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AfriGeneas World Research Forum

Re: Ducking immigration? False names

Hi Richard,

The only thing I can guess at is that he was definately here by 1920 (if that is John and Helen in that 1920 record) and by 1923 if he is indeed the father of Willow (Stanley's parentage b. 1921 is in question - he could be Helen's).

My guess is that he had to have been here a few years - to get a job, to wind up in PA, to meet someone and get married and sire children.

I've asked his granddaughters to send me a copy of their father's birth certificate. Will try to get b-certificates for the other two children - Edith and Stanley.

What is disturbing is Helen's age in 1920 - on that record. His is nearly correct - if I'm reading 34 (looks changed) but the Helen Manley 19 is impossible.

I'm going to go back and rethink this one. The children are listed as born in PA in the 1930 census. If that is true - the couple would have been in PA in 1920. Helen is in Delaware County in a home for the Feeble Minded (yikes - what a name) in 1910. My guess is she was "put into a home" as a child to get rid of her - suspicion that her parents were not married - she's listed in the home as "mulatto" - (1910) black 1900 (1900 everyone was black) mother born Ireland, which leaves father's "race" as black/mulatto. Her mother's name was Annie Reddy. I find an Annie Reddy in Montgomery county PA - born in Ireland, also living in a "home" in 1900. Hmmmmmmmmm. Found an interesting piece about the home "Annie Reddy" was in in 1900 - "The Bethesda Home" There's a description of Bethesda Home from a history online at:

http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/pa/montgomery/history/local/mchb0067.txt

This search is an interesting exercise in creating scenarios. And then trying to back them up with proof. Her granddaughter's say that Helen did not ever admit to being African-American. Called herself Irish. One look at her photo and that notion becomes absurd. Census records disprove that - as does the appearance, and recorded ethnicity of her children. They also say that she exhibited "open antipathy towards black people". Even more odd - or maybe not so odd, if her childhood was made miserable because of mixed race, and abandonment.

We will never know.

Richard, thanks for jumping in to help with this puzzle.

Denise


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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