Friday, March 14, 2014

Prisons Records For Research? It's Part Of The History

My sister Nancy informs me she found a record of our cousin Orlando Ray Spalding Sr as inmate in an Idaho Prison. He's the guy on the far left.

She posted this in Family Tree: Research by Nancy Cragun Day 1918 WWI Draft Registration, Boise, State of Iowa convict labor 1920 census, Iowa Men's State Reformatory Married aunt Viola 1924 His mother's maiden name, Letitia Violet Decatur Daughter's middle name, Leticia You know Aunt Viola worked in a restaurant/bar. In 1930 census he was a cook in a restaurant. Aunt Ruth and other stories, he was a shady character. although reformatory tells me "juvenile delinquent", Near as I can tell 1 1/2 yrs for rape. I spoke with Calvary Cemetery, it is him. Middle initial "O" and death date that matches Washington Death Index. For more info on him it's $5 to mortuary Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma.

From Ray on the left, going to the right is my Aunt Viola, my mother Bertha Cragun, my fathers mother Blanche  Bingham Grundy Cragun Smith (My Grandmother and yep she was married three times), Kent Smith (the only grandpa I knew) my Aunt Myrtle Norma Nelson, and my dads brother Glenn Cragun.

I use this to make a point: what the heck happened? I knew everyone of these people except Ray. His story, even my Aunt Viola's is gone. It hasn't even been three generations but the only thing we know is what my sister Nancy found. Why was he in jail? What influence did he have on my Aunt?

What was said at RootsTech is true. If a story isn't written it's lost in three generations.

Oh, and about prison records. At every stage of the prison process, records were created. They can be a great value to genealogists.

1 comment:

  1. I remember Dad talking about Ray Spalding. He said that he was sure that he killed a man that he held a grudge against one night, and dumped his body in the Tacoma tide flats. I think the bar that Aunt Viola worked at was also in that part of town.

    P.S. I don't use my Google email, but I did use Google to post here. So, if you want to email me use