Monday, November 5, 2012

Motivation Monday - Re-searching Your Research

Last week I received a message from someone who had a question about a member of my husbands family.  His aunt Hazel was something of a mystery and seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth.  All I knew was that she had married Larry and had a daughter Sherry.  There was something that had been mentioned about her living in Florida and dying at a young age.  I had never really followed up on Hazel, Larry, and Sherry.  Last week's contact added to the mystery since it seems to reveal that Hazel was married in 1936 at the age of 16.  Her marriage license attests that she has her father's consent.  Interesting since her father was dead at the time!

All of this caused me to start looking at Hazel once again to see what else I could find out about her.  In the 1940 census, she is living with her mother and her martial status is listed as "Divorced".  At 20 in 1940.  I remember that my mother-in-law said that Hazel was learning to be a pilot during the 1940's so maybe there is a record of her receiving a private pilot license.

Find-a-Grave shows that Hazel E Drake b 1920 is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in De Soto County, Florida.  She died in 1955 which would certainly fit in with having died at a young age.  In the same cemetery there is buried a Lawrence W Drake b 1905 and died in 1977.  This would seem to support the reference to Florida that I had heard mentioned.  In family referenced it seemed that Larry either was a pilot or was a flying instructor during WWII.

Further research on Hazel indicates that Hazel Elizabeth Drake died Nov 1957 in De Soto County, FL.  Lawrence Wilson Drake died 3 June 1977 in Sarasota County, Florida.  This is according to the Florida Death Index 1877 - 1998.  Another mystery since her tombstone says she died in 1955 and the Florida Death Index says 1957.

The mysteries uncovered this past week are causing me to look again at what I have recorded for Hazel and Larry Drake and hopefully I will be able to flesh out their story more completely.  I have learned to look again at what I think I know.


  1. Hi Donna. It certainly is a mystery why the death dates differ. It could be as simple as the stone mason getting it wrong! I hope you find the reason. : )

  2. Interesting. A mystery begets a mystery. Any chance of getting her death certificate? Any information in the local newspapers? It will be interesting to see what you find out!

  3. What does the cemetery record say?

    1. Claudia and Heather I will post a follow-up when I get more information.

  4. A good tip! I've included your post on my favorites list for this week at:

    Thanks for posting!

  5. Just found your blog today. Interesting article. I am working on a future posting and in going over my old research, found that the answer had been in my research the whole time.

  6. Thanks Grant. I've missed the obvious before too!