Jack J Carnall, the probable father of my father does not seem to be a nasty character after further genealogical digging and after recollecting the sadness in his voice when my father spoke of his real father. Now I think the nasty one is perhaps the Tiner fellow Grandmother Dorothy met at the time of leaving Cook County and moving to San Francisco. It’s hard to imagine her leaving Chicago with a young child by herself and without any means of support. My Dad once referred to the Tiner person as a sailor stationed in Hawaii and since some of his other observations and comments are turning out to be true I’m sticking with the Tiner-the -sailor thread for now. Maybe like the sailor in Marnie he was not so friendly when home on leave.
Why did Dorothy leave Chicago sometime between 1933 and 1936, when my father recalled visiting Holy City in the San Francisco Bay Area, and why was Jack J Carnall out of the picture at that point? After the 2nd wedding to Dorothy in 1933 I know nothing about Jack J Carnall except that he was living with his second wife Mable Merle in Chicago at the point of his premature death in 1943, just ten years after the second marriage to Dorothy.
The death notice reads as follows:
John J. Carnall, beloved husband of Mabel Merle Carnall, fond son of Donald and May Carnall, brother of Mrs. Paul Faust, Mrs. Walter Leach, Donald, Mark and William Carnall. Funeral Thursday, 10:30 a. m., at late residence, 3100 Sheridan Road. Internment Mount Carmel cemetery. Please omit flowers.
No mention of the previous marriage to Dorothy or of being survived by my father. My father always said that his father died very young of a heart attack. The building at 3100 Sheridan Rd (from Google Earth) looks like a pretty nice residence.
I wrote to the two Roman Catholic churches where Jack and Dorothy were married, St Athanasius Parish Evanston in 1930 and Saint Mary Catholic Church Evanston in 1933. I’ve already heard from St Mary’s — they’re researching possible marriage, baptism and/or annulment records. Since these weddings were Roman Catholic, Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic cemetery and a living descendant of one of Jack J Carnall’s sisters confirmed (private email) that this sister was a devout Roman Catholic — attended Roman Catholic High School — it seems safe to assume for now that the Carnalls were Roman Catholic. My father said they had roots in Wales though without upgrading my ancestry.com subscription to the international version I can’t trace Jack J Carnall’s father Donald further back than his immigration to Chicago from Napanee, Ontario November 1900. The 1910 Census denotes Donald’s place of birth as Canada English — mother’s birth place Ireland father’s England — and his 1938 naturalization record shows his Country of Birth or Allegiance to be “Canada – Great Britian.” Not exactly a French Canadian Fur Trapper but there’s a Canadian link. The 1910 and 1920 Census show Jack J Carnall’s mother Mary aka May Foley as being born in Illinois — mother’s birthplace Missouri father’s Ireland. There’s more to learn about the Carnall’s social and financial circumstances. Donald describes himself as a manufacturer of clothing and accessories (1918) on one document and as working for the American Maid Co. 847 W. Jackson Blvd (1942) on another. The 1918 WWI draft registration shows Donald’s address at 305 Central Wilmette, the 1938 naturalization record shows an address at the famous Georgian Hotel and his 1942 WW II draft registration shows an address at the premiere Edgewater Beach Hotel so it seems the Carnalls were comfortable.
Dorothy’s situation living with her father and mother and her mother’s relatives (mother’s relatives being there suggests mother had some power to make decisions about the family) at 1323 Winnemac Ave Chicago (1918) shown below also seems comfortable but less prestigious.
I first thought the Depression might explain the need for two families to live together in one household but both the 1920 and 1930 Census records show them all living together so this seems like more of a long-term arrangement. Dorothy’s father Eugene Richard S Crocker and her Uncle William Edgar Tieste both filled out WW I draft registration cards at the same office 12 Sep 1918 — taking a trip together to the draft office seems like friendship or a feeling of close relation. William Tieste lists his place of employment at the Chicago Talking Machine Co. 12 N. Michigan Ave Chicago and Eugene Crocker lists his as Credit Manager Miller Rubber Co Akron, Ohio.
Eugene S Crocker’s ancestry is kind of interesting. His grandfather Sylvanus Crocker (1807 – 1876) was the 10th child born of Jedediah Crocker (1761 – 1841), Massachusetts farmer and American Revolutionary war veteran. Jedediah is a direct descendant of William Crocker, who immigrated from England with Rev. Lathrop and company in 1634, and was Dean of the West Parish of Barnstable. Five generations later when #10 child Sylvanus was born Jedediah et al were Ohio farmers. Euguene’s own father Sylvanus J Crocker is listed as a farmer on the 1880 Census in Dover, Ohio. How did Eugene, born on a farm, come to be a credit manager for Miller Rubber Co?
Dorothy’s mother was born in Illinois but both of her parents were born in Sweden. It will take time to find out more about them.
Grandmother Dorothy liked to refer to herself in the third person and sometimes used The Royal We in speaking to us. She claimed illustrious ancestry but aside from the Pilgrim her ancestry and circumstances 1918 – 1930 seem fairly modest.
Here’s what I don’t understand. How does Dorothy, an only child living in a stable and probably financially secure family situation find herself pregnant in 1930 at age 18, just a few months before she will marry a 26 year old Roman Catholic from a financially comfortable family then leave Chicago just a few years later apparently cutting off all contact with my father’s probable father?
It being 1930, during Prohibition, I’m thinking there was some illegal drinking going on. We know that Dorothy was a life long alcoholic. Drinking and having sex out of wedlock must have been considered risky behavior at the time. It shows an independent streak too. How did these two families handle the situation?
My father said that he was baptized Episcopalian — since the marriages were Roman Catholic the Episcopalian baptism indicates deliberate distancing from the Carnalls. Perhaps Jack J Carnall agreed to the marriage out of a sense of decency but thereafter Dorothy and her parents wanted no further contact? My father never seemed to know very much about his father and this lack of knowledge indicates lack of contact. It certainly could have been the other way around — the Carnalls distancing — but this wouldn’t be consistent with Roman Catholic beliefs about marriage and parenthood.
Remembering the kind of person my grandmother was — I’ll write stories about spending time with her in future posts — I think she wasn’t the slightest bit interested in settling down to a traditional family life with Jack J Carnall even if he was a willing husband and father.
I think my grandmother wanted an adventure: Jack J Carnall was dismissed from the picture and my father had to go along for Dorothy’s ride.
It will take time to establish my father’s birth name and to verify that Jack J Carnall is in fact my father’s father. Since the online database didn’t work out I’m putting together all of the facts I can to place a request for manual research of his birth record in Cook County. I suppose it’s possible he was born in a different county or that he was born at home if this was customary at the time. As I have time I’ll write to the Evanston area Episcopal churchs seeking the record of baptism and will apply to other counties if the Cook Country research doesn’t produce the record.