Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Norene... you're making this difficult!!!

I've read a lot of how-tos for breaking through brick walls, but nothing that will help me with Norene.  It's almost as if Norene prefers to remain anonymous.  I've dealt with ancestors that, for various reasons, have situations that make them hard to track, but Norene has not one, not two, not three, but four things working against me, all at the same time.

First, Norene was not her given name.  It was actually Molly Norene.  She occasionally went by her first name, but more often went by her middle name.  Sometimes she was Molly, sometimes Mollie, even Molley, sometimes Norene, Norine, Noreen, and I've even heard her referred to as Maureen.

Second, she was married at least three times.  And her husbands all had common surnames!  Her maiden name was Henard, but she married a Hall, a Vinson, and a Madsen.  Combine that with the possible first names used, and we have a mess on our hands...  I have no idea of the first names of these men, except Victor Hall, or when or where they married or divorced.

Third, she moved around a lot.  Texas, Colorado, several locations in California, back to Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, back to Colorado... Uff-da!  I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

Fourth, lack of much family knowledge about her.  She had one son, who moved around a lot.  The son had a daughter (my DIL), who didn't know her father well, and her grandmother even less well.  Norene's next closest relatives would be her sisters' children.  The sisters were married numerous times too, so I have no idea who the nieces and nephews are.

The only way I've been able to piece together what I know is from documents of others around her.  Her son's birth certificate refers to her as "Mrs. Molly Hall."  Her mother's obituary refers to her as "Mrs. Norene Vinson."  When her son joined the military, his records showed her as "Molly Norene Vinson" and by the time he was discharged four years later, she was "Molley Norene Hall".  When she died in 1987, she was Norene Madsen.  I have been fighting, begging and jumping through hoops with the State of Colorado for her death certificate, to no avail, and cannot find anyone in Bent county, Colorado who can look for an obituary for me.  I may end up driving the 900 miles myself to get it, and with my luck, it still won't tell me what I need to know.

Some people have described their research as being like their ancestor was begging to be found.  Well, Norene is probably amused at how little I still know about her.  But I'm still hoping that someday I'll have the last laugh.  :)


  1. I know you have had to have tried this, but have you tried to contact the local library that may have the newspapers on microfilm. Sometimes you will get a FAB response and they will do the work for you, but, ONLY if you know the exact date of death.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Carol - any suggestions are quite welcome. I know her date of death. I had a bad phone number for the library, and no one answered my email or snail mail inquiries. Found another phone number to try, and will do that Friday on my day off. Thanks for getting me looking again - hopefully this time it will pay off. :)))

  3. I suppose it must be like putting a puzzle together..... without all the pieces. Good luck and Happy New Year!!

  4. Oh, my goodness! I SO understand your dilemma. In my mind, Norene must be sitting up there with my gramma', Orealee (Thompson)(Mock) (Shinove - I'm only guessing at the spelling) (Williams). But I have only been searching for her for going on forty years, so I guess I should be patient.

    On the other hand, its as if I can hear her begging me to find the information. I don't s'pose you have any relatives from Mississippi, do you? It would be lovely if I could find someone who links to ANYONE in ANY of my lines. It only took me thirty years to prove that I was related to my own mother... and I'm not even adopted.

    The lines I am mainly searching are Anderson (Maine), Melin (Maine), Mock (Mississippi), Chany (Mississippi)and the ones I already mentioned.

    I have a friend who has done a lot of research in California; thousands of names. I will ask if she has come across your name at all. She seems to remember every name, somehow. I hope I will be able to bring some positive information back for you.

    Good luck in your search. I hope the New Year brings lots of information. Happy New Year!

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Home

  5. I hope you are able to find Norene. Perhaps I will also be able to find my gramma', ya' think?


    This is a copy of the same message I am posting in other places. I wanted to visit and thank everyone who has visited or followed any of my blogs. I have so enjoyed this new experience and look forward to getting to know each of you better. May this be a year of joy and prosperity for everyone.

    Happy New Year!!!

    Keep a hug on,

    ~ Just Joany
    Red Wagon Flights

    Word Designer

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Changing World

  6. Did you ever get any more information on Molly? I'm one of her granddaughters. Her son was my adopted father. My sister is his biological daughter. I'm trying to do a lineage page for her. Please let me know. Tina Jacobson

  7. If you still have my private email address, you can email me directly.

    --Karen Seeman