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Old 10-24-2009, 01:03 PM
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 8,081,622 times
Reputation: 1967


My maternal grandmother abandoned her husband and 3 young children and ran off with the man who boarded with them in the 1920's. At least, this is the story that I was told. Her name was Margaret Staples, and the boarder's last name was Smith (not very helpful). My Mom (who is now deceased) was only about 4 years old when this happened, so it would have been around 1923 or so. At that time they lived in the Patterson Park area of Baltimore (as far as I can tell). My grandmother was born around 1895 in or around Craigsville, VA, which is near Staunton.

The only information I have is that it is believed that she went to Philadelphia at some point, and that she very likely had another child - a girl - after she ran off. My grandfather never divorced her, so I assume that her last name legally continued to be Staples.

When my mother was a teenager or a young woman, she told me she (and her 2 brothers) were summoned by her mother who at that time was dying - either of cancer or of consumption (tuberculosis). My mom said there was a young child at the house who looked very much like my mother looked at that age, and she assumed it was her mother's daughter.

I know this is a long shot, but I have had no luck at all in tracking down any information about my grandmother. Anyone that she may have stayed in touch with is long gone. I thought I'd give this forum a try to see if maybe the story sounded familiar. If Margaret did have more children, maybe they'd like to connect with other family members.

Last edited by janetvj; 10-24-2009 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:02 PM
1,830 posts, read 5,283,173 times
Reputation: 1991
What was your grandfather's and your mother's name/birthdate, and where did they live in 1920? If I can find the family in the 1920 census there might be clues to find Margaret, and maybe even Smith's name and age will be listed. (It would have been very easy back in the 20s for your grandmother to just start using the Smith name and represent herself as his wife)
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:56 PM
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 8,081,622 times
Reputation: 1967
Thank you so much for trying!

My grandfather's name was Alonza Meredith Staples (he went by the name "Jack") born in 1895. He married Margaret Bailey in 1915 in Craigsville, Virginia. They moved to Baltimore in the early 1920's so before then would have lived in Craigsville. They lived in various houses in east Baltimore but I don't have any exact addresses. Also, in rechecking my notes it may have been as late as 1925 that Margaret left, and she may have stayed in the Baltimore area for a while before moving to Philadelphia.

They had 3 children - Harman Meredith (who was always called "Pete"), born 3/29/1917
Crystal Juanita, born 9/5/1919
Garland Billie, born in 1921 - not sure of the exact date.
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