This is Day 15 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 Odetta Riggs. She was my 4th cousin once removed. How does that work? OK, she was the great-great granddaughter of Clarissa Jollett and John Sampson, sister and brother-in-law of my 3G grandfather Fielding Jollett. Whew ~
Suffice it to say, Odetta is getting my attention only because her name starts with “O.” She is a VERY distant relative.
Odetta was born April 25, 1913 in Vigo County, Indiana. Her parents Arnold and Nellie Sampson Riggs had two children: Odetta and an older brother, Harry. In the 1920 federal census, Arnold was a coal miner. In 1930, Arnold was absent from the household. In fact, Nellie and the kids were boarding with another family, and Nellie was working for a dry cleaners while Harry and Odetta attended school.
Then 1940 – hmm. No Odetta. But fortunately, her name was ODETTA. In my trusty Ancestry, I searched for any Odetta born in 1913 and living in Indiana in 1940. Up popped Odetta Baysinger in Terra Haute, Vigo County, Indiana. She was a married lady, and her husband Clifford was an auto mechanic. Living with them was Nellie Riggs, Odetta’s mother. Nellie had divorced her coal miner husband and was earning a living doing housekeeping.
Based on city directories, Odetta and Clifford were married around 1937, if not earlier.
Sometimes having an unusual name comes in handy.
There are Oodles of Ocular feasts at the A to Z April Challenge.