My mother never knew her father. She was the product of a very "brief" relationship that took place when my 16 year old grandmother was visiting her grandparents in Evansville, Indiana from Washington state. I am assuming that she met my grandfather (a C&EI Railroad Employee) while she was taking the train to Indiana.
Here are the "Facts" that she had given us before she died:
This man's name was private (but I have first name, middle initial and surname), he was 21 years old (in 1948) and he worked for C&EI as a brakeman and/or Fireman (She has said both in different accounts). He worked at the Evansville roundhouse. She would visit him at work during the weeks/month that she was staying at her Grandparents.
She goes back to Washington and discovers she's pregnant. She writes a letter to the sheriff in Evansville (why, I have no idea) asking him to "pass it on" to the father to let him know shes expecting. She never gets a reply. She writes the sheriff again to tell the father that she had a girl. Again, no response.
That's all we have been told. My mother was born in November of 48, so that means that my grandmother was in Evansville during Feb-Mar of 48 where she met this guy. I have looked at Evansville city directories, C&EI Employee magazines from the early fifties, census records, contacted the C&EI Historical society, poured over the Browning Genealogy site - you name it and I am getting nowhere.
The ONLY person of the right name (According to C&EI Historical society) that worked for C&EI (As a brakeman interestingly enough) did live in Evansville - BUT he would have been 55+ years old - I mean that's quite the age difference from a 16 year old girl.
Why would she have lied about his age? Embarrassment I guess?
I have made contact with the grandchildren of this person and while they admit that the family was pretty messed up they are doubtful that this was the man who fathered my mother. The only other lead I got out of that is that this family were related to two other families in the area - one of whom shared the same forename as my grandfather who fit the age (would have been 21 in 1948) and was a "rounder" with the women as they called him. He also worked as a brakeman for C&EI in evansville - problem is, in the 1948 city directory his occupation is "driver" with no company listed, and doesnt show up at C&EI until 1951.
The main questions I have are:
- Could he have just completely lied about his name and gotten away with it? I'm assuming he would have had a name badge at work and coworkers calling him by his real name so that's doubtful. I have thought about the possibility that my grandmother was making a bunch of stuff up but really, and I mean this nicely, she just wasn't bright enough to be so elaborate and have such detail about the whole thing. So all I have for possibilities at this point are:
1) It WAS the 55 year old - but the age gap
2) It was the 21 year old (b 1927 d 2007) - but not sure he was even at C&EI in 48 and then there's the whole completely different name thing
3) It was some other person of the same name who fits her exact description and he died/disappeared/moved away shortly thereafter?
Oh and just for fun - My grandmother spelled the surname with an "E" at the end but the family I found don't. But I've gotten nowhere with that either.