Genealogy, Wildrick

Maternal Tracing & Birth Names

One of the most difficult parts of genealogical research has to be maternal tracing. While that isn’t always the case for other countries, here in the USA, our fore-mothers seemingly gave up their identities on paper trails for generations. Usually referred to by their married name, i.e. Mrs. John Smith, they’re not even dignified to the acknowledgement as a separate person from her husband.

So I was thrilled to discover that a branch of distant female Wildrick cousins all listed their birth names upon their tombstones. In researching possible avenues of how Minnie’s portrait ended up in California, I ended up wandering down a branch of my Wildrick line. My 3x great-grandfather – and Minnie’s husband –  John Wesley Wildrick, had an older brother named James Albert who moved with his family from Pontoosuc, Hancock, Illinois to Los Angeles, California sometime between 1882 and 1900.

James was born sometime between 1848 and 1850, listing various birth years on census records. On 30 January 1870, James married Amanda Louise DeLapp in Hancock County, Illinois.[1]

1870

According to the 1870 census, James and Amanda resided within Pontoosuc township where James was a farmer[2]. He owned real estate valued at $2000 (today that sum would be equivalent to little over $35,000) and he also had a personal estate value of $400 (around $7,000 today). At the time the census was taken, Amanda would’ve been pregnant with their first child, Mary Abby, who was born later that same year on 18 Nov 1870[3].

1880

By 1880, James and Amanda had welcomed four more children to their family: John Albert, b. abt 1872; Edna Emmeline b. 1874; Rebecca Cynthia, b. 1878; and Roy, b. 1880[4].

Due to the loss of the 1890 census, and lack of family information, I’m not sure when exactly James and Amanda and children moved to California. Based on information regarding the births of their children, I place their westward migration between the years of 1882-1885. By 1900, many changes had occurred.

1900

Firstly, James and Amanda had divorced. Amanda lived at 2122 E. 2nd ST with Mary, John Albert, and 2 more children born after 1880: Effie Belle, b. 1882 in Illinois; and James Oscar, b. 1886 in Missouri.[5]

Secondly, Edna Emmaline had married Samuel John Mills Jones in 1892, and by 1900, they had had two children: Roland, b. July 1894 and Noland, b. Mary 1896.[6]

And thirdly, Rebecca Cynthia had married Owen Graham in 1897.[7]

Surprisingly, I’ve been unable to locate either James Albert or Roy in the 1900 census. But the search continues.

1910

By 1910, James Albert reappeared. He resided in the Acton Precinct of Soledad, Los Angeles County, CA, where he worked as a teamster.[8]

Amanda, listed her marital status as widowed. Living with her was her oldest son, John and his wife of four years, Hellen. While Amanda does not list an occupation, John is listed as being a truck driver and Hellen a baker for a pie company.[9]

Mary resided alone at 222 N Alvarado St in Lost Angeles. She worked for a laundry company as a steam starter.[10]

Sadly, Edna passed away in 1901.[11] I’ve found a death notice from the Los Angeles Herald from 26 Mar 1901, but I have been unable to locate an obituary or death record for Edna to confirm what it was she died from. She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles.[12]

What I have found, is a marriage notice for her husband, Samuel John Mills Jones marrying her sister, Effie Belle on 23 July 1902.[13]

 Rebecca and Owen lived in Los Angeles where Owen was a driver for the city schools.[14] They have no children.

I’ve been unable to locate either Roy or James Oscar in the 1910 census.

1920

Again, Amanda listed her marital status as widowed. She had moved in with Mary at 222 N Alvarado where both Amanda and Mary did laundry.[15]

John and Hellen resided at 2722 Marengo St in Los Angeles. John was still a truck driver and Hellen  was working as a finisher in a furniture shop.[16] They have no children.

Rebecca and Owen lived at 251 Lake St in Los Angeles. Owen listed his profession as a chauffeur for the county.[17] They have no children.

Effie and Samuel lived at 1756 Mariposa St in Los Angeles. Samuel listed his profession as house painter and Effie is listed as a nurse for a private family. In 1911, Effie gave birth to a son, Donald Graham.[18]

I’ve been unable to locate James Albert, Roy, or James Oscar in the 1920 census.

***

The years following the 1920 census were sad ones for this Wildrick branch. On 29 Aug 1922, fifty year old John Albert died.[19]

On 23 Mar 1925 James Oscar passed away.[20] He was 37.

Later that same year, on 3 Sep 1925, his father, James Albert passed away at the age of 77.[21]

And, almost two years to the day of James Albert’s death, Amanda passed away on 8 Sep 1927.[22]

***

Mary, Rebecca, and Effie would outlive their family members by twenty years. I’ve been unable to locate James Albert’s grave or a death notice and grave site for Roy.

1930

Mary lived with Effie and Donald at the Mariposa St address.[23] Effie’s husband, Samuel John Mills Jones had passed away in 1924.[24] While the home is listed as owned, no one listed an occupation.

Rebecca and Owen lived at the Lake St address.[25] Owen was a foreman for a construction company and Rebecca listed no occupation.

1940

Mary still lived with Effie and Donald.[26] Donald listed his occupation as a sound technician and Mary listed hers as a starcher for a laundry.

Owen had passed away in 1935[27] but Rebecca remained in their Lake St house.[28]

***

On 18 Oct 1955, Mary passed away.[29] She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles beside her mother, sister Edna, and her brothers.

2 May 1963, Rebecca joined her family at Evergreen.[30] Her husband, Owen, had been laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

And on 24 Apr 1965, Effie, the last surviving daughter, was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery.[31]

photos from findagrave.com

This has been such a fascinating branch to research. What began as a whim of finding the photos of their graves with the name “Wildrick” listed has given me such insight into this family. What’s been especially interesting to me is how easy it was to trace the females of this line. While the males have sometimes disappeared from history, the females remained prominent and listed in recorded documents. And it was a tremendous aide to me that they had etched their birth names upon their gravestones.

These women lived during a time when it was common for daughters to lose their identifying name and take their husbands. They lived during women’s suffrage and saw their sisters gain the right to vote. So a feminist cord pings inside me when I see their birth names. Rock on, sisters.

Wildrick is an uncommon name and, I believe, that most (if not all) Wildricks currently in the US can trace their heritage back to John Wildrick. (Except us, with our line ending with George Wildrick 1826-1862 in Illinois.) Obviously, there was a lot of pride within the family and the name to include it on the precious space of their gravestones.

Another interesting fact to me was that the immediate family was buried together while spouses were not always included. Perhaps Rebecca’s husband Owen was buried within his own family plot at Forest Lawn. There are a number of Grahams buried there, but I’ve yet to research into his ancestry.

     However, the saddest part of this was learning that the Evergreen cemetery has a less than a stellar reputation. Even though it is the oldest nondenominational cemetery in Los Angeles, founded in 1877, it has fallen into disrepair. Granted, that post was written in 2012, so perhaps things have changed for the better. If anyone knows one way or another the current condition of Evergreen, I would love for you to share either in comments below or by email.

***

Sources:

1| Ancestry.com. Illinois, Marriage Index, 1860-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

2| Year: 1870; Census Place: Pontoosuc, Hancock, Illinois; Roll: M593_227; Page: 255B; Image: 19867; Family History Library Film: 545726

3| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Date: 1955-10-18

4| Year: 1880; Census Place: Dallas, Hancock, Illinois; Roll: 211; Family History Film: 1254211; Page: 95A; Enumeration District: 067; Image: 0191

5| Year: 1900; Census Place: Los Angeles Ward 9, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 90; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0090; FHL microfilm: 1240090

6| Year: 1900; Census Place: Los Angeles Ward 1, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 88; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0004; FHL microfilm: 1240088

7| Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 75, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_84; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0093; FHL microfilm: 1374097

8| Year: 1910; Census Place: Soledad, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_87; Page: 3A; Enumeration District:0324; FHL microfilm: 1374100

9| Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 69, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_80; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 0126; FHL microfilm: 1374093

10| Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 75, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_84; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 0093; FHL microfilm: 1374097

11| Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

12| California Digital Newspaper Collection. Los Angeles Herald. 26 Mar 1901: page 16.

13| California Digital Newspaper Collection. Los Angeles Herald. 23 July 1902: page 10.

14| Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 75, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_84; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0093; FHL microfilm: 1374097

15| Year: 1920; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 64, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_108; Page:10A; Enumeration District: 229; Image: 997

16| Year: 1920; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 66, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_109; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 246; Image: 990

17| Year: 1920; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 64, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_108; Page:16A; Enumeration District: 229; Image: 1009

18| Year: 1920; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 63, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_106; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 154; Image: 385

19| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

20| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

21| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

22| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

23| Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 134; Page: 21A; Enumeration District:0058; Image: 217.0; FHL microfilm: 2339869

24| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

25| Year: 1930; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 147; Page: 2A; Enumeration District:0401; Image: 991.0; FHL microfilm: 2339882

26| Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T627_394; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 60-97

27| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1905-1939 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

28| Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T627_419; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 60-976

29| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

30| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

31| Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

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