52 Ancestors 2014, ancestor story, puzzling

Ancestor Story – Sherry Hunter – 52 Ancestors

Bill, Vera, & Sherry Hunter, oct 31, 1940 - just before leaving for Orcas Island, Wash. Sherry adopted, Photography - Frank D, Oil tinting - EstelleWritten on photo back:  Bill, Sherry, & Vera Hunter, 31 October 1940, Just before leaving for Orcas Island, WA.  Sherry adopted, Photography – Frank D., Oil tinting – Estelle

Sherry Hunter is the subject of this week’s Ancestor Story.

Sherry is a mysterious part of my family tree.  She was adopted by Bill & Vera Hunter in 1940.  She does not appear on the 1940 Census with Bill & Vera in the spring so she must have been adopted between the census & the date of the above photograph.

In 1943 Bill died.  Vera remarried in 1946.  At some point Vera and Sherry had a falling out.  As far as I know they lost contact and no one knows what happened to Sherry.

I’ve often wondered about Sherry.  When did she and Vera lose contact?  Was she an adult at the time?  What caused the rift?  What happened to Sherry?

I have three photos of Sherry.

Vera & Sherry HunterVera & Sherry Hunter – no helpful info on the photo back.

Vera & Sherry Hunter downtownVera & Sherry Hunter, downtown

Vera & Sherry Hunter downtown - backPhoto back which reads: This was taken downtown one day it’s awful of me – we were talking at the time.  But it’s the 2 of us – & it’s a mate for the one you sent me of yourself & Jimmie – I’m putting them together in a frame.  Sherry & Vera  {note – this was written to Vera’s sister Dolores.}

I also have a Mother’s Day letter Sherry wrote to Vera.

Mother's Day Letter from Sherry to Vera Hunter, outer Mother's Day Letter from Sherry to Vera HunterMy Owne Dear Mother

My one dear Mother I love her so, I try to help her as much as I can, For I know she loves me so, She is always doing things I like, Some of the things she does for me, She mends my stockings, and makes me things, cookies and cakes and all those things, My Mother Dear.

I wrote this just for you Mother.

From Sherry,

It’s Wednesday as I write this.  I’ve had Sherry on my mind many times and decided to compile all that I had in the hopes that one of my amazing readers might have a thought on how I could track down Sherry.  After gathering the photos, I remembered this huge stack of old family group sheet printouts my grandma gave me a few years ago.  I wondered if Sherry’s birth date was somewhere in that pile so I started digging.

What do you know!  I found something new!!

Bill & Vera Hunter’s group sheet includes Sherry and reads:

  • Sherry Grace Hunter {A middle name!}
  • Born: Bet. 1940-1941 {This can’t be correct, I wonder if my grandma was actually referring to her adoption date.}
  • Married in:  Bellflower, Calif.   July 7, ????  {Hmmmm}
  • Spouse:  Gene Robert Ranstrom {A spouse!}

I took that info and did some quick searching.  In ancestry I found a marriage record for Sherry G Hunter, age 25 and Gene R Ranstrom, age 31, married 6 July 1962 in Los Angeles.  Oh My!

I also found a divorce record in ancestry for Sherry G Hunter, birth year ’36, and Gene R Ranstrom, birth year ’30, marriage year ’62, divorce filing date December 1966.

I looked in findagrave and genealogy bank for both of them and found nothing.  So I checked the white pages and found an entry for Sherry G Ranstrom, age 65+ living in Long Beach, CA.  Double On My!!

What if I just found Sherry?!

What if I can learn more about Bill, Vera, Sherry & their story?!

I’m sending a letter today.

In writing this post, I was once again reminded of two very important things.  Thing one – Use what you have.  Thing two – Gathering what you have and writing about it can bring new information to light.

I LOVE this 52 Ancestors challenge!

{Vera is my great grand aunt, she is the older sister of my great grandfather.}