29 November 2005

Vic Power Dies

Baseball Golden Glover Vic Power should really be known in this country as Vic Pellot, Pellot being his father's surname. Power comes from his mother's maiden name. Looking at these Puerto Rican census returns, we can see the pattern of naming that results in many Latinos in the US being called by their mothers' maiden names. Sometimes the word "and" (y) is between the father's surname and the mother's. Note too that sometimes a wife uses her maiden name after she is married and sometimes she would add her husband's last name after her maiden name. I don't know enough about the culture to know the nuances of when to use what name, I just know enough to not take anything for granted.

According to some sources, Vic was born Victor Felipe Pellot Pove. But according to the census records, the family was known as Power long before he was born. Other sources say his mother's name was mistakenly changed from Pove to Power by a 1st grade teacher. If this story is true, somehow this teacher convinced everyone else in the family to change their name as well. But then as I've said, I don't know enough about the culture to take anything for granted.

16 November 2005

Ralph Edwards Dies

Ralph Edwards died a whopping 200 years after the birth of his grandfather. I hope to do the same. Since my paternal grandfather was born in 1884, I've got another 79 years to go. Whippee!!

Ralph's grandfather, John Cummins Edwards, was born in Kentucky in 1805 or 1806. He was 53 when his son Henry Levi Edwards was born in 1859. Henry was then 53 when his son (Ralph) was born in 1913.

15 November 2005

Las Vegas Founded 100 Years Ago

I watched the PBS documentary on Las Vegas tonight. They had Vegas getting its start in 1931 with the dam builders from Boulder City. In 1930, Boulder City did not exist. The census for that year has just a handful of miners living in Nelson township.

Although the TV show didn't mention it, Las Vegas really started with Stewart Ranch. Archibald Stewart's widow Helen sold it to wealthy railroader William Clark in 1902 and Clark auctioned off lots in 1905.

04 November 2005

Sheree North Dies

I didn't recognize her name until I read of her long and diverse acting career. Every obituary states that she was born as "Dawn Bethel" in Los Angeles on January 17, 1933. I searched California birth records for this name and date and came up empty. The closest I could find was a Dawn Shirley Crang born January 17, 1932 in Los Angeles. Her mother's maiden name was listed as Shoard.

There were two Bethel kids born a few years earlier with mother's maiden name Shoard and I found the Bethel family in the 1930 census. GlamorGirls lists North's mother's name and the info matches the birth records and 1930 census -- but it does not really clear things up.

The site states that in 1956, North learned for the first time that Edward Bethel was her stepfather and that her real father was Richard Crang. North's mother was obviously married to Bethel before North's birth. Was she married to him when North was born? North's mother, June, died in 2000. Her last name was still Bethel so she was not likely ever married to Crang. Edward Bethel died in Pomona in 1957 and Richard Crang in Santa Cruz in 1953.

Contrary to what the GlamorGirls site states, North knew by 1949 that Bethel was not her father. She entered her real maiden name -- Crang -- on her daughter Dawn Bessire's birth certificate.

1930 Los Angeles, CA:

01 November 2005

Skitch Henderson Dies

Named Lyle Russell Henderson when he was born in 1918, his official biography and most sources state that Skitch was born in Birmingham, England and did not come to the US until he was 12 or so. He actually was born in Halstad, Minnesota. His mother died in 1920 and he was raised by his Aunt Hatty.