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.

Descendant Bio – Dorothy Bell Cologne (1924-2017)

John Foster Montran Descendants
By Don Taylor

The John Montran Descendants Project is a personal project to explore the possibility that my great-grandfather, John Montran married twice. Once to Ida May Barber and once to Maude Minnie Winter. I believe he had one daughter with Ida (my grandmother) and two daughters with Maude. It is my goal to either confirm or disprove that the two John F. Montrans were the same individual.

I believe that Ruth Grace Montran is my grandmother’s (Madonna Mae Montran) (unknown) half-sister and that they shared the same father, John F. Montran. I am continuing this project by following the lives of Ruth’s two daughters.

John Montran Descendant Project 2018

Descendants of John F. Montran
   Children of John F. Montran and Ida Mae Barber

i.  Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)

Children of John F. Montran and Maude Minnie Winter

ii.  Thelma M. Montran (1895-1974)
Children of Minor Howard Babcock and Thelma M. Montran

A. Olga Ruth Babcock (1916-2001)
B. Montran Benson Babcock (1922-1972)

iii.  Ruth Grace Montran (1897-1993)
Children of John Terrell Cologne and Ruth Grace Montran

Dorothy Bell Cologne (1924-2017)
John Terrell Cologne, Jr. (1925-1994)

Birth

Dorothy Bell Cologne was the first child of John Terrell and Ruth Grace (Montran) Cologne. She was born on 13 January 1924 in Pennsylvania (Probably Philadelphia).

Childhood

In 1930 she was living with her parents at 2 Farragut Street in Philadelphia and she was attending school.

C-54 – Plane type Dorothy flew back to the United States in.

In 1940 she was a lodger at Fred J. Harley’s home in Springfield, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She was attending school. She was an excellent singer and sang in several school plays. Sometime between 1940 and 1946 she moved to Florida.

In 1946, she reentered the country flying on a military plane. She had been out of the country as a singer. Her stage name was Jennifer Marshall. Her home is listed as 515 – 5th St., No St. Petersburg, Fla.

Marriage

In November 1967, Dorothy married Charles J. D’Aprix.  They remained married for almost nine years and divorced on 2 September 1976. It does not appear that they had any children.

Adult

During her adulthood, Dorothy worked as a Real Estate Agent for Keller Williams and other agencies in the Miami area. She often sang with various groups and choirs.

Death & Burial

She died on January 29, 2017, in Miami, Florida. Internment is unknown.

Follow-up

If you are a descendant of any of the above individuals, I would love to hear from you. Please use the contact form in the side panel or the comments form below.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Sources

  • Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0496. Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fieenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.
  • Morning Call, The, (Allentown, Pennsylvania) 1994-06-01, Main Edition, Page 21 – John J. Cologne Jr. (Newspapers.com).
  • “California, San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index, 1936-1949,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q29Z-1514 : 17 March 2018), Dorothy Belle Or Jennifer Cologne Or Marshall, 1946; citing Immigration, NARA microfilm publication A3361. (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1998), FHL microfilm 100,682,131.
  • “Florida Marriage Index, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VJ8T-M3T : 28 November 2014), Dorothy B Cologne, Nov 1967; from “Florida, Marriage Collection, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2006); citing Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, Florida; and Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research.
  • “Florida Marriage Index, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VJ8T-KTQ : 28 November 2014), Charles J Daprix, Nov 1967; from “Florida, Marriage Collection, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001,” database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2006); citing Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, Florida; and Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research.
  • Homelight.com, Dorothy D’aprix – Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Realty Premier. https://www.homelight.com/agents/dorothy-d-aprix-fl-00119314.
  • Tributes.com, Dorothy D’Aprix (1924-2017) – No Image. http://www.tributes.com/obituary/print_selections/104435613.
  • “United States Public Records, 1970-2009,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJ5S-3W5M : 16 May 2014), Dorothy D’Aprix, Residence, Davie, Florida, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  • “United States Public Records, 1970-2009,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJHV-JQCS : 23 May 2014), Dorothy Daprix, Residence, Miami, Florida, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  • Voter Records.com, Dorothy B D’aprix’s Florida Voter Registration. https://voterrecords.com/voter/9329409/dorothy-daprix

Montrans in the News – Female Help Wanted.

Beauties at City Hall, Boston, 1916, Included Donna MontranMontran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

My grandmother’s father was John Montran. She used the surname, as a young child and again when she began in show business. The name is uncommon and most of the Montrans I see in the newspapers are her during her vaudeville career. With a constant flow of newly digitized material, I often learn of new articles which contain the Montran name. I pay attention to the finding and try to determine it’s possible relationship to grandma Donna or her father, John Montran. Hopefully, you will find the articles interesting. This week, for Montran Monday I found the following article:

The Philadelphia Inquirer dated March 30, 1916[i]

Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 March 1916, Page 15.

Article transcription:

YOUNG LADY of pleasing personality, Free to travel to advertise magazines, big money and steady position. Inquire Miss Montran, Keystone Circulating Co. 304½ N. Broad St.

How exciting. I know very little about Donna’s life during 1916. In July 1915 she was in Boston and did her biplane stunt and in September she kissed Politicians at a Republican Banquet. It is not again until December 1916 and Donna tries out to be the Miss Boston Beauty for the Preparedness Bazaar that there are any items of her life that I know about.

When my mother was pregnant with me, she traveled from city to city selling magazine subscriptions; could she have gotten the idea of doing that from Donna’s previously working for such a company? If so, it would make sense and be a key bit of information about my mother’s selling magazine subscriptions. I researched the Keystone Circulating Company at length and found many articles about the Philadelphia based company. Only the one article ever mentions “Miss Montran.”

I track 45 different Montran individuals in my database. A look there found that Maude Minnie Winter Montran was probably living in Philadelphia in 1916. In 1910, Maude is living with a family and working as a Christian Science Nurse. By 1920, Maude had moved from Philadelphia to California. Seeing her working as a magazine circulation sales representative in 1916 in Philadelphia is more likely to me that having had Donna move from Boston in 1915 and returning to Boston in 1916.

I learned:

I don’t believe this “Miss Montran” is my Donna Montran. It is much more likely to have been Maude Minnie (Winter) Montran.

ENDNOTES

[1] Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) March 30, 1916, Page 15, Column 5, FEMALE HELP WANTED, 6th advertisement. Via Genealogy Bank https://www.genealogybank.com/nbshare/AC01130623185737193651535297167

Cousin Bio – Olga Ruth Babcock (1916-2001)

By Don Taylor

Hypothesis

The John Montran Project is a personal project to explore the hypothesis that my great-grandfather, John Montran married twice. Once to Ida May Barber and once to Maude Minnie Winter. He had one daughter with Ida (Donna) and had two daughters with Maude. I hope to be able to confirm or refute that the two John Montrans were the same individual. In this article, I look at John Foster Montran’s granddaughter Olga Ruth Babcock. If my great-grandfather Montran is the same person as Olga’s grandfather, she and I would be 1st cousins, once removed.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Montran Project

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: John Foster Montran

Olga Ruth Babcock Hinds Buchanan (1916-2001)

Olga Ruth Babcock was born on 18 May 1916, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the first child of Minor Howard Babcock and Thelma M (Montran) Babcock.

In 1917, when Olga was a one-year-old, her family immigrated to the United States. In 1920  the young family is living in San Francisco where Olga’s father is a bookkeeper for an Auto Sales company.

In 1922, Ruth’s brother, Montran Howard Babcock was born.

In 1926, Ruth’s father became a naturalized citizen. Because Ruth was a minor, she also became a citizen as part of her father becoming a citizen.

In 1930, Olga’s parents had migrated to Inglewood, California. Minor was an accountant and her mother was apparently keeping house. Birth, Marriage & Death Collection

Olga married James R. Hinds on 24 September 1938. Apparently, the marriage didn’t go well because James filed for divorce in Reno, Nevada on 14 October 1940.

Sometime between 1935 and 1940 Olga’s father died. Olga’s mother was the proprietor of a guest house that included 11 lodgers as well as Thelma, Olga, and Montran.

On 15 August 1941, Olga married Chester White Buchanan. Chester died in 1963 and is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, in Inglewood.

Olga’s brother, Montran, died in 1972 and her mother, Thelma, died in 1974.

Olga lived until 2001. I have not been successful in finding any information regarding burial or another memorial.

In all my research, I have found no evidence that Olga had any children.  As such, this lime may be a dead end.  I will look at Montran’s life next.


Sources

Minor Howard Babcock born 17 Nov 1891 Hartington, Ontario, Canada
Thelma M. born 23 June 1895, Philadelphia
Olga R born May 18, 1916 Moose Jaw Canada
Montran B. born June 11, 1922, Inglewood, CA
Naturalized: Sep 17, 1926. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USnaturalizationOriginals&indiv=try&h=4172998.

Ancestor Bio – Thelma M. Montran Babcock – Poet

Montran Project
52 Ancestors – Week 192
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Now, I go off on a speculative tangent. It is my assertion that my great grandfather, John Montran who married Ida Mae Barber is the same individual as John Foster Montran, who married Maude Minnie Winter. Both John’s were probably born in France, both lived for a time in Pennsylvania, both were traveling agents, and both died before 1911. Finally, John Montran is a fairly unique name; I have only found two lived contemporary to my grandmother’s birth – John and John Foster. Anyway, I suspect my John and John Foster are the same person. I have searched and have been unable to find any time or place where both can be seen at the same time.  John pops into existence about 1892 and marries my great-grandmother, Ida, has my grandmother, then vanishes. A John Foster Montran married Maude Minnie Winter about 1894 and had two children. Then he vanishes about 1897. Ida remarried in 1897 and Maude claimed to be widowed by the 1900 census. My speculation is that John Foster Montran is my Great Grandfather and that the two John Montran’s are one person.

DNA testing would answer the question clearly if I am able to find a descendant of John Foster Montran and if that descendant agreed to test. With that in mind, I have begun researching the descendants of John Foster Montran to see if I can find a direct descendant. John Foster Montran had two children with Maude Minnie Winter. They are Thelma M. Montran and Ruth Grace Montran.

 

John Montran Project 2017 – John’s Daughter Thelma

Great-grandfather: John Foster Montran (Potential)

His Wife: Maude Minnie Winter

Daughter: Thelma M. Montran
Daughter: Ruth Grace Montran

His Wife: Ida Mae Barber (My great-grandmother)

Daughter: Madonna Mae Montran (My grandmother)

Thelma M. Montran Babcock (1895-1974)

Generally, I like to use the census closest to the birth of the individual to identify the birth year. However, in the case of Thelma, the 1900 census indicates that she was six years old, and was born in June 1894. However, every other record I can find about Thelma, census records, newspaper articles, and Social Security records all indicate or support that she was born on 23 June 1895 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John Foster and Maude Minnie (Winter) Montran.

The 1900 census finds Thelma, and her younger sister Ruth, living in Waterloo, New York, with her aunt, Jerusha; uncle, Penrose Brown; and their grandmother, Maryann Winter. Their mother was living 50 miles away in Rochester, New York working as a live-in nurse.

The 1910 census finds the two girls living with Jerusha and Penrose, but were identified as adopted daughters. They lived in Shamokin, Pennsylvania and their mother lived 120 miles away in Philadelphia.

Marriage

About 1915, Thelma married Minor Howard Babcock and moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where their first child, Olga Ruth, was born in February 1916 and the family appears in the 1916 Canadian Census.

Children of Minor Howard and Thelma M (Montran) Babcock

  Birth Death
Olga Ruth Babcock Feb 1916 (in Canada) 4 May 2001
Montran Benson Babcock 11 June 1922 June 1972

Adult

The 1920 census finds Thelma had moved back to the United States and was living with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.

The 1930 census finds Thelma living at 534 W. Nectarine St. in Inglewood, California. Minor is an accountant and their two children are with them. Also, in the household is Thelma’s mother, Maude Montran.

In 1935 the family is still living on Nectarine Street, however, Thelma is running a Confectioner business at 211 E. Queen. Her daughter, Olga, is working as a clerk for her.

The 1940 census indicates that Thelma and Minor had become divorced. Thelma was working as the proprietor of a guest house with many lodgers. With her are her two children, Olga and Montran.

Stories

A 1944 newspaper article indicated that Thelma was “widely known as a poet,” she owned a 20-acre apple-tree ranch near Lake Gregory and owned a hotel in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Death

Thelma died on 7 May 1974 in Los Angeles County, California.  I have not determined Thelma’s final resting place.

Conclusion

Family Tree Maker 2017 indicates that Thelma is the “daughter of my Great-Grandfather.” By my reckoning, she is my grandmother’s half-sister, thus my grand-aunt. Thelma’s children would be my mother’s 1st cousins and my 1st cousins once removed. Finally, Olga and Monty’s children would be my 2nd cousins. A DNA test of any of them would prove conclusively if my speculation that John Montran and John Foster Montran are the same person. If you are a descendant of Thelma Montran Babcock, I would love to hear from you.  We might be cousins.


Sources:

1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Penrose Brown – Waterloo, Seneca, New York. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSGZ-6PP

1910 Census, Other, Penrose Brown – Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania;. Family Search.

1916 Canada Census, Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, , Other, 1916 Canada Census. Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, 17I; Roll: T-21931;.

1920 Census (FS), Family Search, Miner [Minor] H Babcock – San Francisco, San Francisco, California. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH4H-8MD.

1930 Census (NARA), Ancestry.Com, Minor Babcock – Inglewood, Los Angeles, CA [Maude Montran]. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCJJ-G73.

1940 Census, Ancestry.Com, 1940 – Thelma (Montran) Babcock – Inglewood, Los Angeles, California; Roll:.

California Death Index, 1940-1997, Family Search, Thelma M Pretz (Montran/Babcock).

California, County Marriages, 1850-1952, Family Search, James R Hinds & Olga R Babcock. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8VW-2MM.

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA, ), Newspapers.Com, 1944-12-30, Page 4 – Thelma Montran Babcock.

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Inglewood, California, City Directory, 1935 – Page 30 – Babcock. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USDirectories&indiv=try&h=1379164103.

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.Com, Inglewood, Hawthorne and Lennox, City Directory, 1933 – Page 35 – Babcock. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USDirectories&indiv=try&h=1400093271.

United States Social Security Death Index, Family Search, SSDI – Thelma Pretz (Montran/Babcock).