Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts

The Texas Lady:  Irma Kamille Eley

Irma Kamille Eley
Image from my private collection.
Genealogist sometimes get so focused on researching direct line ancestors, we forget to research the family unit or the family as a whole.  In the past several months I realize how important it is to research the parents and all  the children in that family unit. I have puzzled for a long time as to what happened to all the Blunt children after their mother died about 1924. And I didn't take the time to research those children; but I researched the parents, Clifton and Venie and their children. for the past several months I have researching Mother’s siblings and half siblings, the Blunt children. 

A family unit consists of two parents and all of their children; step-children adopted children, or children the family took in, but not an official adoption. While researching the Blunt siblings I learned some facts that I would not have known had I not researched each of them. I found out where each went after the death of their mother.  It is also important to research both maternal and paternal lines. Once I finished researching the Coon and Blunt maternal siblings, I began to research the Eley siblings; Irma Kamille, Dolly Ophelia, Ellen, Robert Lawrence, and Gladys Inez.

Irma Kamille Eley was the oldest daughter of Alice Lee. Aunt Irma as I called her, was one of the kindest people that I ever knew. When I was growing up in West Carroll Parish Aunt Irma and her family lived in Port Arthur, Texas. Every year Aunt Irma made her usual trips to Louisiana to visit Daddy and her younger half-brother Lawrence and her half-sisters. Daddy was her oldest brother. Granny, their mother, lived with Aunt Gladys the youngest of Alice Lee, Granny Eley’s, children. Aunt Irma came to visit and always brought us children “goodies” when she came. She was pretty, well groomed, well-coiffed, medium built, and about five feet seven inches tall. Those visits are memories that are etched in my mind and it was a joy to have an aunt who cared for us like she did.

Irma Kamille was born to 3 March 1912 in Eros, Jackson Parish, Louisiana to Alice Lee. Alice was twenty-four years old when Irma was born, and living with her parents William Alfred and Emma Lee. They were living in Ward 1, in Jackson Parish on Pine Bluff and Columbus Road in 1910. Living nearby were John Houston Edwards’ family. John was the father of Esters and Irma Eley. When Alice Lee and Jack Eley married the two children were given the Eley name. Irma would have been fifteen months old when they married; and Esters would have been five years old. Esters knew of his biological father and shared that information with my older siblings, and they in turn shared the information with me. However, according to Irma’s daughter, Irma didn’t know of her biological father. For whatever reason Alice Lee chose not to tell Irma about her biological father. But the great thing about DNA testing is that it tells the truth, and the truth was revealed in the 67 Marker YDNA test results and autosomal test results.

Morris Clifton Coon married Irma Eley 20 September 1930 in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Uncle Morris was Mother’s oldest brother. Irma had three children, two daughters and one son by Morris Coon. Dorothy Lavada “Bobby,” was born 5 September 1934 in Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana and died 14 September 1969 at the age of thirty-five. Her death was caused by a seizure. The oldest daughter and the youngest son are living in Texas. Morris and Irma divorced in 1952. Irma married Albert Leonard “Jack” Jackson. Albert Leonard Jackson was born 8 June 1909 and died 25 November 1973. He was killed in a work related accident. 

Aunt Irma’s children and grandchildren gave her the nick name “Gone Gone.” After the death of Uncle Jack, Aunt Irma didn’t marry again. Once Aunt Irma left Louisiana she lived in the Port Arthur area until her death 7 December 2001 in Groves, Jefferson County, Texas. 

Irma and Morris Coon with their three children left Louisiana seeking better job opportunities. They settled in the Port Arthur, Texas area. They found work there, and made their home there. The oldest of Aunt Irma’s children lives in Port Arthur and two years ago I reconnected with her after about fifty years. We setup a time for me to go visit her, and we had a lot of stories to catch up on. I made the trip to Port Arthur, Texas and my double first  cousin gave me the story of their family leaving Louisiana for Texas and several other family stories. Those stories were  recorded as she talked. Uncle Morris worked along the way from East Carroll Parish to Jefferson County and the children attended school in the area, and after a few months they moved on. They finally made it to Texas where there were jobs to be found. Both Aunt Irma and Uncle Morris found jobs. The Coon family left Louisiana sometime after the 1940 census was taken. 

1940 East Carroll Parish Census Morris Coon head
Image from database
The family is listed on the 1940 East Carroll Parish, Louisiana census.  It was after 1940 era when they left Louisiana for Texas, Morris Coon age thirty-one, Irma age twenty-nine, Mary Alice daughter, Lorothy Lavada, daughter, and David Lloyd son. There was something very interesting that I noticed that was unbelievable as I looked closely at the children and David’s information. David was listed as a F (Female) and daughter. David was three years old, Mary Alice “Bill” age eight, and Dorothy Lavada “Bobby” was six years old.  How could that happen? Well, David Lloyd Coon is a male and he grew up to be a very handsome man with a wife and children. I reconnected with also two years ago.
The Coon cousins' parents left the cotton fields of East Carroll Parish and never returned except to  visit family. Aunt Irma didn't live long enough to know who her biological father was, but her daughter and son learned of the information and how it was proven, and they were happy to know the information. 

More research needed on Aunt Irma to find the second husband and get the information on him.  

Image from database

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