One of the lessons that I’m learning in my family research is that you never really know everything there is to know about an ancestor – and you cannot make assumptions! And just when you think you know it all – a new record collection pops up on line to shed new light on the life of someone that you’re researching.
And so it was recently with my husband’s great aunt, Sallye Emeline Curbow. Sallye is the daughter of Charles Franklin Curbow and Ida Bell Howard. She was born in Denton County, Texas in September of 1913. Once her parents divorced, she can be found with her father Charles working at the Texas State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Tom Green County, Texas. I was unable to locate a Sallye Curbow in the 1940 census – but suspected that she would be near her father Charles – who was still in Sanatorium during that time period. Going through the census for Tom Green County, line-by-line, I did find a Salle E. Ivie employed at Sanatorium. She is 26 born 1914 in Texas; she is married to John H. Ivie; living in Dorm 2 of State Tuberculosis Sanatorium. I had long suspected this was Sallye Emeline Curbow; however, I had no proof of it.
Enter the new collection on ancestry.com: U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 which provides information filed with the Social Security Administration through the application process and sometimes provides valuable details for researchers. In Sallye’s application, I hit the jackpot because when she applied for a Social Security card in August of 1943 – she did so as Sallye Emilline Ivie. Bingo! By June of 1953 her name had been changed to Sallye Emilline Lawson.
Once the marriage to John Henry Ivie had been established, I began scouring the newly updated Texas, County Marriages Records database on FamilySearch.org and lo and behold, I found not one marriage record – but two marriages for Sallye Curbow prior to her marriage to Frank Floyd Lawson (the only known husband to date).
- Sallye Curbow was 17 years old when she married 23 year old Sam Barton Collier on 11 Sept 1930 in Tom Green County, Texas. Since she was a minor, her father C. F. Curbow gave permission for the marriage to take place. This couple did divorce – and Sam B. Collier married his second wife, Mary Velma Lewis, on 2 Sept 1936 in Tom Green County, Texas – so the divorce took place prior to that date – and probably in Tom Green County, Texas. Mr. Collier was also present at Sanatorium and working as a painter during the 1930 census period, and this is presumably where he met Sallye. Mr. Collier was born to William Christopher Collier (1859-1932) and Virginia Lee (b. 1871) on 16 Jul 1907. He died 23 Aug 1968 in Dallas County, Texas. Sallye and Sam had no children.
- Sallye Curbow was about 26 years old when she married 18 year old John Henry Ivie on 18 Jan 1940 in Tom Green County, Texas. Likewise, this couple also divorced. When Sallye applied for a Social Security card in Aug of 1943, she did so as Sallye Emeline Ivie. John Henry Ivie marries his second wife, Dortha B. White on 2 Apr 1945 – so the divorce would have taken place prior to this date – probably in Tom Green County, Texas. Mr. Ivie was also present at Sanatorium during the 1940 census period, working as a waiter, and again, this is presumably where he met Sallye. Mr. Ivie was born to Knox Bell Ivie (1894-1978) and Mary Cammie Conner (b. 1897) on 14 Oct 1919 in Angelina County, Texas. He died 18 March 1985 in Tom Green County, Texas. Sallye and John had no children.
- Sometime prior to June of 1953, Sallye married her third (and final) husband, Frank Floyd Lawson. The date of marriage is only an ESTIMATE – based on Sallye’s U.S. Social Security application where in Jun of 1953 her name is listed as Sallye Emilline Lawson. When Mary Curbow interviewed Bob and Evelyn Horton Stone (close friends of Sallye’s) some years ago, they stated that Sallye and Frank married right after World War II. On Frank Lawson’s U.S. Army enlistment papers – dated 6 Mar 1942 – he lists himself as “married,” this however, could be referring to his first wife, Josephine. The location of the marriage is not known – no record has been located. If the marriage took place in Tom Green County, Texas then it is not appearing in the database with the other two marriages. The more likely scenario is that they met and married in Pecos, Reeves County, Texas – where Sallye is living at the time of her father’s death in August of 1955. Mr. Lawson is the only husband that is not located in Sanatorium, Texas – which also leads me to believe she did not meet him there. Mr. Lawson was born to Frank Isaac Lawson (1888-1973) and Annie Josephine Drake (1895-1982) on 24 Mar 1915 in Bell County, Texas. He died 22 Nov 1980 in Temple, Bell County, Texas. Sallye and Frank had no children.
Kudos to ancestry.com and familysearch.org for all the work they do for the genealogy community!