Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: A is for Alvin


“We need to get together more often and not at a funeral.” How many times have you and a cousin said that? Funerals are much like a family reunion. You can learn a lot about a family just by looking at who showed up. Using my grandparents’ guest books and sympathy cards, I’ll be exploring “Who came to the funeral?

is for Alvin Russell Marshall Sr.

Alvin attended the funeral for my maternal grandfather Orvin Owen Davis (1899-1963) held in Shenandoah, Virginia in October 1963.  Alvin and Orvin were first cousins. Alvin’s mother Zibiah Saloma Davis Marshall was an older sister of Orvin’s father Walter Davis.

Alvin was born September 30, 1895 in Rockingham County, Virginia, the second of six children of John Lewis and Saloma Marshall. According to the 1910 census, the family lived along Simmons Gap Road, just across the ridge from Beldor, home of many in the Davis line. Alvin was a farm laborer, likely on his parents’ farm

In 1917 Alvin registered for the draft. How interesting to learn he was tall and had grey eyes. It appears his father was the registrar. I have found no records to suggest that he ever had to serve.

Alvin R. Marshall WWI draft registration  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Alvin R. Marshall WWI draft registration  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com


















Boarding house 1920 Washington DC  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
1310 Q St NW Washington D.C.
Boarding house where Alvin and Edith met
Still single in 1920, Alvin earned a living driving a fire truck in Washington D.C. He was one of nineteen boarders at 1310 Q Street NW.  Most of the residents were clerks and stenographers for the Treasury Department and War Department. One of the boarders caught his eye: Edyth Terwilliger of Pennsylvania. 


Based on the 1930 census for Washington DC, Alvin and Edyth married in 1923. They had twin boys, Alvin and Lewis. Alvin Sr. was a fireman earning a respectable salary allowing the Marshalls to own their home at 806 Decatur Street. 

In 1940, Alvin made room in this house for his widowed father, John Lewis Marshall. Edyth had returned to work as a typist for the Veterans Department. Alvin remained a fireman until retirement. 

Alvin died in August 1979.
Alvin R. Marshall Sr. obituary  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com



I advise you to advance to the A to Z April Challenge where you are assured of amiable company among the most affable artists and authors.


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.  

30 comments:

  1. Loved the post. I know it was about Alvin - but I actually LOVED the spelling of 'Edyth'. Don't know why - it just appealed to me. Look forward to reading more of your posts in the A-Z Challenge!

    Ros, visiting from GenWestUK

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    1. And I just like saying "Terwilliger." Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  2. It's nice to see that people don't get forgotten.

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    1. I agree. Thanks for the visit and comment.

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  3. A is for Alvin; you are off to a great start!

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    1. Always reminds me of the Chipmunks. Thanks for the visit, Colleen!

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  4. Great start to your A-Z challenge, love all your family names. I'm not doing the challenge this year due to work and family but will follow whenever I can.

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    1. Aw -- shucks, I'll miss the alphabetical stories and poems. But I understand taking a break from this commitment.

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  5. Your opening struck a chord with me, as it was at my mother's funeral I met her cousins who I had not seen since my childhood. We exchanged memories, anecdotes, photographs and other memorabilia which mean such a lot to me - and provided much source material for my blog. Your family have such wonderful, inspirational names and I look forward to reading more about them. .

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    1. Meeting family really puts the "fun" in "funeral."

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  6. Oops, are we supposed to use the banner and icon in each post? I will have to fix that.

    It is fortunate to have family history and records to know where you came from.

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    1. No worries -- that's just my style. I think the AtoZ leaders simply asked for the badge in the sidebar. You're fine. Thanks for the visit.

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  7. Great start! This is going to be fun to learn about the people in Granddaddy's life.

    When do you want to drive to Beldor? I have only been once.

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    1. Bobbie thinks it's scary to go back there. I don't know.

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  8. It is a great start! I picked up on the grey eye thing. I have quite a few ancestors who are listed on CW records or various records as having grey eyes and yet I have to say I have never seen anyone that actually has grey eyes. What's up with that? Weird comment, I know, but something that has struck me several times in my own research.

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    1. I bet those eyes were really just a dull blue. I'm usually struck by how short the men were.

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  9. Meeting long lost relatives or reconnecting with one's seldom seen does put the fun in funeral. What a great idea to use the register for collateral relatives you might not otherwise have known about. I sure liked Alvin. His mother sure had an unusual name that probably made your wheels start turning for the letter Z. Alvin must have been an interesting guy...firefighter and 'Beagle' expert. Amazing what you learn from an obituary and funeral registry. Awesome start for the challenge.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. Yeah -- that Z is going to be a killer because there were no Z's at the funeral (although my younger daughter is a Z, but I don't want to write about her).

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  10. What a great idea! Not many of us have these resources, but it is a great way to explore your family history.

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    1. I'm learning a few things but nothing major to advance my research. It's more interesting to me "just because." However, I'm loving figuring out how people were connected to one another.

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  11. I can tell you enjoy your research and putting all the pieces together to tell a story about a person. Those are wonderful talents and skills to have.

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    1. Aw what a nice thing to say. I do enjoy the research, I must admit. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  12. Hahaha, love that alliteration at the end (hee hee A is for alliteration). What a great story about Alvin. I attended a funeral just last week and it is fascinating to think that someone someday may find out about my life because I signed the guest book...

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    1. I can't imagine what kind of paper trail we are leaving doing just ordinary things -- signing guest books, posting reviews of products on Amazon, engaging with others on Facebook. Thanks for the visit and comment.

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  13. Fascinating... You have brought him back to life.
    Only 25 to go!!!
    Wendy at Wendy of The Rock

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    1. Thanks -- yes a big 25! Thanks for the visit and comment.

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  14. More twins! That boarding house is beautiful, and I enjoyed this post very much.

    Hugs,
    Kathy M.

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    1. Yes, it's a handsome house, indeed!

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  15. Now I'm wondering who kept the books from my grandparent's funerals. I've never thought of it before but what a resource to find people who were part of their community and life. I'm afraid they are long gone or I would have seen them over the years.

    Kristin

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    1. I'm sure every family struggles with what to keep and what to toss. I wonder what the criteria were that sent these cards and guest books to the Keep pile.

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