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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #28

The actress who played "Auntie Em" in 1939's The Wizard of Oz was born aboard a ship.

What was the name of the ship, and who was the captain?

Judy

A toughie..
Clara B. Dickey [Blandick] was (apparently?) born June 1876 in China (1900 census). Her father Isaac B. Dickey was a ships master so I will guess (with no proof) that he was the captain of the ship, upon which Clara was born. I haven't yet found the name of the ship.
In 1880 the Dickey family was living in Mass. Clara B. is listed as age 3 born in China. In 1870 the family was living in Waldo Co ME. Isaac was listed as a Ships Master. I'll keep hunting for the name of the ship.

deb

I'll post this in case it helps someone else find the rest of the information. I seem to be at a dead end. All the sources say she was born Clara Dickey on a ship in Hong Kong. One source (listed below) says the ship was "commanded by her father". Now if I knew where to find listings of Captain's records, I'd be in good shape.

Pg 134 of "The Actor's Birthday Book" by Johnson Briscoe
Clara Blandick born June 4 ".....born on board an American ship, commanded by her father, at Hong Kong, China....."

Chris

You're both on the right track.

Here's another hint: the name of the ship has a family connection.

questors

Clara B Dickey married Harry S. Elliot in Manhattan in 1905. I know it has nothing to do with the question, but it goes to show I'm trying.

~Sharon

Janice

Possibly it was the Schooner Minetta, built 1867. Information from book: "Historical sketch of Stockton Springs," by Faustina Hichborn, Waterville Maine, 1908, with the shipowner attributed to Isaac Dickey, Clara's father.

Janice

Judy

I believe Clara's mother was Hattie Mudgett b. 1842. Hatties's father was Lewis Mudgett a Master Ship Builder (1860 census).
So far I've only found two ships captained by Isaac Dickey, the "Minnetta" and the "Willard Mudgett". I don't know if either of these was the ship on which Clara was born. Historic Sketches of Stockton Maine.

Chris

Janice, you're so close! In fact, you're on the right page!

Sharon, thanks for the marriage date. This must be the "Staunton Elliott" she is said to have married in 1911 and divorced a year later.

deb

The ship:
Bark Willard Mudgett
Builder: Willard Mudgett
Clara's mother's maiden name was Mudgett
Captain: Isaac Dickey 1874

The above from: Historical Sketch of Stockton Springs
by Faustina Hichborn, Herbert C Libby

Chris

H. Stanton Elliott, 32, b. N.Y., engaged in "Mining real estate," was living in Ely, Nevada, in 1910 without his wife.

Chris

It was indeed the Willard Mudgett, built by and named for a cousin of Clara's maternal grandfather, and captained by her father, Isaac B. Dickey.

You'll notice that Clara was a few years older than commonly thought.

So, we've found two errors in Clara's IMDb bio: her date of birth, and the date of her marriage. Time also to edit her Wikipedia page.

Fredrick Tucker

Does anyone have vital stats for Clara's parents or know their
place(s) of burial? Thanks.

Chris

Her father, Isaac B. Dickey, was the son of Daniel L. and Mary Dickey, born 10 June 1832 in Prospect, Maine. I wasn't able to find his date of death. He married 1 May 1862 in Stockton Springs, Maine, Harriet G. Mudgett, daughter of Lewis and Isabel (Stinson) Mudgett, born 14 Mar. 1842 in Stockton Springs, died 12 Oct. 1935 in San Mateo, Putnam Co., Florida. According to her death record, she was buried in Jacksonville, Florida.

Fredrick Tucker

Wow, thanks, Chris, for all of this info. Do you think perhaps that Isaac and Clara's middle initials stood for "Berry"?

Also, James Bush appears as the informant on Clara's death certificate. He was also an actor, and I researched him a bit for my biography of actress Verna Felton. Verna and James's mother were pals. James's father was Walter Dickey Bush. Just wondering if there is a family connection here. I'm going to chase it down.

Rob

Fredrick,

Her middle initial is Blanchard. She was born Clara Blanchard Dickey aboard the Willard Mudgett at port in China. Clara used the combination of Blanchard and Dickey to form Blandick for her stage name.

James Dickey

This is awesome. I got this random message on ancestry.com ...haven't used the site in a few years. One thing leads to another and I found this page.

I'm James Barrak Dickey, Isaac B was my great-great-great uncle. Not sure if his middle name was Berry (would make sense given his mother was Mary Berry Dickey). I've often wondered if it could have been Barrak. Only two instances of Barrak that I know of...my grandfather Barrak Cecil Dickey and me.

Kate DiLiberto

According to "Harvard College Class of 1900 second report," which was published in 1906, Clara and Harry Stanton Elliott WERE married in 1905. It mentions that Elliott was an actor.

Kate DiLiberto

I know that Clara is interred along with her sister, Marcia D. Young. I wonder if that means that they were close.

Kate DiLiberto

Clara and Marcia's other sister, Mercine Elizabeth Dickey Flynn, is also interred in the same cemetery (although, I don't think she is in the same area that they are.)

Kate DiLiberto

There were also two brothers : Parker and Edward. Hattie was living with Parker in Florida at the time of her death.

Kate DiLiberto

According to Clara's 1918 passport application (which I found on ancestry.com), her father, Captain Isaac Berry Dickey died at sea in 1885.

Her mother's full name was Harriett Grant Mudgett.

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