A few weeks ago I wrote about my great grand uncle George Vickers Young. I shared the information I had gathered from family and various records. I shared that my great grandmother had always lamented, ‘I wish I knew what happened to my brother George.’ And then I told the story of contacting George’s 98 year old ex-wife to try to find out the end of his story.
Well here’s the thing. Eileen’s story helped me build a bit of a framework and so I went looking for more information and the information I found doesn’t match Eileen’s story very well. The portion of her story that isn’t jiving with the records is this:
George & Eileen married in Montana and then moved to Denver, Colorado. They owned a business there that was a type of confectionery drug store with a soda fountain. One day George got tired of it all and walked away. Eileen was left with quite a mess to clear up, bills, paperwork and the like. Once she had things settled, she left Denver and returned to Helena, Montana to her ice cream shop there. She filed for a divorce in Helena and was single for several years before she remarried Kenneth Blackmore. Eileen heard that George had some sort of a job in Denver after he left her and the business but she doesn’t recall what the job was.
Eileen did have difficulty remembering several things I asked her about and couldn’t remember any dates so I know that anything she shared is really only a guide but I am having some difficulty reconciling the city directory entries with her account. Here’s the breakdown of the city directory entries from the year of their marriage forward:
- 1947 Spokane City Directory – G Vickers Young (clk Garland Supply)
- 1953 Helena City Directory – George V Young (v-pres genl-mgr The Freezer Inc) & Eileen Young
- 1954 Helena City Directory – George V Young (v-pres-genl mgr The Freezer Inc) & Eileen N Young
- 1957 Helena City Directory – George V Young & Eileen N Young
- 1958 Helena City Directory – George V Young & Eileen N Young
I can’t find George and Eileen together in a Denver city directory. There is one entry in the 1956 Denver city directory for a Geo V Young, no spouse listed and his workplace is Park Hill Freezer. This may be him as he worked for The Freezer Inc in 1953 and 1954 but where is Eileen? Did they actually move to Denver and then move back to Montana together? Are the 1957 & 1958 city directory listings inaccurate? Did she include George’s name but he was really living in Colorado? Is that why they don’t list an occupation? According to Kenneth’s obituary, Eileen married Kenneth in 1958. That is not several years after the last city directory entry for George & Eileen together.
Oh the questions!
Setting the issues of residence aside for a moment, I’m still curious about his death. On my original post, Alex from Root To Tip commented with a potential SSDI for George. The index reads:
U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current
Name: George Young
Last Residence: 80202 Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
BORN: 11 Aug 1906
Died: Mar 1982
State (Year) SSN issued: Minnesota (Before 1951)
Source Citation: Number: 470-12-7744; Issue State: Minnesota; Issue Date: Before 1951.
The birth date on this record is a perfect match. Before talking to Eileen I would have likely dismissed this record because George Young is such a common name and I hadn’t known George had ever lived in Colorado or Minnesota. I’m still not sure about the Minnesota connection but I do know from Eileen that George served in the military during WWII so maybe he was in Minnesota for a time because of his service. This record looks like a good possibility to me now.
So what is the bottom line?
Well, I’m a bit mystified by the dates of residence in Colorado. I don’t know if I will clear that up. I’ve considered calling Eileen back to ask a few follow-up questions. But I don’t know. I’m not sure that would be fruitful and so far I haven’t been able to come up with questions I think she can answer.
The SSDI looks like a good match, so I have added this record to my list of items to order. Hopefully his file will contain enough information to determine if this is my George. If so, I will finally know when and where he died.
Thanks for the suggestion Alex!
4 thoughts on “George Vickers Young Update”
Is it possible that the troubled couple didn’t correct anything in the directory to avoid being the of gossipmongers?
I wondered that exact thing. I wonder if they left Montana for Denver in about 1955 and then parted ways prior to the 1956 Denver City Directory coming out. Maybe she returned to Montana and had the directory include both of their names so she wasn’t listed as a single woman living alone or to avoid gossip.
It might also be worth thinking about when the information was gathered for the directory and perhaps Eileen / George didn’t keep it up to date in terms of correcting any information. Who provides the information? Is it based on who pays the bill as to the inclusion in the directory?
I know in the UK for our phone books it was all based on whose name was on the bill as to what name is given in the listings. Then you had the option to be ex-directory so you aren’t listed at all. Then we have things like the Electoral Roll where you as the individual have to keep that information up to date, but you can chose for your details to be hidden from the published register. So for instance you could be looking for someone and find them at an address past a date when you knew they had moved or had died – simply because the electoral roll information wasn’t updated by the widowed spouse or by the new occupants.
When my ex moved out I couldn’t remove his name from the register of people eligible to vote at my address myself – I wasn’t allowed to – my local council told me it could only be removed when he registered himself at his new property under that electoral roll! Talk about crazy!
I often find that directories and electoral roll type lists are compiled about 6 months prior to publication. But it could be worth finding out a bit more about how the information is gathered as to the likelihood of information not being kept up to date.
Plus, you may get that a single, divorced woman in the 1950s might have chosen to keep a man’s name in the listing for a whole range of reasons!
Yes, I am rather curious about the routines surrounding these particular city directories. There are two things that lead me to believe he is listed with her but does not live with her in the last two entries. First, there is a gap between the Montana listings and second, the last two entries don’t list an occupation. I have some background research to do here. I also need to page through the books for the missing years and see if I can find them in either city. Thankfully he usually uses his middle initial or it would be more difficult to identify his entries. Thanks for the ideas.