Monday, January 24, 2011

Saturday Night GEN Fun...that went into Sunday..and Monday...

 I'm sorry! Does GEN work ever REALLY end? I just knew I was going to end up with a movie star, and I sort of got carried away. I didn't get a movie star-but my "random name's" Grandfather was one of the "original '49 California Pioneers" (so that's where they get the name "San Francisco '49ers"!) and her Father and Uncle were Presidents of the bank their father started. Which means...hold on, let me give you the necessary info, first...



  • My random name was "Abby Randall"
  • The first census on Ancestry.com was the 1930 US Census for an Abby E. Randall, age 34, living with her husband Winslow H., age 38, and their five year old daughter Ann G Randall. Their address was 1351 Arch St, Berkeley, Alameda, CA. They were renting their home for $65 a month. Winslow was a Salesman for a Map Company. He fought in WWI. This was a first marriage for both-married for about 8 years, according to their "ages when first married" column. 
  • My first impression was that this was California in the 1930's. Abby was young, so this should be pretty interesting. I was right. 
  • Next, I came across the 1910 US Census for Santa Barbara, CA. Most census pages are exciting-for the info we find on our family members. The entire page of this census was just amazing. Everyone was rich and everyone had servants-immigrants who came to America needing a job. It reminded me of the movie "Titanic"!
  • Back to my research, I find out that Abby Randall is Abby Munro Edwards-born 17 Jun 1895 in CA. She was 14 years old in 1910 and the second to last child, out of six children (3 boys, 3 girls) born to Charles and Annie (Dennis) Edwards. They also had a cook named Pon Swe-he came from China to America in 1882, 40 years old, and had been married for 2 years, in his first marriage. They lived on 115 Isley Street, Santa Barbara, CA. Her father, Charles Edwards-as I said in the beginning-was President of a bank. His brother, George, was the next head of household listed on this census. George was also a President of the bank, and had a son, John-age 26, who was listed as an "Assistant/Cashier" at the bank. (They also had a cook, Lee Willie, from China.)
  • Then I researched Abby's father, Charles, and found that his Dad (Abby's Grandfather) was John Edwards. He was born in England, and came directly to California. He was very successful in America, obviously, and his children continued on with the family banking business.
  • In 1916, Abby attended the University of California at Berkeley. Ancestry.com had a page of the yearbook showing Abby's class (all girls!) and I was able to see a photo of the 20 year old Abby Edwards. Her husband also attended this college.
  • I tried FamilySearch, and found a birth/christening record. This confirmed her date of birth.  I continued to research, and found Abby's Social Security Death Record and State of California Death Record, showing that she died at age 91 on 15 Sep 1986 in Redlands, San Bernardino, CA. I also found these records for her husband-who died 3 Mar 1983- in the same place as Abby. I found that their daughter, Ann, was born on 17 Jun 1924 and died 24 Jun 2007 in the same place as her parents, but I did not find a marriage record for her. I checked FindAGrave but did not find Abby or Winslow.
I think I will continue researching John Edwards-I need to find out more about him and get an idea of what made him so successful as well as more info about his accomplishments. I would love to find a newspaper article that was written after he died, as a memorial or tribute to him. I learned a lot and had fun seeing an area of the country I've never researched. That 1910 US Census just grabbed a hold of me and wouldn't let me stop researching! Thanks for the great idea, Randy-and Chris Staat!


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