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When the trail runs cold....

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When the trail runs cold....

Postby wildmagnolia » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:17 pm

I'm a novice researcher and would appreciate any tips on offer for a great uncle of mine, who my family lost contact with in 1944. Alfred Verran emigrated from the UK to Oregon, USA at the age of 21 in 1921 and wrote home regularly until 1944 when his letters suddenly stopped. Missing persons adverts placed in local newspapers shed no light. He was living with a host family of extended relatives in Oregon so it's very strange that no one got in touch with the UK side if he had met some fate.

I've exhausted online social security indexes, death records and census searches. The last known mention of him was in the 1940 USA census. I'm not the only member of my family who has tried (and failed) to find out what happened to him and can only presume he did die in or around 1944 - but why no record of his death?

All thoughts appreciated!


Jo
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby MoVidger » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Hi Jo - I see that Alfred is living in Clark, Washington in the 1940 census (hotel proprietor).

Could this be your Alfred in the United States Social Security Death Index ??

Age: 81
Name: Alfred Verran
Birth date: 20 June 1900
State: Washington
Last place of residence: Sunnyside, Yakima, Washington
Previous residence postal code: 98944
Event date: 2 Oct 1981

In the Washington Death Index, this chap is listed as Alfred C. Verran.
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby meekhcs » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:17 pm

Jo
Is it your tree on Ancestry?

I have found the following using FMP and Ancestry

FMP 1940 US census
Living in La Center, Clark, Washington, United States and is a joint proprietor of a Hotel
The same census states that in 1935 he lived in Grant County Oregon and that he was born in England

Ancestry
Name: Alfred Verran
Birth: 30 Jun 1900
Death: Oct 1981 - Sunnyside, Yakima, Washington, USA
Civil: Washington

under both Washington Death Index and Social Security Death index. Washington in this case refers to Washington State, which is next door to Oregon.

It is an unusual surname, and given that the birth year is the same, there has to be a high degree of probabilty that this is your man.

I will continue searching and report back if I find anything else

Sally
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby meekhcs » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:17 pm

whoops beat me to it Mo
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby MoVidger » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:29 pm

Sally - I pipped you to the post by 5 minutes! ;) I've tried searching for any newspaper mention of Alfred (including that 1981 obit), but no luck. And I've not found a record for him in the United States World War II Draft Registration Cards...yet. On second thought, there (probably) won't be a draft card for him, as it was for men born between 1877-1897. If he had submitted a card nonetheless, the images for Washington and Oregon will be on Ancestry.
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby wildmagnolia » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:46 pm

Thank you all so much. I too found the death record for Alfred C Verran in Washington but my great uncle was Alfred John Verran, albeit circa the same DOB. I don't think he drafted into WW2 as there was no mention of it in his letters from 1944. Maybe he did meet and marry Charlotte Svolde who didn't like him writing to his family back home! That's some of the mystery solved but I'm very keen to hear your further thoughts.
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby meekhcs » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:59 pm

Alfred's partner in 1940 is Walter Schoene so 1940 census is I think for your Alfred given that Schoene is the name of the Aunt he went to in Oregon. Clark Washington is just over the stateline from Oregon
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby meekhcs » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:10 pm

Jo

Do you have the birth cert/baptism record for Alfred? His birth record on Ancestry etc records him as Alfred. Where does the John come from?

Sally
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby wildmagnolia » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:50 pm

Sally, I think it was his family name, I was always told he was known as Alfred John but he may not have been baptised with the middle name, as I think was usual in Cornwall according to family sources. I don't have a birth certificate for him. I'm on the UK Ancestry site, can you see my gallery uploads?
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Re: When the trail runs cold....

Postby meekhcs » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:58 pm

I wonder if the C is correct? It is annoying that there isn't an image for either record. Googling Washington State Genealogy you can purchase a copy of the death record through the Washington Health Centre. I found this on Washington Digital Archives. It will cost about $20 for an email copy. I have no idea what info it will contain but if it is not correct it should help you eliminate some of the records you have found. Sometimes you have to spend to try and verify info. If it was me I would be inclined to purchase the cert.

On another tack a message on the Washington State USA Rootschat board may be helpful.I have found this medium very helpful in the past.You have to register to post a message but it is free. Local people will have access to far more local records than we have from the UK. Include asmuch infoaspossible in your message.

Sally
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