This is Day 9 of the A to Z April Challenge. My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.
is for Imogene T. Davis. She is my second cousin once removed on my mother’s side. I have no personal stories to share about her, nor any startling discoveries through online research. But I am proud of my detective work in fleshing out the family tree.
The first part of her life was easy to document. Imogene was born in 1912, daughter of my maternal grandfather’s cousin, Benjamin and Fleeta Talmadge Berry Davis. In 1920 and 1930, she was living with her parents along with seven sisters and brother. But in 1940, there was no sign of her. Probably married, I figured.
Ancestry linked me to some family trees with a husband for Imogene: Walter H. Kesterson. So I searched for them in 1940. Nothing.
However, there was an obituary online for ol’ Walter in which Imogene was listed as his widow. Also listed were a number of children and STEP-children. Ah ha! Imogene had been married before. Maybe Walter had too.
I focused on the four stepchildren. All girls. All married. No maiden names. Drat! But I went with those names anyway. In my Ancestry Family Tree Maker program, I entered another husband for Imogene, Mr. UNKNOWN. I entered the four daughters UNKNOWN: Margaret, Vera, Burnell, and Faye. Then I entered their spouses as Unknown COMFORT, Unknown GOOD, Unknown COMER, and Unknown CROWE.
And suddenly there was Ancestry’s famous “shaky leaf” alerting me to a possible match with someone’s family tree. Faye Meadows Crowe. Cha-ching!
So I searched “Imogene Meadows” in the 1940 census, and there she was with her four daughters in Elkton, Virginia. No husband though. In the marital status box she was marked “M” for married, but it was crossed out in pencil with a “7” written over it signaling she was separated and/or in the process of getting a divorce. She was working as a seamstress at the overalls factory in Elkton.
Interestingly enough, the household ahead of her was the widowed Ella Meadows. Could that be her mother-in-law?
Of course, it could!
The digging continued with a backwards journey to the 1930, 1920, and 1910 census records where 3 possible sons emerged: Everett, Lloyd, and Odis. Based on the age, my first guess was Everett. His obituary and tombstone on Findagrave.com lead me to believe he is the ex-husband of my Imogene Davis Kesterson because he was survived by some stepchildren and FOUR DAUGHTERS.
The proof is not absolute, but the coincidence is too great to ignore.
To Inspect other Interesting and Innovative blogs, take a look at the A to Z April Challenge.