Thursday, September 27, 2012

Intrigue, lies and a story of real people affected by one woman's decisions

I have been following The Armchair Genealogist for a little while now. It is all about how to write your family history on a blog. I have several blogs but find it difficult to keep up with them. Lynn Palermo does a great job of breaking down the steps from blog to book. With that in mind, I am going to start blogging the never-ending-story of our family history. I really want to turn it into a book. I know, my family history is my family history and maybe not as interesting to you as it might be for me. I can promise intrigue, lies and a story of real people affected by one woman's decisions. It is the search for my husbands missing siblings. There are at least 13 of them and we have found 8. It may be a never-ending-story because finding these kids gets more and more difficult every day.
Frank Arnold Gaulthier was born on Feb 13, 1896 in Lansing, Iowa. In the 1905 Iowa Census, the family was still living there. Several states over Mabel Myrtle Morgan was born on June 7, 1906. In 1910, both families had moved with the Gaulthier’s going to La Crosse, WI and the Morgan’s taking up residence in West Virginia. We don’t know anything about these families other than their meeting was the catalyst for the this story.

Wisconsin was in the midst of a heat wave on September 25, 1925, when Lida Mary Gaulthair was born. There was not much going on in the world. Hitler was making noises in Germany but World War 1 was over. Calvin Coolidge was the President of the United States and it would be several years before the Great Depression. In La Farge, Wisconsin, none of it mattered very much as the families went about their day to day tasks.
In 1925, Frank Arnold and Mabel Myrtle Gaulthair had one living child. Little Louisa had passed away at 28 days when she had been taken to bed by her mother who rolled over and smothered her. She died of asphyxiation but the death certificate read “Acute Gastro Enkhitis”. Doc Haggerty was a family friend.
Violet was three when Lida came home. They had a new brother in 1927 but he died at three months due to bronchial pneumonia as a complication of the flu. It looked like that was it but in 1928 Frank Lee Gaulthair made his entrance. He was called “Jackie” by the family.

They seemed like a any normal 1920’s family. Dad was a laborer on the Wisconsin State Road Aid and made a decent wage. They lived in a two-story four bedroom house on Welsh Street with plenty of space for the children to play. They were surrounded by family, Frank’s parents lived nearby and Mabel’s mother and father were next door. Frank’s sister, Sophia and her brood, lived a couple blocks away on Main Street. La Farge only had one school so the kids went together.

By 1940, Frank Arnold was no longer working. Injured in WWI, medical issues had sidelined him. Mabel’s father still lived next door but her mother had passed away. Sophia Kendall, with her husband and kids, moved to California for better jobs during the depression. Violet was married and living in Minneapolis, leaving 13-yr-old Lida and 10-yr-old Jackie at home. Still, there were many kids around. Some of them would become part of Lydia’s story but while all of this swirls around her, it is not her story.
This is about the 13 children who were unnamed and abstracts in a story that spanned decades. This is the search for the Gaulthair children.

Friday, September 21, 2012

I am in a holding pattern

I need to figure out how to find the court records. Karolene says she will send me info but I am not going to push it. I need to learn patience. In the meantime, we sent in the DNA sample for Gary. only allows one at this time. We are looking to verify his Native American identity. However, if there are other Gaulthair relatives out there who have also done the DNA testing, it might provide us with new clues. Now, I have to wait for that too.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

No wonder no one is talking

It seems the more we learn, the more bizarre this gets. Karolene tells me that Lydia went to jail when she abandoned them. She also tells me that Lydia stabbed her second husband which I thought would be Denver Powell. However, she tells me that Denver was not Patty's father, that some guy named Trapp was. I can't find him. She also said that Lydia spent three years in prison for manslaughter. She stabbed the man who beat her. It was apparently somewhere in California. New stuff to track and verify. Since we have some time gaps, if she really killed someone it could be Frances or David's father. More and more mystery.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Once again, God has smiled on us

We now not only have proof that the Rickman kids were Lydia's but I had the opportunity to speak with both of them. Karolene has information that we were not aware of and was with lydia when she passed away. They know their mom as Lida so they were not around when she changed her name to Lydia. We now have a total of eight confirmed children. Karolene says that Lydia had nine husbands. We know of seven but only have five names. That is a big clue and means I need to do more research. Darla sent over some pictures of other children and we don't know who they are. If there were two more men, then these are probably more brothers and sisters. You have to wonder if there is an end to this?