Vigo County Public Library

Some time ago, I was researching ancestors who lived in Vigo County, Indiana. While researching, I found the Public Library there had some excellent genealogical resources. I added their website, http://www.vigo.lib.in.us to my bookmarks and promised myself that I’d return.

Of particular interest to me was that their website has marriage records from 1818 through 1958. They also have a database of obituaries from 1900 to present and an obituary lookup service.

When I research, I usually focus on an ancestor and see what records I can find for that ancestor. In this case, I thought I would work backward from my usual process.  I took the Vigo County Public Library site and their databases, then searched to find various individuals I had in my tree who lived there.

Using Family Tree Maker 2017, I went to the Places tab, then selected Vigo County, Indiana. I immediately saw that my tree had 34 individuals associated with that place.  Most were Roberts and Lister but had several Volkers from two of my grand-daughters’ maternal line.

The Vigo County Marriage Record Database has five searchable fields of which you can use one, two, or three at a time. The process was speedy and easy to use. I was able to discover three new marriage records, and one of them was the marriage of Stewart Volkers and Irene Garver, two of my granddaughters’, 2nd great-grandparents on their mother’s side. A great find.

Next, I used a similar process for the obituaries. The “Wabash Valley Obituary Index: 1900 to Present” includes four fields to search with. I used the minimum I could to see if a record existed. For example, when I searched for “Volkers,” I found 28 records. The first names were presented alphabetically, so it was easy to see how many of my known Volkers were there. On more common names, like “Hart” I added the first name to see if any of my known Harts were in their obituaries. Both of my known Harts were there.  I found many obituaries in the Index that were of interest. At this point, I could have ordered all of them through the library for $5.00 per obituary, but I thought it might be more prudent for me to see what might be available with the newspaper and obituary sources I have access to, first. Having the obituary name and year of death makes searching those other sources quick and easy.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.comNewspapers.Com has several Terre Haute (Vigo County) newspapers from 1900 to 1973. Six of the obituaries of interest were available on Newspapers.Com.

Of particular interest to me is the obituary of Stewart Volkers, the great-grandfather of two of my granddaughters. Altogether, I was able to add 39 new relatives to my tree, thanks to the Vigo County Public Library. That makes for a good day of genealogy.

My foray into the Vigo County Public Library online resources reminded me of the importance to check out the genealogy resources available online at local libraries and local historical societies for places your ancestors lived. They often have a wealth of resources available.



Donna in the News – Two New Venues

Donna Montran
Vaudeville

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, I learned of two new venues, specific dates for a previously known show, and one venue confirmed by another newspaper. I made these new discoveries using Genealogy Bank. A Search for Donna Montran found four new articles. One article confirmed a venue I wrote about before—Pacy’s Garden Theatre on September 14-17, 1920. The Baltimore American dated Sep 14, 1920, on page 5 said:

Bathing Girls at Garden.

Nine bathing girls, grouped as “The California Bathing Girls” and headed by Donna Montran are presenting “A Beach Promenade,” a musical comedy, at the Garden Theatre this week. The offering differs from the usual bathing-girl act in that it is not a series of tableaux, but is an ambitious musical comedy offering with six beach scenes and a number of tuneful melodies.

The Bijou – New Haven, Connecticut – 19-22 December 1920.

The Connecticut Labor Press (New Haven, CT) for Dec 18, 1920, said that:

George Walsh in “The Plunger,” and “The Dragon’s Net” will remain for the first half of the week in conjunction with a remarkable bill of all-star vaudeville headed by Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties.

From the Donna Darling Collection, (DDC-8) I had known that Donna played at the Bijou in New Haven sometime in November or December of 1920. An ad on this page showed it was Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (19-22 December).

State Theatre – Trenton, New Jersey – 3-5 March 1921

The latter part of Donna’s 1920-1921 Bathing Beauty Show has always been a mystery. I knew she played the Keeney Theatre in Brooklyn at the end of January and that she closed the show in May or June for the summer, but I knew nothing of February, March, April, or May. Thanks to the Trenton Evening Times, dated March 3, 1921, on page 16 I learned that she played the State Theatre, in Trenton, New Jersey in “Tom Rooney’s and Earl Lindsay’s California Bathing Girls.”

Garden Theatre – Baltimore, Maryland – 20 March 1921

The Baltimore Sun ran an advertisement for “The California Bathing Girls with Donna Montran in “A Beach Promenade” on March 20,  1921. This was a return to the Garden Theatre for Donna with the same show six months after her earlier show. Still not sure how many days she was there, but further research should provide the answer.



————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Donna Darling Collection – Part 48

Two Venues & Two Photos of Russell

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at image DSCN1422 from the Donna Darling Collection. The image consists of four items. Two are articles and two photographs.

Two articles

1.  Keeney’s Livingston, Brooklyn, N. Y.

(Reviewed Thursday Evening, April 8)

From the Donna Darling Collection

… Donna Darling Company., four shapely, pretty misses, in songs and dances in full stage with special drapes, brings the show to a bang-up close. The act opens with three girls dancing, followed by Miss Darling in a song, then a gypsy dance by one of the girls, followed by a toe dance by another of them, and then two of them in a wooden shoe Dutch characterization dance, Miss Darling returning for a Hawaiian dance. A trio then puts over a song after which much applause and a brief announcement preceding a change of costume, Miss Darling presents what she calls Lightening Up the Charleston, done by all four members of the act Garbed in Luminous Costumes that glow when the lights are out. It’s a tricky bit.

JACK F. MURRAY.

April 8th was a Thursday in 1926, so the date is definite. The location and the theater are also given. Hopefully, future research will provide answers for the duration.

I added a new venue added to Donna’s Career: April 8 – Keeney’s Livingston Theater, Brooklyn, NY – Donna Darling Revue.

2.  Darling Revue Has Top Place on State Bill

Donna Darling Collection

Perhaps it is because this happens to be the season of Lent. Anyway, the vaudeville programs at the State Theater these days are very good and increasing size of audiences at the matinee and evening performances is proof of this assertation.

The Bill this week is no exception. Lead the fine array of talent is the act in which the Darling Revue strive to keep patrons interested. That they succeed was demonstrated in the liberal applause they received yesterday afternoon. Their specialty is singing and dancing. The numbers containing much that is original and enjoyable. The dances include the clog, toe and gypsy steps and the songs are of a varied nature….

I note that the other acts on the bill include the “Metropolitan Trio,” “Love and King,” “Chick & Dog,” and “William & Perry.” “Queen O’ Diamonds” with Evelyn Brent is the feature picture.

“Queen O’ Diamonds” was released on 24 January 1926, which places the show in 1926.[i] Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter. In 1926 this was from February 17th to April 4th. Easter was on April 4, 1926.

I haven’t previously found a date for Donna to have been at a State Theater during Lent of 1926.[ii]

New Venue Added:  Between 17 Feb 1926 and 4 April 1926 – Unknown Location – State Theater – Darling Revue – DDC-48.

Two Photographs

Interestingly the two articles from this page of the Donna Darling Collection were from 1926; however, neither of the photographs are. Both photos are clearly of Donna’s son, Russell. Russell was born in August 1927. In both cases, he appears to be about three years old, so I estimate the photos to be ca. 1930.

Russell with two unknown boys during the summer (ca. 1930?)
Russell in a child’s Indian headdress. (ca. 1930?)

Sources

[i] IMDB Queen o’ Diamonds (1926) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017301/

[ii] Internet: The Life of Madonna Montran http://dontaylorgenealogy.com/donna-montran/

 

ThruLines – Part 4 – Patience A Marshall

ThruLines Thursday
Roberts, Marshall
DNA

In Part 4 of my ThruLinestm verification process, I’m looking closely at matches with my 2nd great-grandmother, Patience Anna Marshall Dean Roberts.

Patience married Asa Ellis Roberts in Jefferson County, Illinois on 25 August 1872. She had four children with him, Charles Wilson Roberts, Rosa Della Roberts, Florence Elizabeth Roberts, and my great-grandfather, Hugh Ellis Roberts.  I wrote about my ThruLines findings with that family in Part 3 of this series.

Before Patience married Asa, she was married to Thomas B. Dean. Thomas died in 1863, but Patience had at least one child with him[i]. Her name was Elnora Dean. My records included her birth, marriage, and death information but nothing about any children of hers.

ThruLines indicated there were four here-to-for unknown half-cousins, all descended from Elnora Dean, and have tested with Ancestry DNA.

Step one:  Does the shared DNA amount match expectations for the relationship?

  • Match 1 is a half 3rd cousin, 1x removed, with whom I share 79 cM
  • Match 2 is a half 3rd cousin, 2x removed, with whom I share 22cM
  • Match 3 is a half 3rd cousin with whom I share 60cM
  • Match 4 is a half 3rd cousin, 1x removed, with whom I share 17cM

According to the Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4, all four of the individuals and I share expected amounts of DNA.

Step two: Do the cousin’s common ancestor with me and match my known information about that common ancestor.

Yes. My records indicated that Patience had a daughter Elnora Dean and Elnora married Samuel H Pitchford on 11 Nov 1880 in Jefferson County, Illinois. All of the ThruLines matches are descended from Elnora and Samuel.

Using the ThruLinestm, I learned that Elnora and Samuel had seven children. Mary, Edward, Grace, Blanche, Florence, Edith, and Herbert.

Blanch married Homer H Roberts and had two children Theodora and Earl. Earl was the grandfather of one of my new cousins.

Edith married twice, once to Walton Pyles where she had several children. She married a second time; that marriage produced a son Eric Lemons. Eric was the father, grandfather, and great grandfather to the other three half-cousins in my ThruLinestm.

Thanks to ThruLinestm, I added 25 new half-cousins to my chart all descended from Patience Anna Marshall’s daughter Elnora Dean.

Sadly, none of these cousins carry Patience’s mtDNA. However, hopefully adding several generations of Patience’s descendants will yield, in the future, new cousins, some of whom will carry Patience’s mtDNA.

If you are a descendant of Patience Anna Marshall, consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is an excellent genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too.



Endnotes

[i] The 1900 Census for Patience Anna Roberts indicates that she had six children, five of whom were living. It is unclear if the one child that had died was a child with her first husband, Thomas Dean, or her second husband, Asa Ellis Roberts. In either event, it does not appear that the child lived to have children.

Montran in the News – 3 New Articles from Genealogy Bank

Montran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

This week for Montran Monday[i], I decided to renew my subscription to Genealogy Bank. Genealogy Bank is one of the top three paid newspaper sources that I know about; I use them regularly. My search for “Montran” yielded three new entries since the last time I searched their system that were not about my grandmother.

This week’s first entry is from the Trenton Evening Times dated 19 July 1887, Page 1

Under “Police Pickings” was:

“William Montran, Patrick Conlon and James Connors were each fined $3 last night for disorderly conduct at the Clinton street railroad station.”

The second entry is from the Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) dated 30 January 1917, page 16:

Times-Picayune – 1/30/1917

TEN GROCERS FACE CHARGES.

Baton Rouge Scene of Arrests for Violations of Sunday Law.

“Baton Rouge, La. Jan. 20—Ten arrests for violation of the Sunday law were made yesterday by Officers Lejeune and Schoonmaker. The men were proprietors of small grocery stores and almost all of them were Italians. Those arrested were:

Nick Montran, Palmer and America Streets, Sam Dagestino…..”

The third entry is from the Sun (Baltimore, MD) dated 4 April 1920. Under “Marriage Licenses.”:

COLOGNE—MONTRAN. –JOHN T., 24, Philadelphia, Pa.; Ruth G., 22.

Things I learned

One – A William Montran was fined for disorderly conduct in Trenton, New Jersey in 1887.

My records have two William Montrans. The first one was born in Canada, about 1846. Yes, a 41-year-old Canadian could be in Trenton, New Jersey getting disorderly. However, there is nothing to link this incident to that William Montran.

My second William Montran was born in Kansas sometime before 1860. Again, there is nothing to link this William Montran to the individual fined for disorderly conduct in Trenton, New Jersey in 1887.

  • I added a third William Montran to my records indicating the event.

Two – A Nick Montran, grocery store proprietor, was arrested for being open on Sunday.

My records have two Nick Montrans. The first one was born about 1882 in Romania. He had children born in Pennsylvania in 1916 and 1919, so it is unlikely he was a store proprietor in Baton Rouge, LA in 1917.

The second Nick Montran is the son of Nick Montran and was born in 1916. This can’t be the same Nick who was arrested.

  • I added a third Nick Montran to my records indicating the event.

Three – Ruth G. Montran and John T. Cologne received a marriage license before 4 April 1920. John was 24, and Ruth was 22.

I had Ruth and John Marrying at ages 24 and 22, respectively, based on the 1930 Census[ii]. Ruth was born on 27 Nov 1897, so she would have been 22 on 27 Nov 1919. So, my records suggested the two were married between 27 Nov 1919 and 27 Nov 1920. Assuming that marriage licenses are reported weekly, I believe they received their license after 25 March 1920.

  1. I changed the marriage date of Ruth Montran and John Cologne to between 25 Mar 1920 and 27 Nov 1920. I added the marriage location as Maryland.
  2. I added an event, Marriage License, before 4 April 1920. Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, to my database.


————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Endnotes

[i] Montran Monday – 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 my grandmother during her early vaudeville career. However, with the 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 a possible relationship of any Montrans to Donna’s father, John Montran.
[ii] 1930 Census (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1930 – John T. Cologne – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0496. Original data: the United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.