Telling my family's stories
This week I returned to an old gap in the censuses – after Andrew Jackson Ritenour’s divorce from Minnie Mae (Oberheim) Ritenour in the early 1920s, I had been unable to find him on the 1930 census. I was pretty sure he had to be there, since records both before and after 1930 indicate that he was a pretty stable fixture there. And yes, this time I found him, indexed under “John K. Ritneour.” “John” is one of the names he commonly went by — to the point where it seemed to be commonly believed that John was his given name and “Jack” his nickname — and “K.” appears to have been a misreading of A plus a stray line. “Ritneour” I won’t even common on – it’s really not too bad of a spelling, although it looks like it was earlier indexed as “Ritneom” which may have led to my troubles. 🙂
It does appear to be “our” Andrew Jackson – the age matches within the five year window that we always need to give AJ, and both his parents are listed as being in Pennsylvania (again, not “correct” but one of the common states listed for multiple members of that Ritenour family in that generation). Perhaps most importantly, it lists John K. Ritneour’s occupation as “fisherman”, which was in fact his long time means of employment in Savanna.
Along with John, however, are two other people. One is Ila Ritenour, listed as wife of head, aged 55, married, age of first marriage 20. Both she and her parents are listed as being born in Illinois. The other is Floyd Ritenour, listed as a son, aged 19 and single, again listed as being born in Illinois along with both of his parents. He’s working for a construction company.
My first guess is that Floyd is Ila’s son from a previous marriage, since she can’t have been (legally, anyway) married to John since she was 20, since John was himself married to Minnie Mae less than ten years previously. I’ve often seen stepchildren listed with the same surname as their stepfather, regardless of whether that surname is legally theirs or not.
Of course, I wouldn’t completely rule out Floyd being AJ’s child. . .
Right now I’m looking for where Ila and Floyd come from, and where they went. In 1940, John is listed as a widower. Now Minnie Mae died in 1933, so that may have referred to her, despite the divorce. That’s what I’d always figured. But it may have referred to Ila instead, or in addition. Regardless, I haven’t found any trace of her, or of Floyd after 1930. And though both should show up somewhere in 1920, I haven’t found them there either. If anyone knows their story, I’d love to hear it!
Also, one of Jack’s grand-daughters mentioned that he had a long-time girlfriend. Is this Ila, or was the girlfriend yet another woman.