This week, I am participating in Madeline Bea's Creativity Bootcamp. It started Sunday. I'm starting on Tuesday. This much is clear - I do not need a creativity bootcamp. I need a time management bootcamp. However, I'm signed up for a creativity bootcamp with the focus on writing. Knitting wasn't going to work well with Madeline's format, and I don't have much going on with knitting right now EXCEPT I have only two more rows to go on Evenstar before I start the dreaded beaded edging. I've ordered my beads and will update you when they arrive. Now, on to my creativity topic of the day (two days ago!): Ivory.
Who is Ivory? I'd heard the name mentioned as a child. Grandma Young talked a lot about Ivory. They were or had been good friends (maybe cousins?), but though I spent a lot of time with Grandma Young, I never met her.
My mother died in 1999, and I inherited the family pictures. I wanted to start tracing the history of my mother's family so as I looked at pictures one evening I was making a list of names for research. I picked up a picture and looked at three young women in their late teens/early 20s. I immediately recognized my tall, blonde grandmother, but my eye was drawn to the lovely woman on the left. She was petite with dark hair, high cheekbones, and a sweet smile. Underneath her name, Grandma had written "Ivory". When I turned the picture over, I saw her full name: Ivory Leslie.
The name "Leslie" rang a bell. Grandpa Young used to talk about a Ralph Leslie who was a friend of his. Was he married to Ivory? Did they introduce Grandma and Grandpa? Were they somehow related to us? Grandpa's middle name was "Leslie". Was there a connection?
Thanks to the miracles of technology (and Ancestry.com), I now know a little bit about Ivory Leslie. Ivory P. Leslie was born in Ohio on November 30, 1907. Some sources say she was born on Hocking County, other sources say Pike County. Since Grandma Young was born in Pike County, I'm betting she was born there, and that's where they met. She was the daughter of John and Cynthia Crabtree Leslie, and the youngest of nine children. Her brother, Ralph, was five years older.
In 1910, Ivory lived with her family on Opossum Run Road, in the southwest corner of Franklin County, Ohio. Her father was a laborer who did odd jobs. By 1920, the family was living on Channel Street in Newark, Ohio, which is near where Grandma Young grew up, however, Ivory's father was not living with them. I checked the census, and her mother's marital status was "Married", so I had do to more research - what fun!
I found John Leslie living on Sunfish Road in Newton Township, Pike County, with the "Swiger" family and working as a farm laborer. I put the family's last name in quotes because the third woman in my picture is named Beulah Sigo. I also located a picture online of John Leslie with the "Sego" family with a very young Beulah Sego in the photo. A little more digging about Beulah Sego revealed that her mother's maiden name was Leslie. So it appears that John Leslie was living with his sister's family and working on their farm in 1920. However, in September, 1923, John Leslie was killed in an automobile accident in Pickaway County and buried in Newark.
Ivory married John Weekly in late 1929/early 1930. In April, 1930, they were living at 240 Union Street in Newark (again, within walking distance of my grandmother's house) and had a one-month old daughter named Lulu. John was a press operator at the big Wehrle stove factory.
In November, 1932, they were living on North 11th street and had minor damage from a house fire caused by wallpaper covering a flue. They had a daughter, Ruth, who graduated from nursing school in September 1953 and looked just like her mother. In 1958, Ruth, who had returned to work at Newark Hospital, got married. Ivory died in 1992, John in 1996.
And this is where I lose the trail and Ivory becomes, once again, just a mysterious young girl in a photo with my grandmother. I have some facts...I have some proof that Ivory probably is not a relative, even a very distant one...but I still don't know...Who is Ivory?