Did you ever have so many leads to a puzzle that you don’t know which way to proceed? That’s how I’m feeling after getting some info from a genealogist. I have so many possible avenues to check about my father’s birth that I have no idea which one to pursue.
There was something called the Susquehanna Valley Home for Orphans and Industrial School for Indigent Children in Binghamton, NY. Then again, as late as 1938, 50% of births in the US were home births according to Wikipedia.
If my grandmother Agatha was sent away from home for the birth of my father, she might have gone back to Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, PA where she was born and where she lived until she was about 11 years old. Specifically she may have gone to the home of her uncle: Aaron J. Morris. In the 1900 census, Samuel E and his wife Mary Eugene, my great-grandparents, were living in Wilkes-Barre, PA with Aaron J. Morris.
Samuel E Walker lived in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, PA from 1900 through 1913. He and his family moved to Binghamton probably around 1914. By 1915 Samuel E Walker is found in Binghamton at 3 Emerson Place.
Aaron J. Morris in 1900 lived at 162 N Main, Wilkes Barre Ward 4, Luzerne, PA and was a butler. By 1910 he had moved to 113 Hickory St., Wilkes-Barre, Ward 13, Luzerne, Pennsylvania and he remained there at least through 1930.
He was evidently connected to Mount Zion Baptist Church in Wilkes Barre, according to a genealogy website Genealogy of Patience, Mccloe, Tillman Family by LeRoy C Patience. That website was last updated in 2007.
Mount Zion Baptist Church in 1925 was located at 191 South Welles St. That is about 0.7 miles away from Aaron Morris’s house at 113 Hickory. Today Mount Zion Baptist church is located at 105 Hill Street; Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania 18702. According to the 1925 Wilkes-Barre directory, the pastor there at the time was Rev. R. E. Thomas.
I have a request in with the vital records folks for state of Pennsylvania, but they aren’t finding anything.
According to the Binghamton city directory, Agatha is listed next to McKinley, indicating that they were married already by 1932, yet were living separately through at least 1940.
And there is WAY more than this.
Someone suggested that I should have asked my father, now deceased 12 years today, about his history. It’s difficult to start a conversation about things you aren’t supposed to know. His surviving cousins, who are younger than he in any case, are concerned that “digging up dirt” about our father is somehow dishonoring him. Obviously, I don’t believe that to be the case.