One gets a strange view of people's lives from the skeleton created by records. Some folks marry and stick; other have scrappy lives passed from household to household as children. Some have long obituaries full of prestige, others seemingly evaporate into thin air.
Today is Mom's birthday. I woke up yesterday thinking about what a person would derive from her records:
- 1918: born in Lehigh, Coal County, Oklahoma. The doctor who completed her birth certificate was pretty much illiterate. Who spells 'Abigail' as Abbiegail? No wonder she denied having a middle name all her life.
- 1920: I've never found her in the 1920 census. She said she lived in a tent until she was 5 years old, since her father was a road contractor. Perhaps the census never found them.
- 1930: She and her brother live with their maternal grandmother, in West Monroe, Louisiana. Grandmother says she's 'widowed' but this isn't true, they've just parted company'. I've never found my Mom's parents in the 1930 census either. Guess they were still out on the road...
- 1933: She lives in Shreveport, Louisiana. She's in the Latin club at Byrd High School.
- 1935: Graduated high school.
- 1937: Mom's married to her first husband, Bill Linxwiler. He's a clerk at Magnolia Packaging Co in Shreveport.
- 1938: Still married, but now he is a salesman.
- 1939: Mom has her maiden name again, she lives with her brother and her mother. Grandmother has a beauty shop in Shreveport and Mom is listed as the manager. I think grandmother and my grandfather are now divorced.
- 1940: Mom and grandmother live in Miami, FL. Grandmother is married to her second husband and I'm guessing he was stationed at a Navy base near there. Mom is working as a cashier in a beauty shop, but it doesn't say grandmother is running a beauty shop, so it might be someone else's.
- 1942: Mom lives with her mother and step-father in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- 1944: Mom and Daddy marry in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. She lives in Muskogee and works at a photography lab, processing negatives into printed photos. He is sent to Italy a week after they marry. The marriage license says she lived in New Orleans, and I'm guessing Grandmother still lived there.
- 1947: She and Daddy have gone to live in Madison, WI, near his parents.
- 1951: They move to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to be near Grandmother. It's cold up north! They have a little house built in a new housing estate called The Village.
- 1956: I come along.
- She lives in the same house until her death in 1990.