52 Ancestors # 14 – John Montran (c1874-bef. 1911)
John Montran is the most mysterious of my ancestors. My grandmother, Madonna, never spoke of him and I didn’t have the where-with-all to ask her about him before she passed over. I didn’t know his first name until I received a copy of Donna’s application for a Social Security number.
When Madonna was married in 1911, she listed her father as Robert Montran and indicated that he was deceased. So, I’m not really certain if his name was John Robert or Robert John.
When Madonna’s mother married Max Fisher in 1897, she indicated her name as Ida B Montran Barber and she had been married one time before although reading the entry, the clerk may have written Montrani or possibly Montram.
Assuming that Ida married Montran before Madonna was born, Ida and John were probably married in 1892. I also assume that John was a contemporary of Ida, that is to say about the same age, that would put his birth about 1874.
In 1900, Madonna’s step-father was Max Fisher. He was identified as having been born in Wisconsin and Madonna’s father is identified as having been born in Michigan. In 1910, Madonna’s father was again identified as having been born in Michigan. Because her stepfather at that time, Jos Holdsworth, was born in New York, I am fairly sure that John Montran was born in Michigan. However, the 1920 Census indicates that Madonna’s father was born in Pennsylvania. Madonna was on the road with the show “Chin Chin” at the time so the information was probably given by her grandmother, Sarah Barber, who may or may not have known for certain Madonna’s father’s birthplace. Madonna was out of the country for the 1930 census so that census adds nothing additional.
In searching a bit more for John Montran, I found that he was father of bride for “Mae Donna Montran” who was married on 24 Nov 1915 to Thomas Valentine Rooney in Waltham, MA. This was a completely unknown marriage. It is interesting to note that it indicates that this was the first marriage for both. I guess Madonna was thinking it was her first US marriage or else she forgot about her 1911 marriage to Chester Fenyvessey in Canada.
Born about 1874, probably in Michigan (possibly Pennsylvania).
Married Ida Barber about 1892, probably in Michigan.
Died before 1911, probably before 1897.
Montran is a uncommon surname; so, when I do find something about Montran I get excited to investigate more. For example, in the 1920 San Francisco city directory indicates that a Maude Montran was living there and Maude was the widow of John F Montran. I didn’t find Maude in any earlier city directories or elsewhere. I certainly can do much more research in this area. As more and more birth, marriage, and death records, as well as newspapers come on-line I hope to find more about the John Montran.
1900 Census, Ancestry.com
, 1900; Manistee Ward 6, Manistee, Michigan; Roll: T623_728; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 36.
1910 Census, Ancestry.com
, 1910; Detroit Ward 7, Wayne, Michigan;
Roll: T624_683; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0106; FHL microfilm: 1374696. Holdsworth, Ida – Head,
1920 Census, Ancestry.com
, Manhattan Assembly District 13, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1209; Page: 24A; Sarah Barber Head
Form SS-5 – Application for account number. Donna Montran Kees
R.L. Polk & Co., City Directory – San Francisco – 1920 (San Francisco, H.S. Crocker Co, 1920), Internet Archives, Page 1157.