Monday, October 24, 2016

Mystery Monday

George D. Conn

Is the marriage certificate for the first marriage of George D. Conn brother of Alma Lavenia Coon? Friday my husband and I made a road trip to West Carroll Parish Courthouse in Oak Grove to research marriage and land records. Courthouses are one of my favorite places to research, and each time I have been to a courthouse I have found documents for my family. The Oak Grove Courthouse staff is a welcoming friendly office staff. They are very helpful, and allow a researcher to go through the records. When I needed copies, they made copies for me and made sure they were good copies. The purpose of the trip to the courthouse was to look for records on the paternal Lee family who migrated from Alabama to Jackson Parish and later to West Carroll Parish.

The first thing that I did as I went into the courthouse was to look for the Clerk of Court office. Once inside, the clerk asked how she could help us. I explained to her that I would like to look at marriage records and land records. The clerk explained the years for the marriage books, and showed me where the brides' book was and then grooms' book. She then showed us the land records and where the grantor and the grantee books were, and the years covered. She explained that if we don’t find what we were looking for there we could then go into the vault where more records are stored. The clerk explained there were records stored upstairs in a locked room and we could look at records upstairs if we didn’t find what we were looking for in the vault. She said she would give us the key and we could go up there but be sure to lock the door when we leave.

I looked through the marriage book and found the original for George D. Conn and his bride Myrtle Ola Thomas married in Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana on the 11 January 1947. Is this George D. Conn brother of Alma Lavenia Coon? His father was Clifton Columbus Coon.  

I have thought about this marriage and the parties involved. Uncle George signed his name George D. Coon on documents. Uncle George lived with us when I was growing up until he was called into the military to serve his time. He enlisted in the Army 30 May 1941. When he got out of the Army he came back to live with our family. He was released from the Army 31 October 1945. Then, there are years that I can’t account for him.

The mystery further deepens as I find out from a woman who called me in 2001 from Napiersville, Illinois. She told me she was the daughter of George Coon.As the woman was talking, I remembered about a year before Uncle George died he asked me if I could help him find his two children. That was the first that I heard of him having children. I told Uncle George that I would try to research and find them. However, I didn't know where to look so I dismissed it. 

I was skeptical of the call from the woman, but listened as she talked. And talk she did. She had a lot of family history information and was sharing that information with me. Apparently, she had done her research.  The story that she told me was her mother was Lois and her daddy was George. Her mother left her daddy,and would not let him have her and her brother, so she and her brother were put up for adoption when she was six years old. Uncle George and Lois took them to the adoptive parents. I just recently found the divorce papers for this couple and confirmed the marriage.This marriage would have been number two for George D. Coon.  

I also found a divorce record for George D. Coon and Cora A. Coon, of which this is Uncle George, Mother's brother. I was puzzled about this marriage to a Cora, because I thought Uncle George's wife's name was Ola, and I wasn't aware of a Cora. I recall Mother mentioning an Ola and Uncle George. So, the name Ola  has been tucked away in my memory and I couldn't get that puzzle piece put in place.

According to the story Uncle George told me when he came to live with Mother, Cora wanted to go to live with her son in Dallas. So, when she left to go to Dallas, Texas Uncle George came to Louisiana to live with Mother and Daddy. There were no children from Cora and George's marriage.

Myrtle Ola Thomas would have been George D. Conn’s first wife. And a 1947 marriage for Uncle George would have made sense, because he would have been twenty-nine years old. I researched the Ancestry database searching for a George D. Conn married to an Ola, but didn’t find anyone. I looked for a George Conn in census records and found one living in West Carroll Parish in 1930 and 1940 in the household of Henry Conn. Henry's wife was Carrie. I looked for the witness, Henry S. Conn, listed on the marriage record and he wasn’t on the censuses for West Carroll Parish. George D. Coon migrated from Mississippi to West Carroll about 1924. There was a George Darling Conn born in West Carroll Parish in 1921; however, he didn’t marry there. He moved to Texas and married in 1953.

I conclude the marriage license is for George D. Coon son of Christopher Columbus Coon, and brother of Alma Lavenia Coon. This marriage was his first marriage. Until it can be proven differently this is my conclusion.

This mystery of this marriage, and is this the first marriage of Uncle George will remain a mystery until someone can prove this isn’t George D. Coon my uncle. For now, I believe this to be the first marriage of George D. Coon and his bride Myrtle Ola Thomas.

Louisiana Marriage License Book J Page 430
West Carroll Parish Courthouse, in
Oak Grove, Louisiana

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