June 24, 2009 - Great-Grandaunt Célestine and Great-Grandmother Marie - Part 8

24 June 2009


No, my mind is not leaving me. It might be somewhere sitting at some bus-stop in downtown Tampa, but it definitely knows when to come home when it needs sustenance. On the other hand, some persons may believe that my brain left quite some time ago. That is, of course debatable.

For those of my readers who believe that the information provided in this serial, search, and research of the life of great-grandmother Marie Antoinette (née July) Abraham is similar to information that I provided over the prior couple of years, you're right. The current work is my organization and presentation of a new sifting of the data about her life, her descendants, and her ancestors. Your comments are received as compliments. You are reading my work. You're interested. Thank you!

And now back to great-grandmother Marie, I continue from Part 7.

Well, after discovering her Certificate of Death, my next step was to locate a similar document for her sister, great-grandaunt Célestine. Checking Ancestry.com I found an entry for one Celestine Mary Stphilippe. All-things-being-equal, this had to be her, I think. The date of death is 29 Jan 1946; place of death Los Angeles; and her birth date 10 Dec 1872. And again great-grandaunt is listed as being born in Other Country. Data-entry errors abound; her name and place of birth... so when I'm looking for someone's information I have to consider how to and take into account how information can be entered into records incorrectly. Check out great-grandaunt's name on the printout on the right: STPHILIPPE, CELESTIN M. And it does provide the initials of her husband: J H.

And I contacted the County of Los Angeles and within a short time I received a copy of her Death Certificate. Three new bits of information:
  1. Her complete name is recorded as Celestine Mary St. Philippe,
  2. Her husband's name is recorded as John Henry St. Philippe, and
  3. Her father's name is listed as Henri July.
Great-grandaunt Celestine's father has the same name almost, as the name provided on great-grandmother Marie's Death Certificate - Henri versus Henry. The informant is her daughter Muriel (née St. Philippe) Bulah, 1st cousin twice removed.

And at this point I get a bit confused. Listed on both Death Certificates, the 1940 one for great-grandmother Marie Antoinette C. and the 1946 one for great-grandaunt Celestine Marie is the same word "Unknown" for the name of their individual mothers, who I would venture to hope is the same person. The two informants are their respective daughters; grandaunt Cécile and 1st cousin twice removed Muriel. I have a question, for which I don't think any of us can answer. How could two daughters not know, at least some part of the name of their grandmother, great-grandmother Marie's and great-grandaunt Celestine's mother? (And seriously, I don't know the answer... and I don't think I ever will.)

My next move was to see if I could find a 1930 US Census for both great-grandaunt Celestine and her daughter Muriel. And I haven't! I then thought that as cousin Muriel's married name on her mother, great-grandaunt Celestine's Death Certificate is Bulah there could have been a chance that cousin Muriel could have been married at least sometime shortly before the 1930 Census. And sure enough I was able to locate her as Muriel C. Bulah, and her husband Charles H. and their two daughters, Patricia; aged 8, and Beverly; aged 4 11/12. They were living in Los Angeles, California, but still no found record of great-grandaunt Celestine.

And a few name possibilities of searching for her are:
  1. Celestine St. Philippe
  2. Celestine M. St. Philippe
  3. Celestine Marie St. Philippe
  4. Celestine Mary St. Philippe
  5. C. Marie St. Philippe
  6. Mary St. Philippe
  7. Celestine Stphilippe
  8. Mary Philippe
  9. And all other permutations and combinations of the name, ad infinitum... I can come up with at least 55 possible combinations, based on some of the recordings I've come across.
Any thoughts? And she could have been living in San Diego or Los Angeles or anywhere in-between...

Updating the Descendant Chart follows:

To be continued. Enjoy,



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