Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crooks, Barbers and Canadians

It's a rather common thing for a family to have a skeleton in the closet and it's even more common for a family to have a few skeletons hiding away. For me, the reluctance of family members to disclose or discuss these stories makes them all the more interesting. It is impossible to negate the reasons why such stories were kept from public eye in the first place. Of course, the fear of embarrassment ranks high on that list, shame, disappointment, anger, the list goes on. After a certain point, the story is forgotten and an important piece of family lore and possibly a significant piece of local history.

It's quite exciting to read about such forgotten stories in the newspapers. I am sure it was quite embarrassing at the time, however it now becomes another page in the story of me. Most importantly, who my ancestors were has greatly influenced who I am today, whether genetically or traditionally. To some, I might look like my father's grandfather, to others, I may share traits with my mom's nephews. Perhaps my short temper comes from my grandfather. It all explains why I am the way I am.

So it's really no surprise that patterns develop within the families. "Crimial" types involve themselves with similar people, bad habits stay close together, but also good traits and habits mix as well. On occassion the bad apple mixes with the good apples, but this doesn't mean the whole bushel is bad.

It's easier to say such things about family members who are dead and gone, and most easily said about those whom I never knew. I am one of few boundaries and can connect with any ancestor whether I knew them or not and still see the negative in some of their behaviors.

Anyhow, I arrive at my title, "Crooks, Barbers and Canadians." I knew for some time that my Great Great Grandfather, Isaac Bouwen's two brothers Morris and Edward, were both barbers in Rochester. They were also immigrants from Holland. However, it was a shock to finally trace my Great Grandfather, Clarence Traub's mother's family back a little further into Ontario, Canada.

1 - Joseph Rishor b. abt. 1833 in Canada d. March 25, 1875 in Hastings, Ontario
  + Susanna Hannah b. abt. 1835 in Ontario d. November 19, 1905 in Rochester, NY
          2 - James G Rishor*
          2 - Joseph B. Rishor*
          2 - Agnes Rishor
          2 - Rachel Ann Rishor b. June 24, 1857 in Ontario d. Nov. 14, 1917 in Rochester, NY
             + Isadore Maynard b. June 10, 1853 in Ontario d. March 13, 1926 in Rochester, NY
                  3 - Joseph Maynard
                  3 - Agnes Maynard
                  3 - John Sheldon Maynard
                  3 - Hattie Letitia Maynard
                      + LeRoy Traub
                          4 - Clarence LeRoy (Louis) Traub
                             + Mildred Russell
                                 5 - Ray Howard Traub
                                    + Shirley Spink
                                       6 - Laurie Traub
                                          + Robert Ballard
                                              7 - Matthew Ballard
                                 5 - LeRoy Traub
                          4 - Harold Traub
                          4 - Jeanette Traub
                  3 - Arthur Maynard
                  3 - Annie Maynard
          2 - Hattie Rishor
          2 - Susan Rishor
          2 - Mary Lortha Rishor
          2 - Sheldon Rishor*

Clarence Traub was put up for adoption in the late 1910s - early 1920s as his father had abandoned his mother and left her to care for two children (Harold had died before they divorced). This was unknown until a photograph of Clarence and "Mrs. Hattie Traub" was discovered. Clarence was a young man in the picture, no more than 12 or 13, but it was clear that Clarence knew who his mother was and had some sort of relationship with her. Another photograph showed Clarence with his sister Jeanette. What became of Jeaneatte, I do not know.

It was later discovered that LeRoy had remarried to another woman in the Rochester area and had at least one son. As the story is told, LeRoy may have remarried yet again. I was in brief contact with a distant half cousin from LeRoy's second marriage who had next to no information on LeRoy as his father had died while he was young and he wasn't able to ask about his grandfather.

Regardless, we see the tail end of a pattern here. Hattie married a man of less than good standards. As Hattie and LeRoy were married in 1912 and Clarence was born on March 22, 1912, it is clear that he was conceived out of wedlock. Records show that LeRoy made frequent trips to and from the New York City area, sometimes with his wife and others without. It is possible, according to military records, that LeRoy was born in New Jersey but no records exist to prove that. Regardless, Clarence's middle name LeRoy as marked on his birth certificate was not the middle name he was buried with. As I was told he went with the name of Clarence Louis, I suspected that his middle name was LeRoy after his father and that was confirmed upon receiving the birth certificate.

To Be Continued