Sunday, November 21, 2010

There's One In Every Family

The topic for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is... "There's one in every family!"  I did not participate in #1 to #99 editions of the Carnival of Genealogy mainly because I did not start blogging about my genealogy until the first of 2010.  Thus, I decided to give this edition a try.  

A mystery always surrounded my paternal grandfather.  When we kids would ask my dad about his father he would always say 'I don't know'.  The only real clue we had about him was that he was an actor, that he left my paternal grandmother when she became pregnant with my dad, and that dad had a chance to meet his dad when he was about 12 but turned down that opportunity.   His reasoning was 'I just didn't want to meet him'.

Orvay Jermain(e) Post was born in Osceola, Polk County, Wisconsin on 1.8.1886 to Jermain E. Post (10.16.1851 - Green County, NY) and Elizabeth Clayton (5.10.1857 - Middleton, Dane County, WI).  Orvay had at least one sibling, an older brother named Clarence Elmo Post (born 3.26.1881).

Orvay married (or did he?) Bess Coulter sometime in the late 1890s or early 1900s.  I have been unable to verify their marriage.  He and Bess had 2 children, O.J. and Lucille. Lucille was born 6.19.1905 in San Antonio Texas and died on 7.18.1909 in Phoenix Arizona, of Septicemia and Diphtheria.  

I do not know if O.J. was born before or after Lucille.  From the picture of O.J. and my father below I would guess that O.J. is only three or four years older than Hays.  I assume O.J. is named for his father but I have been unable to verify that. 

Elizabeth Clayton? holding Hays,
O.J. standing on Elizabeth's right 
Several years after Lucille's death they had another child (my father) Hays Coulter Post, born 2.15.1913.  The story goes that Orvay was upset that Bess had become pregnant and left her during her pregnancy.  

In 1916: Orvay is married to Virginia Glenn.  They had at least one son, Clayton Glenn Post (born 8.27.1915). Clayton had 3 sons (my cousins) whom I discovered in about 2002.  I have since met 2 of these cousins, and hopefully will have the opportunity to met the 3rd one some day soon.

In 1921: I find Orvay married to Margaret (Lola) Wise (born 1901).  According to their marriage license Margaret was a chorus girl, Orvay was an actor. They had at least one son.  Per the 1930 census Margaret is living in San Francisco, divorced, working as a waitress, and has a young boy child. 

In 1924: Sometime in early 1924 Orvay made his way back to my grandmother.  This may have been when my dad had an opportunity to meet him and declined.  The results of Bess and Orvay meeting up again?  You guess this time!  Yep, another child.  I'm not at liberty to disclose full information on this but let it be known that 'Aunty' was born in 1924.  She was put up for adoption...she never knew until she was in her 70s that she was adopted.   My dad apparently knew nothing about her....or did he, and he just didn't tell us?  Who knows!!!  I do know I had the great pleasure of meeting her, her husband, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren several years ago.  I still keep in touch with her.  She would have been a wonderful 'aunty' while I was growing up and an awesome sister for my dad.

Now the questions are: Did Orvay marry again? Was he on the rebound after a third marriage when he and Bess hooked up again in 1924?  Or was he still married to Lola, or maybe married again to another?  Did he have more children?  Did he leave his spouses because he had impregnated them? 

Orvay died in 1947 in Los Angeles California.  I have been unable to find out which cemetery he is buried in.  If I ever do I will be taking a quick trip to visit it, hopefully to find additional information.

Mary Post Warren
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  1. Geesh, these guys! Several bloggers have written about their "bad" dudes for this 100 COG. Thanks for sharing! Nice job on the post.

  2. You started out with a bang! Great story.


  3. Fascinating - this is definitely a guy to pursue the story on! Glad to hear that you have been able to connect with other parts of the family.

  4. Amazing! I can understand why your dad chose not to meet him. I'm wondering if you've been able to find out anything about his career as an actor....

  5. What a fascinating story! Agree it would be interesting to see who he was with in 1940. The census is right around the corner. Great post!

  6. Looks like Orvay will be a long term project! The man certainly left a trail. I'm so glad you're sharing your research with us. Great COG entry.