Instead I decided to look at one of the people with a birthday that is relatively close to mine — within a few weeks of my birthday. I’ve chosen to write about a cousin who is a bit of a mystery to me. His name was Luther Edward Davis, or Robert Russell Wille.
I knew my grandmother’s sister had a son, but that he was not ever talked about. We never saw Aunt Elizabeth often, as she lived ‘way out’ in South Dakota. I always thought of her as an old maid when I was a little girl, but it turns out she’d been married and had a son. That’s really all I knew for a long time. Then one day I found this piece of paper in my grandmother’s handwriting—
I’ve also found a couple of marriages for a Robert Wille in Fall River County, South Dakota, with Robert’s birth year estimated to be 1934 or 1935, and a divorce; a California divorce for one of the marriages. I believe these all to refer to Elizabeth’s son, but I’ve not yet done enough research to be sure.
I’d like to find an obituary for Robert. I’d also like to know WHY he was given up for adoption. The little I remember of Elizabeth was that she was a single woman and while not poverty-stricken, probably didn’t have a lot of money. It’s possible she found herself unable to provide for her child when she was no longer a married woman. I wish I’d known enough of the story to ask questions while my Grandma was still alive, but I’m not sure I would have gotten that answers I was seeking anyway. This seemed to be topic not to be discussed!
I found a tree on Ancestry a few years ago, but I don’t have a paid subscription and did not see a way to contact the owner of the tree. I tried tracking her down on Facebook, but unfortunately while the response was very polite, the Facebook user apparently was not the person I was seeking .
To learn more about my 52 Ancestors in 2018 project, read my introductory blog post.