A Conversation, A Tip and a Clue, A Visit to Kansas


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My Mom called me yesterday to wish me a Happy New Year, we had already exchanged text messages the night before. I still can’t get over her learning how to send text messages, go head Momma!

She asked me what I was doing and before I could get it out she said, “looking for dead people, I bet.” Of course she was right…Once again I complained how I couldn’t find her mother, Eunice Franklin before 1930 and that I wasn’t sure if the Eunice Franklin in the 1930 census from Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri was even her!

I started reading the names to her of the other household members, John White, Elizabeth White, Virginia White, Orange White, Samuel White, Rosemary White, Ednamay White, Elizabeth White, Florence White, Artelia Jones and Lucy Brown. She said, very calmly I might add, “Oh, those are Mother Dear’s (that’s what her daughters called their mother) cousins, I don’t know who that Jones woman is or Lucy Brown.” I’m like, “WHAT?” “Yeah, I remember Mother Dear talking about Orange, I think I even met him once.” “Maaa..!” “What?” “You never mentioned any of those names!” “You never mentioned them to me either and when you read them I remembered.” “You’re right, I shoulda asked. Thanks Ma, but now I gotta go, I gotta go find me some more dead people! With a name like Orange White I should be able to find a bunch more information! Love you, talk to you later.”

Just for kicks, I searched and found five males with the name of Orange White for 1900, 1920 and 1930! But I put him to the side to investigate later. I wanted to know if Elizabeth White was my great grandmothers sister. Several hours later I had my answer and more questions!

Why did I have to track Elizabeth? I come from a family of women, my great great grandmother had five girls, I’ve only found four, my great grandmother had two girls, my grandmother had three girls, my mother had three girls, her sister had two girls and her younger sister had one girl. That’s a lot of women!

Yes Elizabeth was my great grandmother’s sister and now I have her married name! I have no idea who “Artelia” Jones might be, I suspect the name may be something else but I can’t decipher the handwriting. And I don’t know who Lucy Brown is..but I will find out!

I STILL can’t find Grandma Eunice before 1930 but now I know she went to Kansas City for a visit.

I’m hunting and untangling.


My Elusive Grandmother

My Elusive Grandmother

I have a few ancestors who are easily found in one census but can’t be found in any others with any certainty.

For example, my grandmother, Eunice Sarah Franklin is listed in the 1940 census with her husband and daughters.


Eunice S Holland





Estimated Birth Year:

abt 1914




Negro (Black)



Marital Status:


Relation to Head of House:


Home in 1940:

Galveston, Galveston, Texas

Map of Home in 1940:

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Ave O 1/2

House Number:


Inferred Residence in 1935:

Galveston, Galveston, Texas

Residence in 1935:

Same Place

Resident on farm in 1935:


Sheet Number:


Attended School or College:


Highest Grade Completed:

High School, 4th year

Weeks Worked in 1939:




Income Other Sources:



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Household Members:


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Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Galveston, Galveston, Texas; Roll: T627_4038; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 84-32.

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

There’s a census from 1930 that list a Eunice Franklin in Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri.  She’s listed as a niece, but neither the head of household or the wife list their parents as having been born in Tennessee (Father) or Louisiana (Mother) where Eunice’s parents were born. So is this MY Eunice Franklin?

I checked the 1920 census on both Ancestry and Family Search and I came up empty.

I used Family Search to try and locate a birth certificate; I used just the last name of Franklin, years of birth 1913-1915 and just the state of Texas as my parameters. 2,467 records later and I came up empty yet again!

There is a birth record for her sister Bernice Franklin, who is the oldest but not for Eunice. But then I can’t find Bernice until 1934 listed in a city directory and then not until her death in 1987.

Where are these women?


Grandma Eunice


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Eunice Sarah Franklin born in Houston, Texas, 30 August 1913, Died 4 September 1998 in Chicago, Illinois.

I had the family over for dinner Christmas Eve, and I mentioned how when we were younger we would have Christmas brunch at grandma’s. She’d fix scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, grits, fried apples and biscuits. Didn’t matter if you didn’t like scrambled eggs, you ate what was put on your plate!
And all the food had to be eaten and the kitchen cleaned before anyone opened any gifts!
As my grandma got older the task of holiday gatherings fell to my mother, despite the fact that she was the middle daughter and now I am the matriarch of the family holiday dinners.

Grandma Eunice

A dress she designed and made.

Grandma Eunice was a very talented woman, she was a tailor and a furrier. That woman could, would and did take newspaper or brown butcher paper and create a pattern in the morning, sew up a dress for herself to wear to a formal event in the evening! She was just that good! You better believe she would not walk into an event and see her dress on someone else!

Xmas party

A dress I made.

She tried to teach all three of her daughters to sew but the only one who showed any skill or interest was my mother, who passed it on to me. Neither of my two sisters were interested.
Sometime between 1941 and 1942 Grandma Eunice moved from Galveston, Texas to Chicago. After a period of time she purchased a two flat on Chicago’s westside across the street from the Garfield Park Conservatory. She was a single parent providing a strong, secure home for her daughters and their families. 327 N Central Park 1 June 2013