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Monday, November 23, 2015

Mystery Monday - What Happened to Great Aunt Mabel Reese?

Mystery Monday is a daily blogging prompt at Geneabloggers.com and used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. Closely related to Madness Monday only these missing ancestors might not cause madness! Mystery Monday is where you can post about mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in your genealogy and family history research which is currently unsolved. This is a great way to get your fellow genealogy bloggers to lend their eyes to what you’ve found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

My mystery today is my Maternal Grandfather's missing sister.

Mabel Kelith Tobiatha Reese was the 7th of 9 children, 8 of whom survived to adulthood. She was born 4/21/1919 in Rosman, Transylvania County, NC to Bailey Bright Reese (DOB 1/26/1878 in Madison County, NC; DOD 12/10/1949 in Marion, McDowell County, NC) and Lillian Vianna Conner (DOB 1/9/1887 in Madison County, NC; DOD 1/15/1984 in Marion, McDowell County, NC).

Bailey Bright Reese and Lilly Conner Reese had 9 children. Their first child was Minnie Louesta "Estie" Reese who was born in 1907 but she died in 1909. The rest of their surviving children were Rev. Paul McCoy Reese (married Louise Saunders), Rev. Wilford William Reese (married Geneva "Ginnie" Margaret Lamb), Charles Beauford Reese (married Jenny Young), Margaret Alice Reese (married Joe Edgar Young), Gertrude "Trudy" Lillian Reese (married Rass Samuel Young), Mabel Tobiatha Reese, Jeter Clifford Reese (married Marcia Norman) and Ann Grace Reese (married Charles Jackson Beck).



Mabel Reese married Walter Baird Phillips. Walter was born 4/1/1917 in Madison County, NC. They married 6/22/1941 in McDowell County, NC. They had one son named David Larry Phillips (DOB 7/19/1942 in Marion, McDowell County, NC; DOD 7/5/1979 in Miami, Dade County, FL) who married Dorothy Faith Christian.  Mabel left Walter Phillips and their son, David, and they got a divorce in 1947 in Volusia County, FL.

After that, what we know dwindles down to nothing. My Mother's brother remembered his Aunt Mabel coming to visit them with a man that she presented as her husband. The only thing my Uncle remembered was that he was a former baseball player (which, of course, got the attention of my Uncle who was just a boy) and his last name might have been Lucinger. They had a good visit and Mabel was fun to be around. But they evidently didn't stay together either. I assume they divorced. But I haven't had any luck finding a Lucinger.

Mabel was a severe alcoholic. On her last visit back to Asheville, NC to see her mother and siblings, she stayed with a niece and ended up drinking everything in the bathroom cabinet and had to be rushed to the hospital. The family remembers the visit and said she was delightful and fun but evidently she couldn't control her need for alcohol.

The last time they ever heard from her was a letter dated 2/17/1970. It was written for her evidently because the return address is for a Maurice Farney and it's signed "Maurice".

Her son contacted my Grandfather (his maternal Uncle) at one point, before he died, to see if any of the family knew where she was. He said his father had told him that she was in Australia at some point, and the letter mentions something about being back from "Astralia" and "in the bush"? But the letter is barely legible or coherent. Mabel had signed her photo above and her handwriting was neat and legible. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, Maurice had an 8th grade education so I'm not sure why the letter was so poorly written.

Here is a photo of the envelope and letter:




Here is a transcription:

Maurice A. Farnly
921 So Grand Ave
L.A. Calif
.....................................Mrs.B.B. Reese (Her mother)
.....................................c/o Mrs Joe Young
....................................Home SC
....................................Asheville

(Was corrected by post office)

2-17-70
Hi Mom
Just got back from Astralia and in the bush co we just covered. I write Darling loves you so much and is so glad to be home. Hope your feeling OK
Alice, Paul and Wilford – Mom says say Hello to Alice and Grace Wilford
Please write your big sis.
She misses you people.
Thank
Maurice

That's all we have. After this, she dropped off the earth as far as we know. Someone suggested looking up Maurice. I found all I could on Maurice at Ancestry.com but no mention of how he knew Aunt Mabel. Were they married? Boyfriend/girlfriend? Or was it just a friendship or even a casual acquaintance? Maybe she asked her landlord to write the letter for her or something casual like that? I just don't know. Here is what I found on Maurice.

Although the return address looks like "Maurice Farnley" it is actually Maurice A. Farney.

Maurice A. Farney (DOB 11/6/1909 in Sault St Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan to Walter Clark and Ida Alice McKelvey Farney). He married Blanche Monroe Henry (DOB 9/6/1907 in Sault, St. Marie County, MI to Philip Monroe and Kate Emma Duffy; DOD 1/20/1948 in Los Angeles County, CA) on 6/20/1931 in Sault St. Marie, Chippewa County, MI and had Maurice Farney, Jr. (DOB 10/31/1940 in Hollywood, CA; DOD 9/1976 in Santa Ana Canyon, Orange County, CA), Frederick Clare Farney (DOB 7/15/1939, DOD 2/2/1972 in Los Angeles County, CA, married Susan Kay Bair) and and Walter C. Farney (DOB 10/31/1940 in Hollywood, CA; DOD 9/1976 in Orange County, CA, married Sally J. Berault).

1910 U.S. Census of Sault St marie Ward 4, Chippewa County, Michigan; Roll: T624_641; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1374654, Family 156, Lines 98-100, "Walter Farney"
Walter Farney, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 40 yrs old (DOB 1870), Married 2 yrs (DOM 1908), Born in Canada English, Father born in Canada English, Mother born in Scotland, Engineer locomotive
Alice Farney, Wife, F, W, 24 yrs old (DOB 1886), Married 2 yrs, 1 child with 1 still living, Born in MI, Both parents born in Canada English
Maurice A. Farney, Son, M, W, 5/12 mos old (DOB 1909), Born in MI, Father born in Canada English, Mother born in MI


1920 U.S. Census of Seymour Rd, Sault Sainte Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan; Roll: T625_761; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 37; Image: 428, Family 162, Lines 44-47, "Walter C. Farney"
Walter C. Farney, Head, Owns home with mortgage, M(ale), W(hite), 50 yrs old (DOB 1870), Married, Can read and write, Born in Canada, Both parents born in Canada, Locomotive Engineer for Carbide Co.
Alice Farney, Wife, F, W, 34 yrs old (DOB 1886), Married, Can read and write, Born in MI, Both parents born in Canada
Morris Farney (sic, Maurice Farney), Son, M, W, 10 yrs old (DOB 1910), Attends school, Born in MI, Father born in Canada, Mother born in MI
Robert Farney, Son, M, W, 1 yr 11/12 mos old (DOB 1908), Born in MI, Father born in Canada, Mother born in MI


1930 U.S. Census of Sault Sainte Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan; Roll: 980; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0021; Image: 955.0; FHL microfilm: 2340715, Family 29, Lines 97-100, "Walter Farney"
Walter Farney, Head, Owns home valued at $800, Owned radio set, M(ale), W(hite), 61 yrs old (DOB 1869), Married at age 31 yrs old (DOM 1900), Can read and write, Born in Canada English, Both parents born in Scotland, Engineer Carbide Co.
Alice Farney, Wife, F, W, 45 yrs old (DOB 1885), Married at age 23 yrs old, Can read and write, Born in Michigan, Both parents born in Canada English
Moresie Farney (sic, Maurce Farney), Son, M, W, 20 yrs old (DOB 1910), Single, Can read and write, Born in MI, Father born in Canada English, Mother born in MI, No occupation
Robert H. Farney, Son, M, W, 12 yrs old (DOB 1918), Single, Attends school, Born in MI, Father born in Canada English, Mother born in MI, No occupation


1940 U.S. Census of West 12th St, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California; Roll: T627_392; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 60-957, Family 428, Lines 35-38, "Maurice Farney"
Maurice Farney, Rented house for $16, Head, M(ale), W(hite), 30 yrs old (DOB 1910), Married, Attended school thru 8th grade, Born in Michigan, Lived in Sault St. Marie, Michigan in 1935, Embalmer in undertaking, Income $500
Blanche Farney, Wife, F, W, 32 yrs old (DOB 1908), Married, Attended school thru 8th grade, Born in Michigan, Lived in Sault St. Marie, Michigan in 1935, Waitress in restaurant
Maurice Farney Jr, Son, M, W, 8 yrs old (DOB 1932), Single, Attends school, Attended school thru 2nd grade, Born in Michigan, Lived in Sault St. Marie, Michigan in 1935
Fredrick C. Farney, Son, M, W, 9/12 mos old (DOB 1939), Born in CA


1940 California, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
Maurice Farney, 1358 1/2 N. Mansfield Ave, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA, Installator, R(epublican)
Mrs. Blanche Farney, 1358 1/2 N. Mansfield Ave, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA, Housewife, R(epublican)


Los Angeles County CA Archives Military Records.....Army Enlistees WW2
DATE OF ENLISTMENT YEAR OF SER. NO. NAME PLACE OF ENLISTMENT DAY MONTH YEAR BIRTHPLACE BIRTH GRADE BRANCH COMPONENT OF THE ARMY
39579250, FARNEY, MAURICE A, FT MACARTHUR, SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA, 3/21/1944, MICHIGAN, 9, Private, No branch assignment, Selectees (Enlisted Men)

Maurice A Farney
Los Angeles County, California
March 21, 1944
Selectees
Private 31 - 35

Name: Maurice A Farney
Birth Year: 1909
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Michigan
State of Residence: California
County or City: Los Angeles
Enlistment Date: 21 Mar 1944
Enlistment State: California
Enlistment City: Fort Macarthur San Pedro
Branch: No branch assignment
Branch Code: No branch assignment
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: 1 year of high school
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled occupations in stoneworking, n.e.c.
Marital Status: Married
Height: 00
Weight: 000

California, Death Index, 1940-1997
Name: Blanche Farney
[Blanche Monroe]
Social Security #: 550283055
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 6 Sep 1907
Birth Place: Michigan
Death Date: 20 Jan 1948
Death Place: Los Angeles
Mother's Maiden Name: Duffy
Father's Surname: Monroe

Maurice moved around a lot according to these Voter Registration lists.

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1944, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 61, Maurice A. Farney, 3914 S. Dresker Ave, Sand Blaster, R(epublican)

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1948, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 74, Maurice A. Farney, 1454 N. Doheny Dr, DS

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1950, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 80, Maurice A. Farney, 940 S. Figeuroa St, R(epublican)

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1952, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 87, Maurice A. Farney, 1964 1/2 Park Grove Ave, R(epublican)

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1954, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 95, Maurice A. Farney, 1964 1/2 Park Grove Av, R(epublican)

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1960, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 147, Maurice A. Farney, 319 W. 2nd St, R(epublican)

California Voter Registrations 1900-1968, 1962, Los Angeles County, CA, Roll 169, Maurice A. Farney, 605 W. 27th St, R(epublican)


California, Death Index, 1940-1997
Name: Maurice A Farney
Social Security #: 371031373
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 6 Nov 1909
Birth Place: Michigan
Death Date: 7 May 1972
Death Place: Los Angeles

U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010
Name: Maurice Farney
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 6 Nov 1909
Death Date: 7 May 1972
SSN: 371031373
Branch 1: ARMY
Enlistment Date 1: 20 Mar 1944
Release Date 1: 20 Feb 1946

U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
Name: Maurice Farney
SSN: 371-03-1373
Last Residence: 90073 Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
BORN: 6 Nov 1909
Died: May 1972
State (Year) SSN issued: Michigan (Before 1951)

FindAGrave.com
Maurice A. Farney
Birth: Nov. 6, 1909
Death: May 7, 1972
Burial: Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot: 215, 15/RF
Imported from: US Veteran's Affairs
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3706891

What I do know is that Aunt Mabel came from a good, stable, loving family. All her siblings grew up to do well and had families. She was missed by her mother and siblings, her son and his family. We want to know what happened to her and where she is resting. It's possible that she died as a Jane Doe and we will never know. But if there is a way to find her, we want to know what happened and where her final resting place is. She may have been alone in Los Angeles, but she had family that cared about what happened to her living in NC and SC (and her son in FL).

If anyone comes across this blog post and has any further information on her or can solve this mystery, please contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com. If you have any suggestions about how to search, please contact me. I live in SC so I'm a long way from Los Angeles, CA. I have no idea how, or who, to contact to search for a California death certificate (I have not found one for her per CA Death Indexes on Ancestry.com), obituary notices, etc. All I have access to is Ancestry.com and I haven't found her using that and I'm pretty proficient using Ancestry.com. If you can help, thank you in advance!

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