The Missing Ruby (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks)

January 25, 2014 in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, Ruby, Uncategorized

Leah Rhae Ruby is missing. She was the only child of the youngest child of my 3rd great grandparents, Silas Nelson and Emeline Jane Kellogg Ruby. I feel as though I know Leah personally, I’ve spent so much time following her trail in census and other records. According to the 1900 census, she was born in July of 1889, but sometimes she said she was born in 1891. Her parents were Frederick Walter and Evelyn Bessie Howard Ruby. There is no birth record for her, so all I can say is that she was born in Michigan. In 1900 she was living with her parents in Jackson, Michigan. This was where her mother’s family was living at the time. Her father was a sign painter, according to the census, and her mother had had two children, but only Leah was living:

Name: Leah Ruby
Age: 10
Birth Date: Jul 1889
Birthplace: Michigan
Home in 1900: Jackson Ward 1, Jackson, Michigan
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital status: Single
Father’s Name: Fredrick W Ruby
Father’s Birthplace: Michigan
Mother’s Name: Bessie Ruby
Mother’s Birthplace: Michigan
Household Members:
Name Age
Fredrick W Ruby 33
Bessie Ruby 31
Leah Ruby 10

On the 29th of June in 1908, Leah married James Webster Smith in Jackson. It would be a very short marriage as he died that year in August.

Newspaper death notice for James Smith

After the death of her husband, Leah moved back in with her parents, who now had Fred’s mother living with them:

Name: Leah Smith
[Raby] Age in 1910: 19
Birth Year: abt 1891
Birthplace: Michigan
Home in 1910: Jackson Ward 1, Jackson, Michigan
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital status: Widowed
Father’s Name: Fredric W Raby
Father’s Birthplace: Michigan
Mother’s Name: Evelyn Ruby
Mother’s Birthplace: Michigan
Household Members:
Name Age
Fredric W Raby 44
[49] Evelyn Ruby 41
Jane Ruby 82
Leah Smith 19

Jane died in 1917. That was also the year that Leah had her one and only child. I can find no record of her marriage to Bayless David Jeffery, but their daughter, Elizabeth Rhae Jeffery was born in Duluth, Minnesota on the 23rd of January in 1917. In 1920 Fred and Evelyn, Leah, Bayless, and 2 year old Elizabeth are found living in San Antonio, Texas. Each family maintains their own household, but they live next door to each other.

Name: Leah Jiffry
[Lepp Giffry] Age: 29
Birth Year: abt 1891
Birthplace: Michigan
Home in 1920: San Antonio Ward 4, Bexar, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital status: Married
Spouse’s Name: B D Jiffry
Father’s Birthplace: Michigan
Mother’s Birthplace: Michigan
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members:
Name Age
B D Jiffry 32
[94] Leah Jiffry 29
Elisbeth Jiffry 2
[2 11/12]

About 1921, Leah and Bayliss divorce. Bayless remarried in 1922 and has 4 more daughters before dying in 1938. Leah lived with her daughter and parents until 1927 when she married Frederick Wesley Crow, a manager at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio. The only record of them I can find in 1930 is a newspaper clipping detailing the couple’s move to Tennessee:

Move to Tennessee

Fred, Leah and Betty returned to Texas sometime before 1935 according to the 1940 census:

Name: Leah Crow
Age: 50
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1890
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: Michigan
Marital status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Home in 1940: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: E Pecan
House Number: 106
Inferred Residence in 1935: Austin, Travis, Texas
Residence in 1935: Austin, Travis, Texas
Resident on farm in 1935: No
Sheet Number: 61A
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: High School, 4th year
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: No
Household Members:
Name Age
Frederick W Crow 54
Leah Crow 50
Betty Crow 21

Fred Crow died in Lockhart, Texas on the 19th of September in 1944:

Frederick Crow Obituary

He’s buried in the Lockhart Municipal Burial Park, where Leah’s parents are also buried. Fred has a headstone with his and Leah’s names, Fred’s date of birth and death, and Leah’s date of birth, but there’s no death date for Leah. I called the cemetery and they have no record of her death or burial, and there is no Texas death certificate for her. Since she’d been married 3 times, I think she may have remarried and is buried elsewhere, but I can’t say that with any certainty, so she remains lost. Her daughter, Elizabeth, joined the Womens Army Corps as an aviation cadet in 1942, married Vilo Dean Bannon, a native of Minnesota, in South Dakota in 1946 and had a son that year. They lived in Washington state where Elizabeth died in 1987.