Donna Darling Collection – Part 36 – Fox Washington Theatre

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection concerning “The Fox Washington – Washington Blvd at Clifford.”

Continue reading “Donna Darling Collection – Part 36 – Fox Washington Theatre”

DNA Doesn’t Lie – John Montran

Brown-Montran Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For a few years, I’ve hypothesized that my great-grandfather, John F. Montran and John Foster Montran were the same person.

I have been unable to find a record of John F. Montran and my great-grandmother, Ida Mae Barber marrying in 1892. My grandmother was born in 1893 with the name Donna Montran and when Ida remarried in 1897 to Max Fisher she indicated her surname was Montran and that she was married once before. So, I believe John Montran and Ida were married about 1892.  Donna indicated in 1911 that her father was dead. Certainly, John F. Montran doesn’t seem to exist anytime in the 20th century. I have found no records for John F. Montran after my grandmother’s birth in 1893.

John Foster Montran married Maude Minnie Winter in 1894. I have found no records for John Foster Montran before 1894. He had two children with Maude, Thelma M. Montran and Ruth Grace Montran, in 1895 and 1897 respectively. In the 1900 Census, Maude is listed as a widow and John appears nowhere else.

  • 1892 – John Montran married Ida
  • 1893 – Donna was born.
  • 1894 – John and Ida separate.
  • 1894 – John married Maude Minnie Winter
  • 1895 – Thelma is born.
  • 1897 – Ruth is born.
  • 1898-1900 John dies.
  • 1911 – Donna indicates her father, John Montran, was dead.

All the parts appeared to fit. The locations weren’t too far off. Donna indicated her father was born in Pennsylvania but had lived in Canada. Maude indicated her husband was born in Canada, but Maude and (her) John married in Pennsylvania.

DNA image by Caroline Davis2010 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

I figured that DNA testing would prove the two John Montrans were one. I began researching the descendants of John and Maude (Winter) Montran. In 2015, I found a living descendant, I’ll call Sue[i]. I contacted her and asked if she would be interested in doing a DNA Test. The results should prove my hypothesis that the two John’s were the same person. She wasn’t interested in testing then, but maybe sometime.

I continued searching and finally found another descendant of John and Maude (Winter) Montran, I call him James[ii]. I contacted him, and learned he wasn’t interested in testing either.

I continued searching but didn’t find any additional living descendants of John and Maude and I set the project aside for a while.

It had been nearly two years since I had contacted Sue, so I thought I’d follow-up with her and see if she was interested in testing now.  She replied that she had tested with 23 and Me and had her results.  My mother tested with 23 and Me several years ago. My mother and Sue should show as a match. If my hypothesis is correct, they would be half first cousins, once removed. No match on 23 & Me. When you look for matches on 23 & Me, the page says, “Note: your anonymous matches have been opted out of DNA Relatives and are no longer visible within the tool.”  I thought, maybe Sue opted out of DNA Relatives. I asked her to double check her settings. She responded that she opted in to DNA Relatives the day before. She also shared her results with me.  Again, nothing, nada.

Using Blaine Bettenger’s “Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4,” I could see that half first cousins, once removed (1C1R) should share 226cM of DNA. And that the range seen for half-1C1Rs was from 57 to 530.  I even decreased the match criteria from the usual 7cm segment match required to only 4cM segment match and still no match with Sue.

Of course, it is possible that there was a non-paternal event that caused these DNA results, and it is always good to keep an open mind.  However, these results prove to my satisfaction that my great-grandfather, John F. Montran, and the John Foster Montran who married Maude Minnie Winter were two different people.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Separate John F and John Foster in all my records and notional work and indicate that they were definitely different individuals.


————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Endnotes

[i] Surnames are removed from living individuals. First Names used may or may not be the same as the living individual’s name.

[ii] Ibid.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 35 – The Elsinore

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection concerning “The Elsinore.”

From the Donna Darling Scrapbook.

This was one of the strangest clippings in the scrapbook not only because it was cut out oddly but also had a color image included. At first, I thought the clipping went together, then I realized it was two clippings that touched each other. The first part was a standard vaudeville advertisement. Donna was playing at “The Elsinore” and was part of “5 Association Vaudeville Acts.”

  • Donna Darling Revue – With Sammy Clark
  • Curtis & Lawrence – in “Is That the Custom”
  • Morell & Elynor – Introducing the Charleston on Rollers
  • Princess Winona – Indian Prima Donna
  • Zuhn & Dreis – Dementas Americanas

Donna and Sammy played at the Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon for one night, on 5 November 1926. A venue I knew about, thanks to Newspapers.Com.


But the other part of the clipping was an odd little man in bright orange pants with a belt that said “Wild to Go.” When I zoomed in on the photo, I could read the logo on his hat, “Red Crown Gasoline.”  I searched the internet for Red Crown Gasoline and learned it was a brand of Standard Oil[i]. It is mentioned as possibly being the first movie product placement advertisement.  The 1920 film, “The Garage” starring “Fatty” Arbuckle and Buster Keaton[ii] showed the Red Crown Gasoline several times. A search of Google Images discovered a couple images of this little man but none of this exact image. Certainly, this little man is rare, if not unique.

Sources

[i] Internet: Old Auto News (Vintage Autos and Motorcycle Advertisements) Red Crown Gasoline, et al.
[ii] Internet: Wikipedia – “The Garage (1920 film)”

Chin-Chin in the News – 1 Jan 1920 – Edmonton, Alberta

Date: January 1, 1920 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Empire Theatre

Vaudeville/Chin-Chin

My grandmother was a vaudeville star and I am following her career, trying to learn of her many performances. In October 1919, she joined the cast of the Charles Dillingham production of “Chin-Chin.” “Chin-Chin” played in the US and Canada until June 1920. I monitor several newspaper services watching for new venues that the show played at while she a was a cast member.

This week I found an article in the Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) dated Jan 1, 1920 (via Newspapers.Com).

Edmonton Journal, Thu, Jan 1, 1920, Page 9.

Article transcription:

BY PRESS AGENTS

CHIN CHIN AT EMPIRE

There appears to be no doubt that Mr. Charles Dillingham’s stupendous production of “Chin Chin” with Walter Willis and Roy Binder in the lead, will duplicate its record of absolute capacity audiences at the Empire theatre where it will open a three-day engagement with a holiday matinee today.

Though the title of “Chin Chin” suggests a Chinese setting, it appears that the scenes are not laid anywhere near the Celestial Land.

There is no leading lady in this organization, although a number of beautiful women, principals and otherwise, song birds and actresses are in the cast, it appears that the who is to enjoy the place of honor as first favorite is left to the choice of the public.

Tom Brown of the Six Brown Brothers’ famous Saxaphone clown band, composed “That Moaning Saxophone Rag” which is one of the hits of the play.

It is estimated that 250,000 people all from points more than one hundred miles from New York have already seen “Chin Chin” while it was presented at the Globe theatre in New York, and not Mr. Dillingham is actually bringing this his only company in its entirety to the Empire theatre.

New Venue Added:

Jan 1-3 – Edmonton, Alberta Canada, Empire Theatre – “Chin-Chin”

 

Donna appears with Arthur Daly – February 1918

The New York Clipper for February 13, 1918 reported

JEROME SONGS IN VAUDEVILLE
New York Clipper Feb 13, 1918, Page 12.

Montran and Daly, who are now appearing on the United time, are featuring a number of the songs from the William Jerome catalogue. The best are “The Irish Will Be There,” “When It’s Cotton Pickin’ Time In Alabam’,” “When You Were The World To Me,” and “When the Yanks Come Marching Home.” Arthur Daly, the male member of the team is the composer of the first three numbers.

The “United Time” appears to have been a vaudeville circuit that many vaudeville houses were affiliated. I can’t find out anything else about Arthur Daly and his songs don’t seem to have any information associated with them.  I have not been successful in determining any specific theaters that they played at.

The association of Donna and Arthur Daly appears to have been very short lived. In January 1918, she was apparently still in Boston and appeared in the January 27th article, “Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue?” and by April 10th, she was forming an act with George Kinnier for the Moss and Loew Circuits.

Update

I added the following to Donna’s experiences.

Feb 13 – Began appearing on the “United Time” with Arthur Daly in New York.