Saturday, December 5, 2015

Mystery Monday Update: Women, Who Art Ye?!

It’s after midnight and I just got back from a research trip to DC. I’m sleepy and I want to fall into my bed, but even more than that, I want to share this post with you, because I got A BREAKTHROUGH IN ONE OF MY BRICK WALLS!

Earlier this year I posted a Mystery Monday where I spoke about the possible relationship between three women who orbited my Great-Grandmother Katherine Shepherd: Rose (Allen) Shepherd, Eleanor (Allen/Ellis) Petite and Bertha (Allen) Kilson. Were they related? If so, how? Well, yesterday, I got lucky!

I spent half the day at the Washingtoniana Room of DC’s Martin Luther King Memorial Library, and, thanks to their library subscription, spent time trolling through the searchable online newspapers on ProQuest (a historical newspaper database). Look what I found!

Washington Evening Star - 7 April 1933 - P9, accessed via ProQuest Heritage Newspapers on 3 Dec. 2015.
So, there we have it – Eleanor Petite is specifically listed as being the sister of Bertha Kilson and the aunt of Katherine Banks (my great-grandmother’s married name at the time of Eleanor’s death), from which  we can assume she was Rose’s sister.

And check out what else it says – she is the sister of Bertha Kilson AND George Allen. New family member alert! Who is this guy?

So what are my next steps:

-          continue the search for a Virginia household with Bertha, Rose and Eleanor as sisters (or some combination thereof, especially with parents as speculated in the original post)
-          …and look for George Allen in the same household, or with some combination of these women. (Searching for “George Allen” by himself might prove difficult given how common both of these names are.)
-          continue to prepare to search for their birth records (I’m anticipating a trip to VA in my near future), adding George to the list.

I won’t truly consider this brick wall knocked down until I find birth records confirming they share the same parents, but this is a great step in the right direction!  

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