GUEST BLOGGER: Melanie Tafaro
I have a genealogical conundrum….at least for me it is. It all started with a picture sent to me by my Great Aunt Mary Ann. The picture is labeled by my great aunt and I knew who all the people were except for one she had listed as Aunt Salome.
I had never heard this name. I called my grandma (my great aunt’s sister) and she was unsure so I called my great aunt. She didn’t know anything about her. She just had made the copy of the picture for me and had labeled it just as it had been labeled in her collection.
Well now the race was on, but I was stymied because I didn’t know anything about her at all! So I did what I had been told to do – look at her siblings. Her brother was Chris LaMere who is my 3rd great grandfather on my father’s side.
All I really know about Chris’s early life is that he was born in Quebec province and he may have changed his name from Lemieux (might as well be Smith!).
I started looking at the info I had about Chris and I got a clue about Salome. She was living with Chris and his sons in Wisconsin in 1905. She is listed as Salome Landry, a widow.
In the 1910 US census she is also there, but she is not with her brother in the 1900 US census. No good leads popped up in the other census in Wisconsin so I knew she must be somewhere else, but where?
I banged my head against the wall for a bit but then thought “maybe there is something in Chris’s brother’s obit”. And sure enough, it says Mrs. Salome Landry of Worcester, MA survives him.
Using that information I was able to find quite a few census records for Salome, but one note stuck out to me. She stated in the 1900 census that she was a widow, had four children but none survived. I had come across a record from the Druin Collection that placed her birth in 1860. So by the age of 40 she had come to the US, married, had four children and suffered the loss of her husband and her children.
With my great aunt’s not so gentle prodding, I set out to find her husband’s name, wedding date, and what happened after that. I found a marriage register for Lawrence, Essex, Massachusetts, that matches the information I have pretty closely. The age is a little off, but her occupation, residence, parents names all match. That was on 31 December 1879.
I cannot find them on the 1880 census. The next time Salome shows up is the 1891 Lawrence, MA directory. She is a boarder, no husband listed. From there on out she is living as a boarder or with a sibling until she ends up at the St. Francis Home for the Aged in Worcester, MA. As far as I can tell she lived her days out there until her death in 1951.
IF my records are all the same person, the question still remains: what happened to Salome’s husband Augustus Landry (Laundry, Landy? I have seen it spelled various ways) and to their children?
The search continues……