June 14, 2009 - Great-Grandmother Marie - Still Why? - Part 3

14 June 2009


As I ended Part 2 I stated that great-grandmother Marie "decided to go on a trip." And of course, I don't know if she did decide to go on a trip, nor have I been privy to any such detail, but she did end up in San Diego, California... quite a distance from Georgetown, British Guiana.

And so I began checking out United States Census records. But where to start my search? How could I narrow down the time frame? Four facts were certain:
  1. Great-grandfather Frederick Abraham had passed away 13 July 1901 in Georgetown, British Guiana,
  2. Grandparents Jeanne Abraham and Hubert Smith were married sometime after 23 March 1918 in Georgetown, British Guiana,
  3. Granduncle Frederick Abraham was killed 2 October 1918 in Joncourt, France, and
  4. My father, Frederick Smith, who was born 6 April 1920 in St. George's, Grenada and grew up in Georgetown, British Guiana, never met his grandmother Marie.
It would appear that a review of 1920 US Census records may provide some information.

The obvious first place to start would be California as correspondence between my grandmother Jeanne (written as Jeannette) and her mother, my great-grandmother Marie indicated. One of a few letters from my great-grandmother was addressed and dated "925 B. Street. San Diego, Cal." and "April 26 1920", respectively.

Please note that great-grandmother Marie writes her granddaughter's name, my aunt Cecile (née Smith) Olton, as Cécile. (Cousin Zoë just confirmed that her mother was named Cécile, and now I understand why I had to learn placement of accents when I learned French in school in Montreal.)

I wonder who were the "my twoo boys" she mentions in the letter? A guess: As my father was born on the 6th of April, great-grandmother Marie's only other grandchildren at about that time in 1920, were my 1st cousins once removed; Frederick A., born 17 November 1911, and his brother Harold Simpson, born circa 1913, Brebner.

And a review of a 1920 US Census in San Diego, dated the 3rd and 5th of January 1920 revealed on Lines 82 and 83 a Marie Abraham, as Head of House living with her daughter, Cecelia, (aka Cécile). The address of the house was at 925 B Street, San Diego Township, County of San Diego, California, a match with the April 25th letter.

The 1920 Census contains other key notations:
  1. That great-grandmother Marie and her daughter, grandaunt Cécile immigrated to the United States in 1919;
  2. That great-grandmother Marie was born in France; and
  3. That grandaunt Cécile was born in British Guiana.
It also includes, what looks like, that great-grandmother Marie was 59 years old and a widow, and that grandaunt Cécile was 26 years old and single. This would mean that great-grandmother Marie was born about 1861 and grandaunt Cécile was born about 1894. This certainly works for grandaunt Cécile as she would have been about seven years old when her father passed away in 1901, as mentioned in The Argosy obituary referenced in Part 1. The obituary also implies that the seven-year old was the youngest in 1901 so I may infer that grandaunt Cécile was the youngest Abraham child.

But again, why did she up and go to San Diego?

I've included an update to great-grandmother Marie's Descendant Chart with changes and/or additions in red.

Keep in touch... Thanks David, Chris, Paula, Sandy, Lola and Zoë. I would certainly like to hear from anyone if you have any information, thoughts, changes, etc...

Enjoy. To be continued...



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