from the vaudeville stage in a monologue he offers many special song numbers that are crammed with laughs. There is a genuine surprise in his sketch, “As You Life [sic] It.”


Luckily, the article mentions Mason City and a search found there are three places with the name, only Mason City, Iowa had a Cecil theater.

A search of IMDB found that “Ramshackle House,” starring Betty Compson was released on 31 August 1924. Movies at that time typically only had a three or four-month life, so I expect that Donna’s show at the Cecil probably took place in between September and December 1924.

Very little is known about Donna’s schedule in 1924. She probably played in Louisville, Kentucky in August, and Wisconsin in November and December. So, she was definitely in the right part of the country to have played in Mason City in September, October, or November 1924.

A search of Newspapers.com, Genealogy Bank, Newspaper Archives, Ancestry, Chronicling America, Old Fulton Postcards and other sites suggested by The Ancestor Hunt yielded nothing to further identify exactly when Donna played in Mason City.  Additionally, Chronicling America does not indicate that any libraries include holdings of “The Mason City globe-gazette and Mason City daily times” for 1924.


Between Sep and Dec 1924 – Cecil Theater – Mason City, IA – Donna Darling and Girls


Determine what repositories may have archive records of 1924 “Mason City globe-gazette and Mason City daily times” newspapers that were published from 1918 to 1929.