May Murray

For a long time I’ve wondered what happened to my grandfather’s half-sister May Murray. I didn’t think she was connected to another mystery in the family: who was Reethie who sent the family a box of candy for every Christmas?

My grandfather was Frederick Everett Wilson who was born 17 Jun 1887 in Montezuma, Parke Co., IN. His parents were George S. Wilson and Viola V. Hise. His father died 23 Jan 1901 of tuberculosis. On 20 Oct 1903 his mother married Samuel F. Murray. The 1910 United States census revealed that Samuel and Viola had a daughter, May Murray born 7 Aug 1904 in Parke County.

Fred had two sisters, Ida M. born August 1883 and Mary D. born February 1891. Ida married Lewis Rohr in 1901 and divorced him in 1905. I think Mary may have died while still a child. Neither name lent itself to the nickname “Reethie.”

Today while playing on Familysearch to see if I can find information about someone, I found a marriage record for the son of Cyril Myron Elwood and Wreatha May Murray. Wreatha May Murray! My limited research at home could only determine that Wreatha was born the same year as my half-great-aunt and that the family lived in Indianapolis. Despite my earlier desire to stay home and goof off, now I want to go to the library to use Ancestry to find out more about this family.

In case you’re wondering why you’re reading words instead of viewing photos, I’ve decided to continue this blog to write about the maternal side of my family. I will still share photos!


It’s Working!

One reason I created this blog was that I hoped it would help reconnect me with my mother’s relatives in Indiana.  I think the last contact my mother’s family had with their Indiana relatives was in the 1950s, at least 50 years ago.  In the 1970s my father refused to take my mother and me to visit her relatives in Indiana.  Since he could afford the trip, I thought it was very selfish of him.  I’ve always wanted to help my mother reconnect with her family there since I first began using genealogy messages boards on the Internet in 1995.


I may have accomplished that.  This past week I had a message left by a cousin with the Vandivier last name.  I called him the next night and we had a very enjoyable conversation.  He very kindly offered to share the information he had on the family’s ancestors.  Of course he wouldn”t know that I’d been researching the family since 1994 and amassed quite a lot of information myself.  He said his father should know who some of the people in the photos were.  That makes me very happy.  However, what I miss is knowing about my grandmother’s immediate family, the events that occurred and the stories told.  The only thing I know so far that there were bluegrass musicians in the family.  I hope more knowledge will be coming.


Aunt with Great Aunts

My Aunt Sue with her aunts Amnie and Opal


Grandmother with Siblings

My grandmother Mary Myrtle Vandivier with her siblings Amnie Vandivier Miller and Willie Vandivier

Vina Marie Vandivier Johnson

Last night I visited my mother and she got out the boxes of old photos.  She found a photo I never saw before and I learned the identity of the woman below.  This lovely woman is my great-aunt Vina Marie Vandivier.  She married Zenith Johnson 1  January 1924.

Vina Marie Vandivier

This is Vinnie and Zenith’s daughter Waneta Johnson, born about 1925.

Waneta Johnson

Their other children were Bobbie born about 1928, Leroy born about 1935 and Herald born about 1939.