30 April 2012

Searching for Victor Crumbaker

I was contacted by a cousin from a line in my family, specifically the Coblentz line, which is on my paternal side. She is working on an extensive project trying to find all the descendants of a common ancestor, John Phillip Coblentz b. 1730. I was thrilled to be included in the group she had put together researching this and even more thrilled when I began to receive daily emails with information on family within that line! 

I offered to help and was assigned Elizabeth Ann Coblentz (b. 1830 in Ohio), her husband Andrew Myers (b. abt 1828 in Ohio), and their descendants. I found information easily enough on this first couple, including some newspaper articles using Google News Archives (luckily The Youngstown Vindicator was one of the newspapers they had digitized before shutting the project down). Things became slightly more difficult (on the newspaper side of things anyway) with their first child Martha Catherine Myers (b. 1851 in Ohio) who married Benjamin Franklin Crumbaker (b. 1844 in Ohio) in 1868. They had moved to Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio sometime between 1880 and 1900. I was able to find some things with my GenealogyBank.com membership, but not very much. 

Regardless, I finished what I could on their union and started working on their first child, Victor Orville Crumbaker, born 23 Nov 1869 in Springfield, Mahoning, Ohio. This is the man who has started my frustrations. I immediately found a birth record, death record and 3 marriage records. His first marriage record to Mary E. Hall in 1893 had the application filled out, but it didn't have the actual marriage information completed. I could only assume they did not go through with the marriage. His second marriage record to Katie Selzer in 1909 showed that he had been previously married, but that he was divorced. Was this to the first Mary Hall? Or was there another marriage that I had not found? His last marriage record to Mrs. Martha E. Rupp in 1927 indicated he had only been married once before and that she was deceased. This was true as Katherine Selzer Crumbaker had died on 17 Mar 1918 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.

I found the 1910 and the 1920 census without much effort since they came up pretty easily in the index search. In 1910, Victor was living with his first (second?) wife Katherine in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga, Ohio. In 1920, he was living again in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, but this time with his niece Winnafred Hoffman, age 28. They are both listed as single, even though he was technically widowed. I also found him in a 1925 Cleveland Ohio City Directory and an 1896 City Directory.

I started searching for Victor in the 1900 census thinking it would shed some light on whether he actually married Mary E. Hall or what he was doing at that time. I found his parents and youngest brother Harry living in Cleveland City. Not only did Victor not come up in a simple index search, but neither did his two middle brothers, Curtis L.A. and Perry Calvin Crumbaker. I started with searching the same E.D. as his parents and youngest brother. No luck. Searched in the E.D.'s according this the 1910 census for each of the brothers. No luck. I noticed that in his wife's Find a Grave Memorial it indicated his name was Ora and it was also how he provided his name as the informant on her death record. Searched under that name. No luck. Searched under the address from the 1896 directory. No luck. In total, I searched 8 different E.D.'s page by page and COULD NOT find Victor or his two brothers in the 1900 census!!! It was and is SO frustrating!

I decided to give myself a break and start searching for him in the 1930 census. No hits on an index search... I was sensing some deja vu and I was not liking it. At this time, he should have been living with his wife Martha E. Smith Rupp Crumbaker. They were married in 1927 and Victor died in 1932. On their marriage record, it showed they were living at the same address in Cleveland. I started there. I'm going to digress for a minute and say that I love Stephen Morse's website One-Step Webpages. Honestly, I hadn't used it much until the 1940 Census came out and I started searching for people by finding E.D.'s on his site. But it has been invaluable while trying to look up all these addresses for other census years too! Anyway, I looked up the address and there was a different family living there. I searched the rest of the E.D. just to be safe and there were no Crumbakers there. So, I moved on to the address on his death record. His brother, Perry C. Crumbaker, was the informant for his death record. It indicates he was married, but there was a question mark on the name of his wife. I thought this was strange. His own brother didn't know the name of his wife? I don't know if this indicated some type of estrangement or if it was just an error. Plus, he had lived in Cleveland this whole time, but had died in Akron, Summit, Ohio. Perry was still living in Cleveland. I looked up the E.D. for his address on the death record and searched the entire thing. There was a different family living at the address, however, it was a rental so that could explain why.

Unfortunately, my story does not have a happy ending. I have decided to move on to the other siblings, but I'm hoping that looking for information on them will maybe unearth something on Victor. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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