Friday, May 1, 2015

Following a name change

Genealogical research skills can help people in a variety of ways.  If you have ever watched the television programs Who Do You Think You Are? or Genealogy Roadshow you have seen people reconnected with lost family.  This past week we helped a man do the same thing.

We had an inquiry from a man in Michigan looking for information about a possible relative who died in Kerr County.  He was looking for a great-uncle named Dewey Stow who disappeared in the 1920s.
Here was the email from him:
Yesterday I came across a relatively new Family tree and a death certificate that seems to identify my uncle who “disappeared” in the 1920’s. My mother, Sarah Henrietta Stowe b. 1914, d. 2010, spent years trying to find him. She last saw him when she was a teenager.

The death certificate states that Louis R Stow died in 1961 at the Robert B Green Hospital in San Antonie. The date of birth, May 27 1897 is a match except that my records indicate the year as 1898. His father, my grandfather, is Arthur F Stow. Dewey (or Louis) was born in Dallas Township, Clinton County Michigan. This is too much of a coincidence to ignore. [KGS comment: In other words, men named Dewey and Louis both were born on the same day in the same small town to the same father. They were not twins, so we were looking at the possibility of a name change.] The latest information from a 1930 census places him in Lansing Michigan and widowed.

The Felica Evans Family tree includes his marriage to Lillian Lucille Hardin, 1915 - 1981. She died in Ingram, Kerr, Texas. There were two children from the marriage including James Roy Stow, deceased.

I’m am hoping that possibly the Kerrville Genealogy Society may have additional information in locating / confirming what I have found and information on his family or migration from Michigan to Texas.

Thank you, Gary G.
We looked in old newspapers to find obituaries or any other news items for people surnamed Stow in the Kerrville and San Antonio newspapers. The obituaries gave critical information about marriages and the associated name changes. Now that we had a last name for Louis Stow's daughter, we were able to locate an address and telephone number for her.  She still lives in Ingram.
Yesterday Gary sent us this:
I want to let you know that I had a great conversation with ... the daughter of Dewey / Louis. She confirmed that he had changed his name and that he had spent years trying to locate his siblings in Michigan. She has a copy of his birth certificate among other things.
It feels good to be able to help people reunite with lost family.

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