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Monday, April 6, 2009

Help to Find a Biological Grandfather

Kathi's question: [edited]
I am searching for my biological grandmother. I am the daughter of a man that was adopted in 1934. My father passed away when I was pretty young. For the past couple of years I have been looking for any information about his adoption. I have found my biological grandfathers family but cannot come up with too much of my grandmothers. Here's what I know...
Her name is/was Gearldine Marie Leach. She was born on June 18, between 1913 and 1916 in Vinton County, Ohio. She married a Chester Napper in October of 1934. I sent away for the marriage license to confirm this marriage. I found a 1920 census with Gearldine but the last name was misspelled as Loach. Found out she had a sister, Pearline...brothers Arthur Ishmel and George Dewey both younger. Her fathers name was Leo and her mothers maiden name was Morris. There is not trace of her after the marriage in 1934. I don't know where to search now.

Olive Tree Answer: Hi Kathi, You've already discovered quite a bit, good going! Here are a few more items for you to add to your research and to follow up on -

First, you say that you found Geraldine/Gearldine in the 1920 census but her name was "misspelled as Loach". That is an error in transcribing. If you look at the actual census image (as I did) you can see that the surname is LEACH. Don't be too quick to believe an index or a transcribed version of an event. We all make mistakes and human error is very common when indexing or transcribing records. Also to be fair in this case, the image shows that the "e" in LEACH is rather like a blog of ink, so it is easy to see how the surname could be misrecorded as Loach. But even if it WERE written on the image as LOACH that would not be a reason to discard it, as spelling was not always exact.

Moving on, I think you need to find all the siblings in the 1930 census. I use for this. You could try Heritage Quest if you have access. You found George living with his grandparents, so perhaps the others were split up and placed elsewhere. Remember to use wildcards to search, be creative with spelling and don't restrict yourself too much. Use only a first name and date of birth. Try only a date of birth and location of birth. Be creative

I believe I may have found your Leo's death - there is an Arthur Leo Leach born 31 July 1886 in Vinton Ohio who died 18 Feb 1952 in Zanesville Ohio. His parents were Enoch and Martha. I found this online in Family Search Labs Ohio Deaths 1908-1953. has Ohio Births, Marriages & Deaths, you may want to try using their search engine. Try finding an obituary or burial record for him in local Zanesville newspapers. Don't let the name "Arthur Leo" throw you off track, people often used first or middle names interchangeably. Given his naming of a son Arthur Ishmael, and the year and location of birth, my money is on this being your Leo.

Lastly I found a death for Chester A. Napper in the SSDI (Social Security Death Indexes) online. He was born 1 Nov. 1911 and died 14 May 1984 in Hamden, Vinton Ohio. He is also in the 1930 census for Wilkesville, Vinton Ohio. You should try tracking Chester since you say he married your grandmother. He may never have left the area, so have a look around for him. By finding him, or by finding your grandmother's siblings, you may find her.

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