22 August 2019

Missing Ancestor Report - UPDATE

Female ancestors are hard enough to trace when you only have their married name and their maiden name is unknown.  Typically in those cases you look to obituaries, death certificates, marriage licenses, and census records (hopefully their is an in-law living in the home).  But, my situation is different.  I’d call it unique, but I’m sure, while I feel alone in this, there are many that have also come across a situation or two like mine.


My Great Grandparents Walter Cleveland LINDSEY and Marguerite Ethel LEARN divorced in April 1919.  They had four children: Mary, age 11; Walter, age 10; William (Bill), age 9 and Maretta, age 6.  Theirs was not an easy “Mayberry” childhood.  They lived in rural central Pennsylvania and their economic status was very lean.  While I only once met my Great Grandmother, Marguerite, before her death, I grew up hearing my Grandfather’s stories of his tough childhood.  The two older children – Mary and Walter were, as my Grandfather described it, “farmed out” to neighboring farms to live, work and earn their keep – room and board.  And, the two youngest – Bill and Maretta – were relinquished to the care of the Children’s Home of York and York County.1    The children were never re-united with their parents.  Mary and Walter continued working the farms earning their room and board until adulthood.  Bill lived in the Children’s Home until the age of 18 and Maretta was adopted by Milton Henry and Katherine Elizabeth Bailey of Shrewsbury, York, Pennsylvania, sometime shortly after she was placed in the care of the children’s home.

In 2013 I '”reported” the disappearance of my Grand Aunt, Mary LINDSEY, and posted this Missing Ancestor Report. Recently some new, albeit scant tantalizing clues have come in, so I’m filing posting this update.

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My unique challenge in 2013 was, and now, is:

  • Where did Mary go?
  • Did Mary marry?
  • Was Mary married more than once?
  • Did Mary have children?

These challenges make the “traditional” search for female ancestors, well, challenging, and it’s why, back in 2013, I embarked on a different and somewhat unique approach and filed posted a Missing Ancestor Report asking the genealogy community for help in finding Mary.
In the past month, as I mentioned, new tantalizing clues were discovered . . .

  • Maretta’s Grandson, Michael, an Ancestry subscriber uploaded a photo of Mary dated [. . .mber] 18, 1926

Written on the back of this photo appears the following information:  Mary’s name. Once as Mary LINDSEY, age 18.  Once as Miss Mary LINDSEY, Machincsburg (sic), PA.  And, written next is what I believe the mailing address [201 6th] . . . "[Miff . . .].  “I was born July 10, 1913” is also written on the back.

The writing appears to have been written by three different hands.  Having nothing more to go on, at this point, other than these scant clues written on the back of this photo and my own knowledge and research of the LINDSEY family, I believe the following.

__ Mary sent the photo of herself and the return address, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is hers

__That Mary was sending her photo to someone by the name of “Maryf. . .” who resides in “[Miff. . .],” Pennsylvania.

Based on my research, I know that the LINDSEY family predominately lived in York and Cumberland counties throughout their lives.  During the specific time period of interest, for this research, Mary and her brother Walter were in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; working and living on separate farms.  The family, the Crones, that Mary lived with during the 1920’s continued to live in Cumberland County until their deaths in 1957 and 1965.

The mailing address, "[Miff . . .]” could be Upper Mifflin, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Or, it could be Mifflinville, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.  The corner of the photo is torn, as you’ll see, so I have nothing more to go on right now other than my “geni senses” and my knowledge of the family.  My “geni senses” have me leaning fairly strongly in the direction of Upper Mifflin.  Why?  Mary grew up and lived, since the age of 12, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, strongly “suggesting” that whoever she was sending her photograph to was residing in nearby Upper Mifflin.  While Mary had maternal family living in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, I think it unlikely that she was sending any of them her photograph.  Mary and her siblings are not known to have ever connected with their mother’s family.  However, because she did have family in Columbia County, Mifflinville, cannot be ruled out.

The birthdate mentioned, July 10, 1913, is Mary’s sister, Maretta LINDSEY’s birthdate.  It is unknown by her Grandson, Michael, how Maretta came to have this photo in her possession.

FAN Research

One of my favorite research strategies is Family/Friends, Associates, and Neighbors (FAN) research.  Often when an ancestor is elusive or goes missing, it is helpful to research all known family, friends, associates and neighbors, as often,your missing person didn’t go far afield from them.  Keeping that in mind and now using these recent clues, I set out to see what I could learn about the Crone family that Mary lived with in 1920.

US Federal Census Records

__ In the 1920 Census2,Emanuel Crone and his family are living in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Emanuel is aged 42; Minnie, his wife, aged 43; Laura, their daughter, aged 21 and Chester Lancaster, their Grandson, aged 8.  Emanuel is a manager of a local fruit farm.

__ In the 1930 Census3, Emanuel Crone and his family are living in Upper Allen, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Emanuel is aged 52; Maria, his wife, aged 53; and Chester Lancaster, their Grandson, aged 19; Rhoda E Smith, aged 13, is listed as a servant and Chester M Weaver, aged 24, is listed as a sibling to the Head-of-Household. Laura Crone and Mary LINDSEY aren’t listed.  Emanuel is a local fruit farmer.

__ In the 1940 Census4, Emanuel Crone and his family are still living in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Emanuel, aged 62; Maria, aged 63; and Rhoda E Smith, aged 23 and now recorded as the Crone’s foster child.  Their Grandson, Chester Lancaster and Chester M Weaver aren’t listed.  Emanuel is a local farmer.

Note: Curious about the name “Minnie” recorded in the 1920 census and the name “Maria” recorded in the 1930 and 1940 census, I GOOGLED and learned that “Minnie” is traditionally a nickname for Mary.  And, “Maria” is the Latinised form of the name “Mary.”

Death Certificates

__ I next learned that Emanuel and Maria’s daughter Laura Crone married Paul Moyer Sipe and that Laura died young, aged 28.  Paul, Laura’s husband, was the informant for her death certificate5 and he indicated that he lived at RD #3, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  The Death certificate provides the place of death as Cumberland County, Upper Allen Township.

__ Emanuel Crone died in October 1957.6  Maria was the informant and she provides her current address as RD #3, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  The death certificate provides the deceased’s usual residence as Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, Upper Allen Township, Mechanicsburg, RD #3

__ Maria Crone died December 1965.  Lulu May Klinedinst was the informant and provides her current address as RD #3 Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  The death certificate provides the deceased’s mailing address as RD #3, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Note:  Emanuel and Maria’s Grandson, Chester Lancaster, married into the Klinedinst family.

Knowing that my Grandfather – having formed a bond -  kept in touch with the farming family he lived with, worked for and alongside, well after he came of age, married and started a family of his own, I suspect; I’m hoping, that Mary too formed a bond with the Crones.  Working with that as my hypothesis, I strongly believe a case can be made that Mary continued to live with, or near, the Crones at least until 1926.  The recent photo uploaded to Ancestry was dated “. . .mber” 18, 1926 with “Mechanicsburg” written on the reverse. I strongly believe that Mechanicsburg is Mary’s return address.  My research, as presented above, shows that Emanuel and Maria Crone, their daughter Laura Crone and her husband, and their Grandson, Chester Lancaster, all reside in Mechanicsburg and still continued to do so long after Mary turned 18 in 1926.

Circumstantial?  Yes.  But, right now, it is what I have to work with.

The search continues . . .

City Directories

Unfortunately, US City Directories for Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County; Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County; and Upper Mifflin, Cumberland County are not online at Ancestry, Find My Past, or FamilySearch for the 1900’s.

I took a look at the FamilySearch.org’s online catalog and found the following reference:

  • Hauck’s Centennial Directory of the Borough of Mechanicsburg (Cumberland County, PA); Film #6045222
This collection is on microfilm and only available to view at a local Family History Center.  However, due to the FamilySearch digitization project, I believe that I will now have to wait until that project is complete and the directory is made available online.  So, no help there.  I did search both the Internet Archive and GOOGLE Books websites for the centennial directory with no luck.

I’ve taken a look at the Cumberland County Historical Society Website to see if they had city directories in their collection.  I did not see them listed, I do however still want to call their research department to be sure that I didn’t miss something.  The Cumberland County Public Library has in their catalog the “Guide to 1930 Pennsylvania City and County Directories.”  I need to contact the Librarian to learn more.  I am hoping to find City Directories for 1925 – 1927 for Cumberland County  in the hopes of perhaps finding Mary.

The problem is, I don’t know if Mary married.  In 1926 she was 18 and it would not be uncommon for her to have married and started a family.  But, I just don’t know.  IF she married, I have no chance of finding her in the city directories, as I don’t know what her married name would be.

Mary could have, at the age of 18, continued to live with the Crone family. IF so, I’m guessing it isn’t likely they she will be listed in the city directory under her full name Mary LINDSEY.  So again, the likelihood of my finding Mary is, well, unlikely.

However, Mary could have set out on her own and still be living in Mechanicsburg near the family she grew up with.  And, perhaps, thought of Emanuel and Minnie as parental figures and their daughter, Laura, and Grandson, Chester, as siblings.  If this is the case, it might be possible that she is listed in the city directories under her name . . . Mary LINDSEY

Lastly, I posted a query to the Cumberland County PA Genealogy Facebook Group, 10 August 2019, inquiring if any were aware of where else I might look for the Hauck’s Centennial Directory?  Or, for Cumberland County city directories for the 1925 – 1927 timeframe?  As of this date, I have not received any reply or suggestions.  Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that this group is very active, the most recent post before mine is dated 22 May 2019.

Year Books

The recently discovered photograph of Mary at age 18, looks like it could be a school photo – senior photo . . . maybe?  I GOOGLED Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania High Schools and learned that there are two.  Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School, also referred to as Mechanicsburg Hight School, and Cumberland Valley High School.  WiKipedia tells me that the Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School serves several communities, including the boroughs of Mechanicsburg and Shiremanstown, Upper Allen Township and the villages of Grantham and Bowmansdale.  The School was founded and held its first commencement in 1875.7

I looked at E-Yearbook.com, a subscription site, to see what they might have for the Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School.  While they do have yearbooks online for the school, sadly they do not have one for the mid-1920’s.  In fact, the only yearbook they have online for the 1920’s is, the 1920 yearbook

I also looked at Classmates.com.  While they have a handful of Mechanicsburg High School yearbooks online, they, like E-Yearbook.com only have the 1920 yearbook available to view.

My next steps are to contact the Mechanicsburg High School; the Mechanicsburg, public library and/or the genealogical or historical societies to see if they may have yearbooks for the 1924 – 1926 timeframe.  I don’t want to restrict myself to 1926; I don’t want to miss “snaring” Mary in my “geni net.”


Next up?  I’ve looked at the following newspaper websites Newspapers.com; genealogybank.com and Chronicling America.  I did not find an obituary for Laura Crone Sipe.  But, did locate a very brief death notice.  Unfortunately it did not mention surviving family members nor any persons who may have been in attendance at her funeral.  No mention of Mary.

I was unsuccessful in finding an obituary, death notice or funeral announcement for Emanuel Crone who died in 1957.

I did find the following mention of Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Crone in the Harrisburg Evening News:
  • 17 October 1941 – Barbara Kay Lancaster, daughter of Chester Lancaster celebrates her first birthday
The birthday announcement notes that Barbara is the great-granddaughter of Emanuel Crone of Mechanicsburg, RD #3.

Note: this is the same address listed for both Laura Crone Sipe and Emanuel Crone on their  1926 and 1957 death certificates.


As I noted in the 2013 Missing Ancestor Report my Grandfather had three photographs of Mary.
  1. Photo with the 35 Andrew Street, South Beach, Staten Island, New York (undated)
  2. Photo dated 21 April 1946 and simply labeled “Mary”
  3. Photo labeled “Mary” (undated)
With these photos and the new photo that Michael, the Grandson of Mary’s sister, Maretta, uploaded to Ancestry, I’ve created a “photo line-up,” if you will.  While asking if these could be all of the same person is subjective, I’m wondering about your thoughts.

Note: photo #4 used with Michael's permission

Here is the line up; I’ve included the reverse side of each photo and the shared thoughts of a geni friend.

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Such tantalizing clues. 
  1. The likelihood that Mary LINDSEY was living in Mechanicsburg with or near the Crone family she grew up with 
  2. Photo of Mary at 18 (1926) sent from Mechanicsburg to “Maryf . . .” in “Miff. . .” – Mifflin, most likely.  Perhaps a school – graduation – photo?
  3. Photograph of Mary a few years later with her address, 35 Andrew Street, South beach, Staten Island, New York, written in my Grandmother’s hand on the back.  My Grandmother simply labeled the photo “Mary LINDSEY”

But, Mary is still missing.  While I follow up on these tantalizing leads, hoping to locate city directories and high school yearbooks for the 1924 – 1926 timeframe, I file post this Missing Ancestor Report (UPDATE), in the hopes that someone with information on the “whereabouts” of Mary LINDSEY will see it.  

IF YOU KNOW “where” Mary is or have any information that can help the investigation research, please contact me immediately.

If you are a Crone descendant and have information about about Mary; if you went to school with Mary and have any information that may lead to the discovery of what became of her; or, if you are a descendant of Mary LINDSEY, I’d LOVE to hear from you!!!!!

I also welcome comments, thoughts, suggestions, or information from anyone in the genealogy community – anything that may ultimately help re-unite Mary Telthia LINDSEY’s leaf with her family tree.


Copyright © 2019 Family Preserves; Tracy L Meyers



1 1920 US Census, York County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, York & York County, enumeration district (ED) 120, sheet 17, house 300, William G Lindsey; NARA microfilm publication T625

2 1920 US Census, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Upper Allen Township, enumeration district (ED) 43, sheet 42B, dwelling 42, family 42, Mary Lindsey; NARA microfilm publication T625

3 1930 US Census, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Upper Allen Township, enumeration district (ED) 21-49, sheet 10A, dwelling 224, family 236, Emanuel Crone; NARA microfilm publication T626

4 1940 US Census, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Upper Allen Township, enumeration district (ED) 21-58, sheet 9B, house 174, Emanuel Crone; NARA microfilm publication T627

5 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate no. 68615 (1926), Laura Catherine Crone Sipe; Bureau of Vital Statistics

6 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate no. 117814 (1965), Maria T Crone; Vital Statistics

7Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate no. 89504 (1957), Emanuel Crone; Division of Vital Statistics

8 Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanicsbug_Area_Senior_High_School)

Mary Lindsey Photograph, . . .mber 18, 1926, unidentified photographer; privately held by Michael, 2019, personal collection

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