Thoughts Appreciated on this Postcard


Arun Vajpey

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Something interesting I've come across. Frances Gould's (Clarence's wife) Father, is also Clarence's Uncle. So Clarence and Frances are cousins.
I thought as much. Here on ET, it says that Charles Louch's mother was born Maria Gould and both she and her husband Samuel were long time Somerset natives. I wonder if Maria Gould was Joseph Gould's aunt; if so, Clarence & Frances would have been second generation cousins. Looks like there was a bit of consanguinity involved.

Frances's Father is Joseph Gould. She arrived 5 months later). She came over travelling with her brother Benjamin and his wife. Benjamin is also a Minister, which makes me wonder why they went to Montana to get married and not get her brother to marry them.
Very interesting. The simple answer would be that Benjamin Gould refused to officiate in a cousins' marriage but I think that is unlikely since that sort of thing was not uncommon in those days. The alternative reason could explain Sean's postcard. For some reason, Clarence and Frances went out of their way to go to Lewistown, a small, out of the way town in Montana, to be married by Charles Donaldson. Was there was some other reason for them to go that far (no simple task in 1916)? Unless Joseph and his wife were planning to settle in Montana, going there makes no sense since Clarence & Frances were settling in California (where William Louch was also a Minister!). Therefore, it looks like they had a very strong reason to be married by Charles Donaldson and that - and the card that the exhausted and bereaved Adelaide Louch sent to Sarah Donaldson 4 years earlier - makes me think that there was some sort of bond between the families. Sarah herself would have been 71 in 1916 and if she was at least a second generation American herself, then that family bond probably was related to her (as yet unidentified) husband.

It would be interesting to know if Charles and Adelaide Louch planned to go directly to California upon arrival on the Titanic or stop at Ionia, Michigan.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Looking at someone elses family tree at the moment that includes the Louches and they have Donaldsons on it (UK). So fingers crossed something will turn up there.
I think that - a link between the Louches and Donaldsons in the UK - is VITAL to solve the mystery of Sean's postcard.

I have had confirmation from local sources in Ionia, Michigan, that a widow named Sarah J Donaldson was living there at least till 1917. Jane's research has shown that Sarah was 65 years old in 1910 and already a widow. Also, Jane has found out that Sarah's parents were Americans themselves and that she was born in New York in around 1845. That means that Adelaide's relationship with Sarah Donaldson of Ionia was almost certainly through the latter's husband.

I have requested my source to try to get information on Mr Donaldson, including his Christian name and origins. If, a Jane says above, there was Donaldson family in the UK (perhaps in Somerset like the Louches) around the middle of the 19th century, one of them could have moved to the USA at the time and married Sarah, thereby giving her the Donaldson surname.


My own research showed that right from the middle 1880s, there was a Donaldson family living in Ionia, Michigan. According to the 1880 census, the then head of the family was 32 year old DeWitt Donaldson (see link in earlier post). DeWitt's father Andrew Donaldson (born 1813, no details) was deceased by then - but could he have emigrated from the UK and even be part of the Donaldson family that Jane found out were liked with the Louches? Even more interestingly, there was a 35 year old man named Henry Donaldson listed a part of DeWitt's family in 1880 but there are no details at all about him. IF Henry Donaldson was a recent arrival from the UK, that lack of information could be explained. Also, if Henry Donaldson had married Sarah J of New York thereby giving her the married name Donaldson, the link between them and the Louch couple could be explained, as well as that enigmatic postcard that Sean T bought in the auction.

As Jane's research has also shown, Adelaide Louch's son Clarence Louch and his fiancee (and second cousin) Frances Gould, went out of their way to remote Lewistown in Montana to be married by Pastor Charles Donaldson in 1916. I don't believe the name Donaldson was just a coincidence and so there must have been some connection between Charles Donaldson - then in his mid 30s and then 71 year old Sarah J Donaldson who was still living in Ionia, Michigan at the time. We know that Sarah was not Charles' mother and so could have been an aunt (by marriage) or similar. Charles Donaldson was born in Tracy, Minnesota and his father was George Donaldson. There were no Georges in Dewitt Donaldson's immediate family but I am still searching.
 
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