Maude Minnie (Winter) Montran – Christian Science Nurse

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My great-grandfather, John F. Montran, has been an enigma in my research. I haven’t found any information that closely identifies who he was or what his life was like. Montran is something of an unusual name. A search for Montran in the 1900 Census indicates there were only 10 people in the US with that surname and four of them were recent immigrants from Syria. The 1880 Census only indicates one individual with that surname in the US. So, it is pretty amazing to find that two John F. Montrans existed in the United States in the 1890s.

First, my John F. Montran was possibly born in Pennsylvania, probably married Ida Mae Barber about 1892, and appears to have died before 1897. He was a Christian Scientist.

Then there is John Foster Montran, apparently born in France. He probably married Maud Minnie Winter about 1893. John was a Traveler and appears to have died before 1900.  Maud was a Christian Scientist.  He lived in Pennsylvania during part of his life.

The overlap between the two men is striking. What kind of life do I have for John if I consider the two as one individual?

  • 1892 – “Married” Ida Barber
  • 1893 – Daughter Madonna Montran is born.
  • 1893 – “Married” Maud Minnie Winter.
  • 1894 – Daughter Thelma M. Montran is born.
  • 1897 – Daughter Ruth Grace Montran is born.
  • 1897 – The widow Ida Montran marries Max Fisher.
  • 1900 – Maud Montran is a widow in 1900 Census.

John Montran certainly could be two different people. It also fits that he could be one person. That he married Ida, divorced her, and then married Maud. There are many possible scenarios. Although the legalities of the relationships are interesting, I’m more interested in learning if John, the father of Madonna and John the father of Thelma & Ruth are the same person.

Ida only had one child to live to adulthood, Madonna, whose father was John Montran and two grandchildren. Maude had two children with her John Montran, Thelma and Ruth and at least four grandchildren. If Madonna’s father and Thelma and Ruth’s father are the same people, their grandchildren and I would be 2nd cousins.  Well within the range for atDNA testing to confirm. Now I just need to find one of those descendants and have them test.

In the meantime, I dove into understanding the life of Maud Minnie Winter, potentially, the second wife of my great-grandfather.

Maud Minnie Montran (1875-1931)

Maude Minnie Montran was born on 4 April 1874 in Canada[i]. Clearly, she passed back and forth between Canada and the United States during the 1890s.

Maude’s naturalization application indicated she came to the United States in March 1887.[ii]  and her first daughter, Thelma Montran, was born in the United States in June 1894[iii] However, her second daughter, Ruth Grace Montran was born in the United States in November 1897[iv] and immigrated to the US in January 1898.[v]

Clearly, something dramatic happened in Maud’s life in 1897-1898. My conjecture is that she became pregnant with Ruth, then her husband died. She returned to Canada to have the baby with family there, then returned to the United States in 1898. The 1900 Census finds the family fragmented with Thelma and Ruth living with an aunt and uncle (Josephine & Penrose Brown) and their grandmother (Maryann Winter) in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York.[vi] Meanwhile, Maud is living 50 miles away in Rochester, Monroe County, New York. It appears that she is a live-in nurse lodging with the Sherburne family.

Photo of Mary Baker Eddy
Mary Baker Eddy who established Christian Science Nursing in 1908.

The 1910 Census finds to children still living with Penrose and Josephine Brown, but now in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Penrose indicates that the two girls are his adopted daughters.[vii] Maud is living 120 miles away with the Shoe family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, working as a Christian Science nurse.[viii] That is pretty amazing because the standard for Christian Science nurses was only established in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy. So Maud must have been one of the very first Christian Science nurses.

UPDATE: It is likely that Maude Montran worked for Keystone Circulating Co., Inc., during 1916.  See: Montrans in the News – Female Help Wanted.

In 1920 Maud’s path crosses with her daughter, Thelma and appears to separate from Ruth. I have searched for Maud in the 1920 Census to no avail, however, she shows up on the 1920 San Francisco City Directory living at 256 Carl Street. Her daughter, Thelma is in the 1920 Census living with her husband, Miner Babcock at 256 Carl Street. [ix] Minor and Thelma do not appear in the city directory and Maud does not appear in the 1919 or the 1921 San Francisco city directories. However, Maud does appear in the 1921 Redondo Beach City Directory living at 417 S. Elena Ave working as a C. S. nurse (Christian Science nurse).[x]  Ruth married John Terell Cologne about 1920 and moved to Miami, Dade County, Florida. She remained there until her death in 1993.

By the 1930 Census, Thelma and her husband, Minor Babcock, have moved to Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California. Living with them and their two children is Maud.[xi]

Maud Minnie (Winter) Montran died in Los Angeles on 25 Jun 1931 at the age of 56. The location of her remains is unknown.

My next step:

Future activity includes tracing the lives of Thelma and Ruth and their descendants.

Asking living descendants of Maud to have a DNA test and see if the individual is unrelated or a cousin.

Proving that John Montran, the husband of Ida Barber and John Montran, the husband of Maud Winter are the same person will have a huge impact on my future research. If they are the same individual then any atDNA matches that match this Montran family lines will be important to help understand John Montran’s ancestry.


[i] U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992, Ancestry.Com, Maude Winter Montran.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Penrose Brown – Waterloo, Seneca, New York.

[iv] Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records – Ruth Grace Cologne.

[v] 1910 Census (FS), Penrose Brown – Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania;.

[vi] 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Penrose Brown – Waterloo, Seneca, New York.

[vii] 1910 Census (FS), Penrose Brown – Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania;.

[viii] 1910 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, Philadelphia , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ED 439, Sheet 4B, Line 77. Maud W Montran.

[ix] 1920 Census (FS), Family Search, Miner [Minor] H Babcock – San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

[x] City Directory,, 1921 Redondo Beach, CA – Mrs. Maud W Montran.

[xi] 1930 Census (NARA), Ancestry.Com, Minor Babcock – Inglewood, Los Angeles, CA [Maude Montran].

Ruth Grace Montran Cologne (1897-1993)

Only recently have I come to the determination that Ruth Grace Montran is my grandmother’s (Madonna Mae Montran) half sister and that they shared the same father, John F. Montran. In my attempt to prove or disprove that relationship, I’ve researched Ruth considerably and have learned quite a bit about her long life.
“Middlesex-County-Map” by Middlesex County
Municipality – Licensed under Public Domain
via Wikimedia Commons
Ruth Grace Montran was born 27 Nov 1897 in Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, to John Montran and Maud Minnie Winter. Dr. Moorhouse was the attending physician.[i] Her birth was recorded/registered only two weeks later, on 13 Dec 1897, by M. M. Montran (presumed to be Maud).
According to Ruth’s naturalization record[ii], and the 1910 Census[iii], Ruth arrived in the United States in January 1898.
The 1900 Census shows Ruth living with her uncle, Primrose Brown, a railroad laborer, his wife Jerusha [sic – Josephine] Brown, her Scottish maternal grandmother, Maryann Winter, and her older sister Thelma Montran in Waterloo Village, Fayette Township, Seneca County, New York. It is interesting to note that the census indicates that she was born in Canada; however, there is not date in the emigration column, clearly an oversight. Another item of note is that this is the only document I’ve seen that indicates that her father was born in France.[iv] (I have long thought that Madonna’s father was French because Madonna used to say she was “English, Irish, and French.”)
The 1910 Census shows 12 year-old Ruth living in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania with her adoptive parents, Penrose and Josephine E Brown and an 5 year-old adopted brother, Harry P Baker.[v] So,
Ruth married John Terrell Cologne sometime between 1910 and 3 April 1920, as evidenced that she became naturalized Miami, Dade, Florida, USA as Ruth Cologne. The registration number is 13328136 and is something to search for.[vi]
I have not been successful finding John and Ruth in the 1920 Census, yet. Anyone else successful yet?
View of the Provident Mutual Life Insurance
Building from a few hundred feet of 2 Farragut St.
Photo by DanTD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
The 1930 Census finds Ruth living with her husband, John, at 2 Farragut Street, Philadelphia, PA, along with her two children, Dorothy B and John T. Cologne. This census entry is curious because it indicates that her father was born in New York. The 1900 Census indicated her father [John Montran] was born in France, and the 1910 Census indicates her father was born in Pennsylvania. Her father in this census is apparently Primrose Brown. In 1930, Ruth was a saleslady working in a department store. Her husband, John, was a dentist and was working as such[vii]. Two Farragut Street is currently a vacant lot next to the 46th Street Station of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Market-Frankford Line. It was across Market Street from the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building that is currently under renovation to become a command center for the Philadelphia Police and the new headquarters the Philadelphia for Health Department.[viii]

What happened between 1930 and 1940 is very unclear. In the 1940 Census, Ruth’s husband, John, is living in Philadelphia with his son, John Jr; however, Ruth is not living with them[ix]. I have not been successful finding Ruth in the 1940 Census, so far. In pure speculation on my part, I think that John and Ruth were probably estranged about 1930 which necessitated Ruth to work outside of the home but they were still living in the same house. Then, by 1940 I suspect they were divorced. John remarried later in the 1940s but Ruth didn’t remarry. As I mentioned, this is speculation; however, it does provide directions for further research.

Ruth Grace Cologne died in Broward County, Florida on 3 Sep 1993[x]. I have not found specific burial information for Ruth Grace Cologne yet.

Areas for Further Research:

Determine if Middlesex has certificates for Ruth’s birth period and get a copy if possible.
Get a copy of Ruth’s naturalization information/record.
Get a copy of Ruth and John’s marriage license/certificate.
Find Ruth Grace Montran/Cologne in the 1920 Census.
Find Ruth Grace Cologne in the 1940 Census.
Learn more about Ruth Cologne’s life from 1940-1993.
Determine Ruth Grace Montran Cologne’s burial information/information.


[i] Ontario Births, 1869-1912, Family Search, Ruth Grace Montran, 27 Nov 1897.
[iii] 1910 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry,, Year; 1910; Census Place: Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1384; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1375397.
[iv] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 7 August 2015), Ruth Montran in household of Penrose Brown, Fayette Township Waterloo vill., Seneca, New York, United States; citing sheet 16A, family 384, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,241,162. 
[v] 1910 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry,, Year; 1910; Census Place: Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1384; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1375397.
[vii], 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.Original data – 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,), Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2139; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0496; Image: 817.0; FHL microfilm: 2341873.
[viii] Plan Philly – Eyes on the Street, March 8, 2012, “Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building to be reused as Police Command Center –
[x], Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.Original data – State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Ind), Ancestry,, Ruth Montran Cologne.

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