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I have been doing genealogy for 30 years. My Great Aunt Ella introduced me to this fascinating adventure when I was a teenager and boy did I get hooked. She inspired me and taught me the importance of my roots and where I came from.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Margie Reed real name Mazie Grover

Margie Reed, I believe is Mazie Grover born 3 Jan 1884 in Plain, Ohio. Margie rec showed born 1884 in Ohio. I found no records at all for a Margie Reed with that info.

Parents were: George Lair Grover (1860-1939) & Effa Jane Smith (1963-1940). 

Here's Margie Reeds story:

Inmate #20525 San Quentin
Rec: 18 Feb 1904
Crime: Grand Larceny
Term: 2 years
Age: 20
Discharged: 18 Oct 1905

Here's some newspaper article for Margie and boyfriend Grover Cleveland Weyant.

So it clearly states Glover and Margie in this article.

Then I found these article about Mazie.

 Canton, Ohio 1908

There are two more article about her going to Baltimore, Maryland to be a star, but they are hard to read.

This note I found on a tree on Ancestry: 1916 obituary for George Grove, Mazie's father, lists her as "Mrs. D.C. Weyant of New York. Written notes made by Florence Grove, Mazie's sister, in 1970 say she "married Grover Weyant from Colorado." (No idea whom wrote it).

Mazie's father died 27 Apr 1916 in Stark, OH

Here's a photo of him I found

                                      George Lair Grover 

MAry "Mazie" Grove & Margie Reed are one in the same I believe. She married Grover Cleveland Weyant before 1916. They must of gotten married after she was released from prison, would be my guess, I found this record, 

NAME: Grover C Wyant
MARRIAGE DATE: 18 Mar 1912

This is all I found except Grover died 31 Mar 1939 in Mendocino, California, USA and Margie "Mazie" died 4 Feb 1956 in New York, NY, USA

I made them a tree on Ancestry and there are a few other trees but no one has made this connection yet. I feel in my gut that Margie was telling me she wants people to know who she was and that Mazie got into trouble paid her debt and lived a good life. 

Here is your story Margie "Mazie" Reed Grover, as much of the truth as I could find. Rest now and be at peace, you are home.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Opal French And Her Brother Allen

Opal French was born Grace Opal French 26 Sep 1915 in Butte, MT. Her brother Allen Julius French was born 2 Nov 1913 in Helena, MT.

Their parents William Mansford French (1867-1943) & Emma Augusta Kreichlt (1891-1965) divorced before 21 Sep 1918 and by 1930 census their children were living with Emma's sister in California. Allen was age 17 and Opal was 14.

Emma re-married to Carl William Nelson and they had a daughter named Ruth Nelson.

Then our siblings lives started to fall apart.

Inmate # 58466 San Quentin
Crime: Assault With A Deadly Weapon
Rec: 20 Dec 1935
Term: 0-10 yrs
Age: 20

Alias: Josephine Sylvester, Grace French, Grace Eisonhart, Opal De Leon

Priors: San Diego: Vagrancy & Drunk Floater
San Diego: Vio- Suspended sentence 20 days 

Opal had escaped from reform school in Montana before going to California.

I found these newspaper clipping.

Allen Julius French 

Inmate #54528 San Quentin
Rec: 5 Aug 1933
Crime: Burg 1st degree & Burg 2nd degree run concurrent
Term: 0-20 & 1-15 yrs
Paroled: 21 Nov 1934
Discharged: 5 Apr 1936

I did not find any newspaper clipping for him.

In the 1920 census Emma was listed with Carl Nelson in Cascade County, Montana with their 1 month old infant (Fern P. Nelson) as well as Allen, 6, and Grace, 4, who were using the name Nelson at that time.

 In 1930 his children Allen, 17, and Grace, 14, as well as their half-sister Ruth Nelson were living in Los Angeles County with their mother’s brother Allen Kreichelt and Emma’s mother Rose Smitchger. It is believed Emma had died. William’s children were using the name French again. 

On 3 Oct 1942 William was admitted to the Oregon State Hospital, a residential facility in Salem, Oregon for the treatment of people with mental illness. Eight months later he died of “senile exhaustion” at the institution. He was 3 weeks from his 76th birthday.

I think Opal French Marriage
16 Jun 1938 • Nevada, USA John Kerul

I never found a death record for Opal, but her brother did get a job as a brakeman for the railroad and married 12 Nov 1936 in Montana, to Elva M Sunders(1918-) and they had two sons Robert Allen French and Allen Thomas French. I was happy to find he went on to a better life and had a family. Allen died 30 Aug 1989 in Riverside, CA

Opal you photo tugged at me to tell your story. I feel I may have disappointed you. Maybe someday I will find out why you went to reform school and to prison, what was hurting you inside so badly? Where are you now? Did you have any happiness? I sure hope you did. 

It was nice to get to know you and part of your life. Rest well now knowing you were not forgotten, I am here telling your story.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Frank Monroe Bassford: Counterfeiting at age 27

Frank Monroe Bassford was born 1 Feb 1907 in Canton, OK to Charles Monroe Bassford (1873-1932) & Lizzie Marler (1875-) He had lost both parents and 2 siblings before he was 27 years old.

Inmate #45705 Leavenworth 
Rec: 27 Oct 1934 from Pecatello, ID
Crime: Counterfeiting 
Term: 2-20 Consec
1-$1,000 Fine, 1- $2,000 fine Total $3,000
Age 27
FBI report dated 10 Dec 1934
Discharged: 1 Jun 1937

The 1940 census has him living at San Francisco Peninsula, CA at Tanforan Racetrack. Not sure what he was doing there but my guess is he was working there.

Tanforan Assembly Center, line to mess hall.

1942 Tanforan Assembly Center barracks.

In Spring 1942 the Tanforan Park Racetrack became the temporary Tanforan Assembly Center to process approximately 8,000 Bay Area Japanese Americans, U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry with most born in the United States, for forced relocation and internment during WW II. The people were housed in horse stable stalls, on grandstands, or in 170 barracks quickly built in the infield, while awaiting removal to Japanese American Segregation Centers in other parts of the state and country.

Tanforan Racetrack was a thoroughbred horse racing facility in San Bruno, on the San Francisco Peninsula, in California. It was in operation from September 4, 1899 to 1964.

Frank Monroe Bassford was a Pvt. in the U.S. Army June 1927-Oct 1927 and there was a bench warrant for him. He came from a long line of family members that served.

Frank married Mary Alice Joalessette (1920-1969)
I did not find a marriage record.

Frank died 3 Mar 1955 in Napa, CA

According to the records above I noticed he was a lost sole with a lot of pain. He lost his parents and 2 siblings, which had to weigh on him. Then he started hanging out with the wrong crowd and got into trouble. These are the only records I found, he stayed out of trouble after this stint. 

I found no children.

I hope he found some peace in his life with happiness. He looks to be a nice guy.