Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Madness: Lavinia Ferris and Michael Lesser

My gg grandmother, Lavinia Ferris was born about 1865 in New York to Thomas H. Ferris and Louise Hitchcock. A number of years later, Lavinia marries my gg grandfather, Michael Lesser on July 1, 1895 in New York. Two months later, Lavinia gives birth to my great grandfather, Henry Lesser on Sept. 30, 1895. Five years later, Lavinia brings Henry to a home and gives him up for adoption on Dec. 6, 1900. After this, Lavinia and Michael disappear.

My gg grandfather, Michael Lesser was born about 1863 in New York to Morris Lesser and Dora. A number of years later, Michael marries my gg grandmother, Lavinia on July 1, 1895 in New York....and well, you know the rest (just read the first paragraph).

Now I have a TON (ok a little exaggeration) of questions about Lavinia and Michael, but no one is able to answer them and I've ran out of resources.

Between 1865 and 1895, where was she? There are no census' or any other records for that matter documenting where she was. Because of this I can't get a sense of who she was and if she had any siblings.
Luckily, I did find 2 census' (1870 and 1880) for Michael Lesser. It lists his siblings and parents, so that was very helpful. After that though, no more records for him. So because of this I really can't get a sense of who he was.

After Dec. 6, 1900 what happened to the both of them? Did they get a divorce and remarry? Did they move on with their lives, stayed married and eventually had more children? Because there are no answers and records, I don't know if Henry had siblings, step-parents or anything else.

Now the bigger question here is, why. Why did Lavinia, all of a sudden, after 5 years (almost 6 years) just give him up for adoption? I got Henry's adoption papers from my cousin, Linda, last year and it says: Cause of Com. : Abandoned by father. This question will probably never get fully answered but I can draw some possibilities from reading the cause; 1) Michael threatened to leave Lavinia and Henry, so she gave him up, 2) If she was threatened thats because Michael didn't want to be a father, have any children or something else, 3) Lavinia probably couldn't take care of Henry by herself. These are all most likely true since the cause was Abandoned by father. I find that sad, that Michael, my own gg grandfather, would abandoned his own child (and after 5 years for that matter).

Anyway, the whereabouts of Lavinia and Michael after Dec. 6, 1900 and the years in between are driving me crazy or MAD. According to my grandmother, her father, Henry, never spoke about his life (and never wanted his picture taken). Also, there are no pictures of Lavinia and Michael. Maybe (and hopefully) this madness will go away one day. Until then the madness continues.

No comments:

Post a Comment