Monday, May 31, 2010

Lola's youngest brother William

With all the brick walls I've been running into with my search for Lola, I began a few weeks ago to focus hard on her youngest brother, William. With the help of information available on line (, Google, Facebook, etc.) I began to look for the families of his wives. Simultaneously, I posted to Rootsweb message board, looking for information on his first marriage in 1926 to Myrle, in the hopes of finding her family members. I knew they married in San Francisco in 1926 and that she was granted a divorce in 1936 (Los Angeles Times archives).

I am lucky enough to have what is known as a 9/80 work schedule. That means I work 9 hour days, Monday through Thursday and 8 hours on Friday. The following week follows the same 9 hour days Monday through Thursday with that Friday off. So, every other Friday off. I have spent nearly every off Friday this year at the LA Registrar Recorder's office or at the Orange County Clerk's office searching vital records. Vital records contain tons of information such as witnesses to marriages, informants and burial information on death certificates. Addresses are also included, which is helpful when you're me and trying to locate people living in the hopes of gaining information.

So, on one of my trips to research the vital records, I found informants, witnesses, and from the post to Rootsweb, learned that Myrle died in 1938. The short version, I did pull Myrle's death record when I made my last frantic trip to the Recorder's office and William was the informant. I did learn the names of her parents, but have yet to find any living relatives for her.

I did, however, find living relatives for William's second (Edith) and third (Ann) wives. I found these people via google searches for obituaries (and with the help of friends) and on Facebook. I composed my thoughts and sent email/messages and did hear back. In one case, I was able to find a living relative that suggested we meet in person. My sister and I did have the opportunity to meet with Ann's nieces last Saturday. I have left a message for Edith's nephew via his son and look forward to hearing back from him.

The picture here is of my great uncle, Bill (aka William in this blog) and his wife/widow Ann. She was his third wife. He out lived his first two wives. Bill and Ann married in 1961. They were so happy. The picture was taken Christmas 1963. Ann wrote on the back "Christmas 1963 - Look at my Bill; ignore me"!

I was so happy to meet Ann's nieces and get stories and the picture. Bill had a cabin in Running Springs and a boxer named Dutchess. Next - I am now hoping to hear back from the nephew of Bill's second wife. It is so cool to find people that knew him. I'm so sorry that I never had that chance. I wonder what he'd think knowing that there are three great nieces that he never knew looking for him, looking for him, hoping to learn about him and his life. He passed away in 1977.

Ann was how we imagined her to be - tall, glamorous, kind,beautiful, just to name a few attributes. We have felt a great connection to Ann as she was his widow, but she was also buried next to him almost twenty years after he passed. She was a wonderful woman from a wonderful family.

What's so cool here is that less than one year ago, I didn't even know about William and now I've found out quite a bit about him. There are still many things I need to learn, but the fact that I've learned what I have and now have a picture of him is so amazing.

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