Ancestor Sketch – Samson Clark Amsterdam

Brown-Montran Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.[Growing up, I knew I had an Uncle Russ and that he was the child of Donna and her husband, Sammy Clark Amsterdam. I never knew that Sammy was my grandmother’s third husband. My mom and her brother, Russell, never knew Donna was married before Sammy until I discovered that in my genealogy work. It was a surprise to both of them when I found evidence of the two previous marriages. This week I’m looking at Sammy Amsterdam. He was the father of Russell and the “father of record” of my mother. My grandmother and Sammy stayed married after my grandmother was pregnant (by Dick Brown) to “give the child a name” and then quietly divorced. Such was the way of show-business marriages in the 1930s. Sammy is one of the few people I know of who served in both World Wars.]

Roberts/Brown – Ancestor #6-S3[1]

List of Maternal Grandparents

    • Grandmother: Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)
      • 1st husband of Madonna: Chester Fenyvessey
      • 2nd husband of Madonna: Thomas Valentine Rooney
      • 3rd husband of Madonna: Samson Clark Amsterdam
      • (Not Married) Richard Earl Brown
      • (Significant Other) Russell Harrison Kees

Samson Clark Amsterdam (1898-1979)

Samson is found at Family Search as profile G93G-W2Y, Find-a-Grave, Memorial 54396367, and my Ancestry Tree.


Samson Clark Amsterdam was born on 20 July 1898 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, the first child of Saul and Sarah (Gottlieb) Amsterdam. It was during the peak of the Spanish-American war. The United States was mobilizing troops to send to Puerto Rico.

Children of Saul and Sarah (Gottleib) Amsterdam—(Siblings)

Name Born Married Died
Samson 20 July 1898 Madonna Montran
Elvie Bolton
13 April 1979
Evelyn 3 December 1901 Al Wise
Sammy Rodvien
8 August 2001
Elias 2 August 1905 Madelyn (LNU) 15 May 1989
Harold 12 August 1914 Ann (LNU) 7 June 1996
Bernard 12 August 1914 Doris Westbay 28 September 1975


The 1900 Census found two-year-old “Samuel[2]” living with his parents at 263 Division Street in Manhattan. Living with them are his grandparents, Leo & Yetta Amsterdam. Also living with them is Sammy’s uncle Abraham Reuben.

The 1905 New York Census finds the Amsterdam family living at 207 Madison Street. “Sol” works in Real Estate. The household consists of his parents, a younger sister (“Evia”), and 53-year-old “Sarra” (Sarah) Gottlieb. Although listed as a “Boarder,” Gottlieb is Saul’s wife’s maiden name. As such, she must be related. It is unclear if this is Sarah’s mother or an aunt.


The 1910 Census shows that the Amsterdam family moved to 1433 50th in Brooklyn. Saul was still in real estate (a broker now). Besides four-year-old “Eli,” Sarah’s mother, Rebecca Gottlieb, lived with them. Additionally, they had a servant living with them. Sarah’s three children were living, and Rebecca’s seven children were all alive in 1910.

The 1915 New York Census shows the Amsterdam family still at 1433 50th in Brooklyn. It documents the twins Herald and Bernard. Sarah’s mother, Rebecca Gottlieb, is still living with them. A new servant, Sadie Burcheska, is living with them. Samson is attending high school; Evelyn and Elias are also in school.

Military Service

On 2 May 1917, Samson enlisted in the Regular Army at Fort Slocum, Winchester County, New York. On 18 November 1917, Samson was discharged from the Regular Army to enlist in the ERC—Enlisted Reserve Corps (now the U.S. Army Reserves). Samson was supposed to ship out on 26 November 1917 aboard the USS Aeolus (ID-3005); however, his name was stricken from the ship’s manifest. Instead, he remained stateside with the Medical Detachment of the 503rd Engineers. He was stationed at the Post Hospital, Fort Hamilton, NY, from October 1918 until January 1919, and stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from 28 January 1919 until his discharge on 5 June 1919.


I have been unsuccessful in finding Sammy in the 1920 Census, but the 1925 New York Census found him back home with his parents and three brothers, now at 86 Halsey Street. His occupation is listed as “Theatrical.” The building at 86 Halsey is still standing.

In March and April of 1926, Donna was doing her “Donna Darling’s Little Jewel Revue” in Michigan, Upstate New York, West Virginia, and Brooklyn. So, it must have been a whirlwind romance because Sammy and Donna married on 19 April 1926 in Manhattan. The two started the Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark the first week of May.

Marriage 1 – Madonna Mae Montran (aka Donna Darling)

Children of Samson and Madonna (Montran) Amsterdam

Name Born Married Died
Russell Erwin Amsterdam [Kees][3] Aug 1927 Delphine Ann Sieradski 2016
Sammy, Russell, & Donna at the Beach, circa 1928.
Sammy, Russell, & Donna at the Beach, circa 1928.

Sammy and Donna took their vaudeville show across the country. They played in New York, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, & Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, with stops in Ontario before returning to ending the show in July 1927, just eight weeks before Russell was born.

It appears that Sammy and Donna took off for several months but restarted the Donna Darling and Sammy Clark show in April 1928.

In 1929 Sammy and Donna went to Panama, where they worked.


Something happened between Sammy and Donna in Panama as they left the country estranged. The passenger list for their return in April 1930[4] shows them in different cabins and indicates Donna going home to her mother’s address in Detroit and Sammy going home to his mother’s address in New York. I have found no evidence they ever were together again.

In 1939 Sammy traveled to Cuba and returned.


I have not found Sammy in the 1940 Census. However, from May to July 1940, Sammy lived in Chicago, where he was initiated, passed, and raised as a Master Mason in the Henry Horner Lodge #402 in Illinois.

Military Service Again

By February 1942, Sammy had located to Odessa, Ector County, Texas. He lived at 613 W 9th Street and worked at a nightclub, the Village Barn, when he registered for the draft. He enlisted that following October in the Army Air Corps. His marital status was “divorced, without dependents.”


In May 1950, Sammy and his mother Sarah took a month-long trip to Europe. They sailed aboard the RMS Queen Mary to Cherbourg, France, and returned aboard the RMS Caronia in June 1950. Sammy’s address was 540 West Avenue, Miami Beach. Today, that address is a modern (built in 2005), luxury, high-rise condo, known as Bentley Bay North.

Marriage 2 – Elvie (Bolton) Anderson

In 1951 Sammy married Elvie (Bolton) Anderson in Dade County, Florida.

During the 1950s, Sammy had a theatrical booking agency in Miami Beach on Collins Ave. His home address was 6295 SW 116th Street.[5]


Sammy lived in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, when he died on 13 April 1979. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Macon

Events by Location

  • Florida, Dade                                  Marriage 2 (1951)
  • Florida, Dade, Miami Beach     1950
  • Florida, Dade, Miami                   1954-1955
  • Georgia, Bibb, Macon                  1979 & Death
  • Illinois, Cook, Chicago                 1940
  • New York, Brooklyn                      Birth, 1910-1915, 1925, 1930,
  • New York, Manhattan                  1900-1905, Marriage 1 (1926)
  • New Jersey, Camp Merritt          Military Service – 1917-1919
  • Texas, Ector, Odessa                     1942
  • Texas, Lubbock, Lubbock           Military Service 1942-1945
  • Panama                                               1929-1930


Do not confuse Samson Clark Amsterdam with Sam Amsterdam, born 26 December 1899 in Manhattan, New York, the son of Gerry Amsterdam, or Sam Amsterdam, born 26 November 1899 in Manhattan, New York.


  • 1900 Census (F.S.), Family Search, 1900 – Saul Amsterdam – Head. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 January 2022), Saul Amsterdam, Borough of Manhattan, Election District 13 New York City Ward 4, New York County, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (E.D.) 80, sheet 20A, family 347, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,084.
  • 1910 Census (F.S.), Family Search, 1910 – Saul Amsterdam – Head – Brooklyn, New York.
  • City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Miami, Florida – 1955 – Page 42 – Amsterdam. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 –Miami, Florida, City Directory, 1955 – Image 23 of 414.
  • Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Sammy Amsterdam (1898-1979) – No Image. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 26 January 2022), memorial page for Sammy Amsterdam (20 July 1898–13 April 1979), Find a Grave Memorial ID 54396367, citing Riverside Cemetery, Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, USA; Maintained by David Hutchins Israel (contributor 47406641).
  • Florida, U.S., Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001, Ancestry, Sampson Amsterdam – Elvie Anderson – 1951. Florida, U.S., Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.
  • Masonic Record – Samson Amsterdam – ID 321333.
  • New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940, Family Search, Marriage: Samson Amsterdam & Madonna Montana – 19 April 1926. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Ida Barber in the entry for Samson Amsterdam and Madonna Montran, 19 April 1926; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,643,705.
  • New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957, Family Search, Amsterdam, Samson – Amsterdam, Sarah. “New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 2 March 2021), Samson Amsterdam, 1950; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937, Ancestry, Samson New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 – Amsterdam – Madonna Montran – 19 April 1926 – (No Image).
  • New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, Ancestry, Samson Amsterdam – Arrival 8 April 1930 to New York 8 April 1930. Year: 1930; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 82.
  • New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, Ancestry, Year: 1939; Arrival:,; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll:
  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 04 E.D. 11; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 58
  • New York, U.S., State Census, 1915, Ancestry, Saul Amsterdam, Head. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 44; Assembly District: 16; City: New York; County: Kings; Page: 21.
  • New York, U.S., State Census, 1925, Ancestry, Saul Amsterdam, Head. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 26; Assembly District: 17; City: Brooklyn; County: Kings; Page: 22.
  • S., Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919, Ancestry, New York – Samson Amsterdam. Original data: New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
  • S., Army Transport Service Arriving and Departing Passenger Lists, 1910-1939,
  • The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 363.
  • S., Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1914-1966, Ancestry, Samson Amsterdam, Departs New York, 9 May 1950 aboard the Queen Mary. Sarah Amsterdam, Departs New York, 9 May 1950 aboard the Queen Mary. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 74.
  • S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Probably. Number: 468-09-2273; Issue State: Minnesota; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  • S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Ancestry.Com, Number: 350-09-2088; Issue State: Illinois; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  • S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Ancestry, Samson Amsterdam (No Image). National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 00241; Reel: 24.
  • S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 (National Archives), Ancestry.Com, Sam Amsterdam. National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Texas, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service
  • United Kingdom, Outgoing Passenger Lists, 1890-1960, Family Search, Samson Amsterdam – Departed England 2 June 1950. Image at Find My Past.Com. “United Kingdom, Outgoing Passenger Lists, 1890-1960”, database, FamilySearch ( : 28 October 2021), Samson Amsterdam, 1950.
  • United States Social Security Death Index, Family Search, Social Security Number: 350-09-2088; Issue State: Illinois; Issue Date: Before 1951.


[1] My own numbering system. Ancestor #6 would be the biological maternal grandfather. The I use the “S” to indicate a step-father and the “3” to indicate it is the 3rd stepfather.

[2] Samson is listed as Sampson, Samuel, and Sammy in different documents and are interchangeable in this document. (I try to use the name used in the source document.)

[3] Born Amsterdam, Russell used the surname Kees through most of his life.

[4] Sammy was aboard the S.S. Columbia between Panama and New York during the 1930 Census and is not listed there.

[5] Per Zillow, the home currently at 6295 SW 116th St. was built in 1998.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 19

The Bijou Theaters

Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi. For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at clippings from the Donna Darling Collection that relate to the Bijou Theater. The problem is, of course, there are many theaters named Bijou and none of the clippings indicate both location and date. What I do have is:

  1. Ad clipping – Bijou – Mon – Tues – Wed – California Bathing Girls (0065)
  2. Ad, Article, and Photo – Bijou – Thur, Fri, Sat Donia Darling & Co. “Modern Vaudeville Frolics – Savannah (0155)
  3. Ad – Bijou – Hollywood Revue Motion Picture Bathing Beauties (1403)
  4. Ad – Dacatur’s Favorite – The Bijou – Donna Darling and Sammy Clare Revue – “A Modern Vaudeville Frolic” (1428) (Might be June 24, 25, 26)
  5. Ad – 5 Days – Bijou – Hollywood Motion Picture Bathing Beauties – (1504 – two parts)

Cinema Treasurers indicates there are 204 theaters in the United States named “Bijou.” Twenty-two of them are still open and 182 are now closed.[i] Consequently, determining which of the many Bijou theatres Donna played at and when will be a challenge, but here goes.

DDC Bijou Image 1 (0065)

  • Bijou Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday – California Bathing Girls.
  • Write-up Donna Montran and Her Bathing Beauties – in a Beach Promenade in Six Gasps and Three Shocks.
  • Also playing was Geo. Walsh in The Plunger.
  • Also on stage, Billy Bowman, Ca?pas Brothers,
  • Bo-peep and Jack Horner – Harry Sykes.


I recalled seeing Donna Playing with “The Plunger” previously. I wrote about it in “Donna at the Bijou – New Haven, CT – Donna Darling Collection – Part 8. She played there sometime in November or December 1920.

I searched the James Blackstone Memorial Library for New Haven newspapers for Bijou and was not successful finding a match.

DDC Bijou Image 2 (0155)

The page includes an ad, an article, and a photo. The ad says:

Coming – Thur.—Fri. – Sat.
Donia [sic] Darling & Company – Modern Vaudeville Frolics
5 big acts direct from the Broadway Theaters.

Also playing at the time is “Baldwin & Blair – A Real Comedy Skit.”

Photo of Donna for Savannah Show.Also, there is a great newspaper photo of Donna with a small “Savannah Morning” pasted to the front. Below the photo the caption reads, “Donna Darling of the Donna Darling Revue, coming to the Bijou Theater Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.”

Another headline says “[F]ive Clever Acts at Bijou… Week’s beginning – [Da]rling revue is Feature of Second Half.

In so far as Darling beans beloved, a pet and a favorite, the attractive young person called Donna Darling has been well named. She has been a beloved favorite of theater-goers in musical comedy ??? in vaudeville, and well she sl?????? Be as she has all of those things which go to make a theatrical popularity. She is pretty to the extreme that not long ago she won first prize in a beauty contest. She has ability which is proven by the fact that she was the prima donna in the spectacular production “Chin Chin” and one of the Vitagraph screen Stars.

Image of Article about Donna Darlings show in SavannahMiss Darling believes in be timely and so for her present sojourn in vaudeville she presents a revue – The Donna Darling Revue. This is described as a Dazzling Fantasy. Featured in the company is Sammy Clark, a juvenile comedian of repute. The company, including Miss Darling, is a trio—three clever versatile artists who work with unction to put over this new act of hers and they succeed in making it everything this type of entertainment is supposed to be.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Bijou Theatre.
  • The show is the “Donna Darling Revue” with Sammy Clark.
  • The location is Savannah—probably Savannah, GA.
  • The show ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Also on bill
    • Baldwin & Blair in “A Real Comedy Skit”

Cinema Treasures confirmed there was a Bijou theater in Savannah Georgia. Chronicling America (LOC) also confirms that Savannah has a morning paper called the “Savannah Morning News.”

The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark was one of the last shows that she did. We know she was doing “Donna Darling and Girls” in September 1925 and was doing the Donna Darling Revue in 1926.  By June 1927, she was doing Modern Vaudeville Frolics. From that, I surmise that this show was sometime between September 1925 and June 1927.

DDC Bijou Image 3 (1403)

This is a small ad showing Donna Darling, a Mack Sennett Prize Winner, in a tidal wave of unique dancing, blue singing, clean comedy. Everything about this ad indicates it is a smaller version of DDC Bijou Image 5.  I will address this image with image 5 below.

DCC Bijou Image 4 (1428)

Image - Bijou - Vaudeville - Donna Darling & Sammy Clark RevueDecatur’s Favorite – The Bijou
3 Vaudeville Acts
Donna Darling and Sammy Clare [sic] Revue “A Modern Vaudeville Frolic”
Paul & Darling “Two Broadway Rounders”
Billy De Armo – Comedy Novelty.


Event found – Need to document – See below.


DCC Bijou Image 5 (1504)

Ad - Bathing Beauties at BijouThis is a great ad that shows a photo of Donna but also lists many of the other individuals in the show including

  • Al Ross – Christie Comedies – Eccentric Dancing Life Guards
  • Alyce Louyse – Hawaiian Dancer and Bather from Mars.
  • Betty Bryant of Ziegfeld’s “Miss America”
  • Clarice Allyn – Petite Toe Dancer
  • May Walker – Blue Singer and Beach Flirt
  • Mildred O’Brian – Sennett Bather – Palm Beach Bather
  • Murray Earle – George White Scandals – Eccentric Dancing Life Guards
  • Rose Lasgo – Christie Comedies Acrobatic Dancer


Again, the Donna Darling Collection provided insights into Donna’s vaudeville career. With the Bijou pages, I gained additional information regarding three of her venues. I also learned of a show she did in Savannah that was heretofore unknown.


  1. Future Article: Donna at the Bijou in New Haven, CT, Nov/Dec 1920 – California Bathing Girls.
  2. Research later. Donna at Bijou in Savannah, GA, between Sep 1925 and June 1927 – Donia [sic] Darling & Company – Modern Vaudeville Frolics
  3. .No further Action. (See 5 below)
  4. Future Article: Donna at Bijou in Decatur, IL on July 25, 1925- Donna Darling and Sammy Clare [sic] Revue “A Modern Vaudeville Frolic”
  5. Future Article – Donna at the Bijou in Decatur, IL on January 25, 1925 – California Bathing Beauties – Donna Darling.


[i] Cinema Treasurers – Theaters Search –


Adair Project – Ella E. (Mitchell) Adair

Ancestor Bio – Ella E (Mitchell)Adair

52 Ancestors – Week 190

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week I look at Ella E. Mitchell. As is so often the case with women ancestors, her life events are defined by her husband and her children. We know she had at least seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood. She was a sharecropper’s wife and lived a simple life. She was born in Georgia, lived her entire life in Georgia, probably entirely in Paulding County. She died fairly young at the age of 49.


Adair Project 2017 – Ancestor AH-09

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Elmer Dewey Adair
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Ella E. Mitchell


Ella E (Mitchell) Adair (1887-1936)

I believe that Ella E. Mitchell was born in 1887.  I don’t normally consider an individual’s grave marker as certain, however, in this case, the 1910 Census, which is the census closest to her birth indicated that she was 22 suggesting a birth between 16 April 1887 and 15 April 1888.  The 1920 Census was way wrong saying she was 38 years old (born about 1881 or 1882). The 1930 Census indicated she had only aged three years since 1920, she was 41 (born about 1888 or 1889).

I have not been successful determining who her parents or siblings were. I have searched newspapers (Newspapers, Newspaper Archives, Genealogy Bank, and Chronicling America) to no avail. I believe I will next need to try a surname focus study for Mitchell in Paulding County, Georgia and see if I can determine a potential family.


The first record showing Ella is her marriage license and certificate where she married Allen William Adair on 18 April 1904 in a ceremony performed by B. H. Owen, J.P. in Paulding County Georgia.[i]


Tragedy struck the young couple quickly. The 1910 Census indicates that Ella had two children, one of whom was living.  We know that Floyd was born on 21 Apr 1909. So, and unknown infant must have been born and died, probably between Allen and Ella’s marriage in 1904 and the census date (15 April 1910).[ii]

1910 Census – The family consisted of Allen who was a farmer renting his farm near Humphrey, Paulding County Georgia. Ella and one-year-old Floyd were with him. Neither Allen nor Ella could read and write.  Living with them was a 20-year-old boarder from Alabama named Hollis Ware. They were living in Humphrey, Paulding County Georgia.[iii]

Search Military Records - Fold31918 – Ella was identified as Allen’s wife when he registered for the draft. They were living on R.F.D. 1, Dallas, Paulding County.[iv]

1920 Census – The family had grown by 1920.[v] 

  • Floyd was still at home and attending school.  He is identified as being able to read and write, the first in the family.
  • Elmer was born in 1912 and was also attending school.
  • Lola was born 14 Oct 1914 in Dallas, Paulding County, Georgia.
  • Paul was born 25 Aug 1918 also in Paulding County.

1923 – Tragedy struck again with the death of another infant child. Ella had twins, was named Mary Lee that lived, the other twin died. It is not clear how long the second twin lived.

1930 Census – The census record shows that Allen and Ella have three of their children still living with them. They are living on a farm on Villa Ricca Road, Dallas, GA. Sadly, 17-year-old Elmer is working as a farm laborer and is not attending school. He is also identified as unable to read and write. His brother, 11-year-old Paul, is attending school and can read and write. Six-year-old Mary is not attending school.[vi]


Marker - Allen William Adair
Marker – Ella M [Mitchell] – Allen William Adair
Ella Mitchell died in 1936, presumably in Paulding County, Georgia.  She is buried at Bethany Christian Church Cemetery, Dallas, Paulding County, Georgia.[vii]

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Search records searching for Ella’s actual birth date.
  • Search records searching for Ella’s actual death date.
  • Determine Ella’s parents (Do a surname study of Mitchells in Paulding County). Georgia.)


[i] Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950, Family Search, Allen Adair – Ella Mitchell – 18 April 1904.
[ii] 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, Allen Adair – Humphrey, Paulding, Georgia ED 121, Page 10B, Line 75.
[iii] Ibid.
[iv] United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (NARA), Family Search, Allen William Adair – Georgia Paulding County; A-Z.
[v] 1920 Census, Family Search, 1920 Census – Allen [Adair] Adain, Cains, Paulding, Georgia, United States; citing ED 143, sheet 5A, line 5, family 74. Accessed 19 August 2017.
[vi] 1930 Census, Family Search, Allen Adair – Dallas, Paulding, Georgia, ED 8, Sheet 3A, Line 3.
[vii] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Ella [Mitchell] Adair – Memorial #45685515.

Community Context Research Yields Clues

 Adair Project

By Don Taylor

Determining Elmer D. Adair’s parents has been frustrating me for some time. He is the paternal grandfather in my Adair Project and something of a nefarious character. He wasn’t spoken about in the Adair family.  We did not know if he had any siblings, nor did we have his parent’s names.

Blank Wall with Crack
Blank Wall with Crack in it.

We know he had several run-ins with the law, including one when he was just 18-years-old that resulted in his going to prison for a year.  That event was in 1931, in Paulding County, Georgia. I thought it should be easy to find a 17-year-old Elmer in the 1930 Census; however, I had no success. So, I decided to do a Community Context (Cluster) Search for Adairs in Paulding County, Georgia in 1930. I used both Family Search and Ancestry.Com in my searching. In both cases, I searched the 1930 Census for “Adair” in “Paulding County, Georgia.” On Ancestry.Com, I added criteria that the relationship to head of household should be “Head.” On Family Search, I just looked for “Head” in the household role.  The results on both were 13 families. Two of the families were black, so they were dropped from my focus leaving 11.

Household Role Age Comments
Memary R Adair Head F 60 Owns Home, on Farm, Single) Farmer
Bertha E Adair Sister F 32 (No Occupation)
Sharon S Wright Nephew M 10 Farm Laborer

John E Adair Head M 60 1st marriage at age 30 – Not a vet.
Flora E Adair Wife F 58 1st marriage at age 28
Relia E Adair Daughter F 20

Verley Adair Head M 23 Renting First Marriage at age 23, Farner
Beatrice Adair Wife F 16 First Marriage at age 16,

Crenfal N Adair Head M 29 Renting – 1st marriage at 19, Farmer.
Molly L Adair Wife F 27 1st marriage at 17,
Howell J Adair Son M 8 Attending School
Alton H Adair Son M 5
Herbert P Adair Son M 1

Alonzo L Adair Head M 56 First Marriage at 21 – Farmer
Fannie L Adair Wife F 53 First Marriage at 18
Raymond E Adair Son M 24 Teacher
A L Adair Jr. Son M 19 Teacher
Edna E Adair Daugh F 14 Attended School

Allen Adair Head M 50 Renting – First Marriage age 21.
Ella E Adair Wife F 41 First Marriage age 15.
Elma D Adair Son M 17 Farm Labor
Paul E Adair Son M 11 Attending School
Mary L Adair Daugh F 6

Adair, Sanford Head 32 Rents Farm Farmer
___, Darthula Mother   52 WD
___, John D Brother 20 Farm Laborer
___, Flossie Sister 15 Farm Laborer
___, Ila Sister 13 Farm Laborer
___, Paul Brother 10 Attending School

Adair, Joseph Head Age 55 First Marriage at age 22 Farmer
___, Melinda, Wife Age 55 First Marriage at age 22
___, Estell Daughter   23 Farm Laborer
___, Charlie Son 20 Farm Laborer
___, Clandil Daughter 17 Farm Laborer

Adair, Veto Head 26 First marriage at age 25, Renting farm. Farmer
___, Hallie Wife, 26 First marriage at age 25.

Adair, Milton R. Head 73 Owns home, Age at 1st marriage: 22
___, Amanda Wife 70 Age at 1st marriage: 20
___, Benjamin Son 47 Age at 1st marriage: 47 – Road Tractor Driver.
___, Opal Dau. in law 24 Age at 1st marriage: 23

Adair, Robert H Head 70 First marriage at 19, Renting farm.
___, Mary Jane Wife 69 First marriage at 18,
Calif, Gladys Granddau. 18 Attended School – Farm Laborer
___, David Grandson 16 Attended School – Farmer
___, Mary Granddau. 14 Attended School – Farm Laborer
___, Maggie Granddau. 12 Attended School

Note: All individuals listed above were born in Georgia.

As I went through the families, I noticed an obvious mistake in the Census. In the household of Allen Adair, there was a son named “Elma D.”  Could this be Elmer D.?  The age is right; the location is right. I suspect that Elma is Elmer. A quick search of the 1920 Census didn’t yield any results for Allen, Ella Elmer/Elma or Paul Adair.

I’m not sufficiently confident to ascribe Elmer’s parents as Allen and Ella Adair yet; however, I suspect that an in-depth look at the Adairs of Paulding County, GA in the 1920 Census and a close look at the neighbors of the 1930 Allen Adair family may result in success. Also, following the other children of Allen & Ella may well lead to confirmation. In any event, what was once a blank wall has cracks in it — clues about how to get through it.

A community context search can illuminate facts that you may have missed previously.
Names such as “Elmer” can be misinterpreted as “Elma.”

Future Actions
Follow the children of Allen and Ella Adair and look for potential references to Elmer.
Look at the 1930 neighbors of Allen and Ella Adair and see if there are any to find in the 1920 Census.
Look at the Adair’s of Paulding County, GA, in the 1920 Census and document any new relationships found.

Ancestry.Com 1930 United States Census search Adair, Paulding County, GA.
Family Search 1930 United States Census search Adair, Paulding County, GA.

———-  DISCLAIMER  ———-

AH-06 – Svend Christian Hansen (1899-1955)

I would never of thought it, but there are several people named Svend Hansen who were born in 1899 or 1900.  Trying to untangle them is quite a chore, particularly because several of them were sailors. There are many ships that he probably was a member of the crew, but I just can’t confirm the particular cases. Also, because of his shipboard life, he doesn’t appear to be in any of the census records. 

AH-06 – Svend Christian Hansen (1899-1955)

Svend Christian Hansen was born on 07 Feb 1899 in Copenhagen, Denmark to Anton Severin Hansen and Petrine Brangesrop.[i] He may have had a sibling, whose name is unknown.[ii] He died on 12 Nov 1955 at the VA Hospital in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA. On 27 Feb 1942, when he was 43, he married Luel Glazier, daughter of John Henry Glazier and Josephine Ophelia Lambert.
I know nothing about Svend’s childhood. I do know he attended grammar school and he knew hot to read and write Danish when he arrived in the US. He knew how to read and write English, but I don’t know if he learned it before he came to America or not.
S.S. Hellig Olav
Photo courtesy Swedish National Heritage Board
Via Wikimedia Commins
He emigrated from Copenhagen, Denmark, on 08 Mar 1923 aboard the (Danish) S. S. Hellig Olav. He arrived at Ellis Island, New York, New York, with $10 to his name, on 21 Mar 1923. His intent was to find work as a sailor, stay in the United States permanently, and become a U.S. Citizen.[iii]
Svend described himself as 5′ 5″ tall, 139 lbs. light complexion, brown hair, blue eyes.[iv]
S.S. Manargo (c. 1920s-1930s)
Photo source: 
We know that he found work aboard several ships. For certain, he crewed aboard the S. S. Munargo as a water tender. The S. S. Munargo, traversed between New York and Havana, Cuba, Miami, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas while he was aboard.[v] [vi] It appears he also worked aboard the S. S. Ancon where he was a “wiper” as the ship traversed between Cristobal, Canal Zone, Port Au Prince, Haiti, and New York.[vii] Unfortunately, there are several Svend Hansens born in 1899 or 1900 from Denmark who served on several ships and it is virtually impossible to untangle which Svend served aboard which ship. We do know that he served aboard ship into the 1930s. When in New York, he lived at the Seaman’s Church Institute at 25 South Street.[viii]
Svend was at sea aboard the Munargo during the 1930 Census enumeration.[ix]  Also, I have been unable to find Svend in the 1940 Census, possibly for the same reason.
When Svend enlisted in the Army at Fort McPherson Atlanta, on 24 Nov 1942, he was employed as a waiter living in Fulton County, Georgia. Interestingly, he only served four months; he was discharged on 2 April 1943.[x] I need to do more research regarding his Army service as a PFC with the 409th Infantry.
In 1951, Svend (and presumably Luel) lived in College Park, Fulton County, Georgia. He worked as a carpenter at Ft McPherson.
505 W. Ail Way, Tucson, AZ Today
Photo Courtesy Google Maps
In May, 1955, Svend moved the family to Tucson, Pima County, Arizona where he continued working as a carpenter and lived at 505 W. Aio Way. Today, the building is an office for “By Low Cost Insurance.”
On 9 November 1955, Svend suffered thrombophlebitis in his left leg and he went to the VA Hospital in Tucson. His thrombophlebitis gave rise to a pulmonary embolism that killed him. He died on 12 November, 1955 at the age of 56. His funeral took place at the Bring’s Funeral Home in Tucson. He was buried in block 4 in the military section (Soldiers’ Plot) at Evergreen Cemetery, Tucson, Arizona.[xi] [xii]
Svend Christian Hansen and Luel Glazier had several children, most of who are living.

Followup Actions:

Get a copy of his Obituary from Genealogy Bank.


[i] Arizona, Department of Health Services, Death Certificate, Svend C Hansen – State File #6931.
[ii] Patrick J. Meehan, The Meehan Family.  Anton Severin HANSEN / Petrine BRANGSTRUP –
[iii], New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1923; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3304; Line: 1; Page Number: 209
[iv] Ibid.
[v], New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1926; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3800; Line: 15; Page Number: 43.
[vi], New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1930; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4701; Line: 17; Page Number: 250.
[vii], New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 5930; Line: 26; Page Number: 106
[viii], New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1923; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3399; Line: 2; Page Number: 108.
[ix], New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1930; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4711; Line: 23; Page Number: 177.
[x] U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,,, Svend C Hansen;
[xi] Arizona, Department of Health Services, Death Certificate, Svend C Hansen – State File #6931.
[xii] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Svend C. Hansen – Memorial #70830615
————-  DISCLAIMER  ————-
Find your ancestors today!