On the back of this photo, it says:
“The old man is H. W. White, step-grandfather to the babies. These children is twins, 1 boy name Louis, 1 girl name Louise, the boy to the left and the girl to the right. They belong to Mr and Mrs Clarence Gilmer. They were 12 month old October the 11th 1944. The old man 81 years old February the 23rd 1945. This picture was made Sept. the 30th 1944.”
When I found this photograph here in Atlanta, I just knew this was going to be a simple search. Look at all the information there – several names and dates and relationships. This was going to be a walk in the park.
I’m still walking. It’s apparently a bigger park than I thought.
According to Ancestry.com, there was a family named White living in Piedmont, Alabama in 1930. The head of the family was H. W. White (bingo!), age 63, born and raised in Alabama. His wife, Alba, was 42. Joseph Savage (20), Myrtle Savage (15), and Clara Savage (13) lived with them, and they were listed as H.W.’s stepchildren. Fortunately, the 1940 census was released this year (yay!), and while I didn’t find all of the Savages and Whites, I did find a family listed as Addie Gilmer, a 42-year-old widow, her son, Clarence (Clarence Gilmer!), and his wife, Clara (age 23 from Piedmont, Alabama). Yep! I am well on my way !
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Gilmer? Check!
H. W. White? Check!
He’s the stepfather of Mrs. Gilmer? Check!
Find-A-Grave shows a listing for Hiram W. White (1864 – 1946) at the Highland Cemetery in Piedmont, Alabama. Next to him are Alba Lizzie White (1888-1978) and Myrtle Irene Savage (1914 – 1988). More confirmation – this is EASY !
Find-A-Grave also has a listing for Clarence Gilmer (June 7, 1920 – Sept. 20, 2010), who served in WWII and was buried in Piedmont, Alabama. Next to him lies Clara S. Gilmer (Nov. 17, 1916 – Fe. 28, 2007). Excellent! I’m batting .1000 !!
I even found an obituary for Clarence in the Anniston Star, which lists survivors including two sons, Marlin Gilmer and William L. Gilmer, two daughters, Martha L. Vanderford and Margaret Gilmer, and several children and great-grandchildren. This is a big family, and I am going to nail this down. So excited !
Remember the two babies? Louis and Louise ?? Not listed. Or are they? What about William L. Gilmer and Martha L. Vanderford ?? They would be the step-grandchildren of H. W., wouldn’t they ?
That’s where I am today – still searching, but I haven’t given up. There’s more information out there. For example, two of the three pastors who officiated at the funeral of Clarence Gilmer were the Rev. Marlin Gilmer and the Rev. Kenneth Vanderford. I assume these are either sons-in-law or grandsons – how beautiful!
I posted a message on the forums at Ancestry.com, but haven’t gotten a response yet. So I’m putting the photograph here, in hopes of reaching a child or grandchild who are internet-active. I’ll keep looking, if for no other reason than the possibility of hearing from “Louis” or “Louise” or one of their children.