Sunday, September 16, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #33

Here's another opportunity to prove you're smarter than I am.

Lucille La Verne's voice has been making children tremble since the 1937 release of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She allegedly was widowed three times.

Can you find the names of any or all of her husbands?


Married J F Brice in April of 1900.

WaPo preview says: "Cambridge, Mass., May 7. -- Harvard men have received cards announcing the wedding of J.F. Brice, a Harvard Law School student, son of the late Senator Calvin S. Brice, to Miss Hannah Ricketts, otherwise known as Miss Lucille Laverne, a chorus girl, who appeared here in a company playing "The Rounders" last winter."

The notice went on to say they married in NYC in April.

Atlanta Constitution article in 1914 indicates her husband's first name is Scott and that he was press agent for the Lucille Laverne Stock Company. I believe he was also an actor but the only Scott I've found in the company was Scott Cyril. The article said they each use their maiden (sic) names.

By 1920 census in Manhattan Lucille is listed as a widow, as she was on one of the 1920s ship records.

California death certificate for Lucille says her father's last name was Mitchum and mother's was MacDowell. One ship record says she was born in Carroll County, TN -- in 1870 there is a 'Laverne' Mitchum (or Mitchen) born ca 1868 and sister Lean(?) born ca 1869 living there.

[Keep looking.]


A little bit more on Brice: He is a border in Cambridge, MA in June 1900 and is listed as married. In the 1910 census, he is listed as a guest in a Manhattan home. The census shows him on his second marriage and he is with a new wife and baby. Not sure if he was Lucille's number one or two but it looks like it was over by 1910.


Couple more tidbits/clues before I have to go:

WaPo article the day after the one above says:

"Miss Florence Lucille Ricketts, the chorus girl whose marriage to Mr. John F. Brice, youngest son of the late Senator Calvin S. Brice, was announced in yesterday's Post, is a Washington girl, who has been on the stage for three seasons. Her stage name was Florence La Verne, but later she changed it to Lucille La Verne."

The article goes on to say she is the daughter of William Ricketts, who also works in the theater company and who is a nephew to the late Gen James Ricketts. It also says well known attorney Campbell Carrington is her uncle.

A 1908 NYT article says John F Brice was arrested for being drunk and disorderly outside a NY church. He was harrassing the attendees that evening. It says shortly after college he had secretly married Miss Florence Lavergne (sic) Ricketts, an actress.


huh? Now I'm totally stupefied.

Sep 1901 Boston Globe says:

Mrs John F. Brice Passed Away Unexpectedly. She Was Lucille Vergne Before Her Marriage to Late Ex-Senator's Son. Played With the Rounders Company and Was Wedded in April, 1900."

So it looks like the Tennessee Lucille Laverne assumed another actress's stage name.


Drew Smith

The California Death Index indicates that Lucille Laverne (or Lucille T. Scott) was born 7 November 1869 to a father surnamed Mitchum. Her mother's maiden name was MacDowell. Her death date was 4 March 1945 (in Los Angeles County).

This suggests that one of her husbands was surnamed "Scott".


Doogles, I'm thinking that Hannah Ricketts was the one who ripped off Lucille's stage name. Our Lucille found success as an actress at an early age, and I have found reference to her under the name "Lucille La Verne" as early as 1896.

Here are a couple more clues:

1. Lucille appears to have had a daughter named Grace who appeared on stage with her in 1929 under the name "Grace La Verne."

2. She had a granddaughter named Grace Lucille born in 1933.

3. This WorldConnect page says that she married "Waide Scott."


I think you're right about that, Chris. The 'northern' Lucille was about ten years younger than the southern one, and close the same age as Brice.

This site also suggests Lucille was married to a Scott.


This following helps tie down that Waide Scott was her husband. The Lucille Laverne Stock Company was performing in Atlanta in April and May of 1914. There are several Atlanta Constitution articles about them during that period.

On April 27, 1914, there's a tongue in cheek article about Lucille looking like the devil. So her husband in sponsoring a contest to see who can show that she does. In describing him, it says:

"Her husband goes by the name of Scott. Lyric patrons know but little of him, because he keeps in the shadows of the limelight, which pretty generally usurped by his charming wife. " The article later says, "they use their maiden names on the stage".

Then on May 4, 1914, the paper announces the opening that evening of "Heir To The Hoorah" The article mentions both Lucille Laverne and Waide Scott as appearing in the play.

Waide Scott appears in at least one other Constitution article in that period.


Here's maybe a clue for one of the other husbands. The LAT article about Lucille's granddaughter gives her daughter's name as Frederica Miralles, and the granddaughter's name as Grace Miralles. The article was published in mid-July of 1933 and says the baby is one month old. The Ancestry archives show a California birth on June 15 1933 for Grace Miralles; mother's maiden name is Taylor, which we could presume to be the surname of one of Lucille's other husbands. Grace L Miralles is in the marriage index a couple of times years later, suggesting they continued to live in CA.


There was an article in The Chronicle Telegram of Elyria, Ohio, on 23 Mar. 1936 that might provide the answers we need. From the Google News snippet I've gleaned that she married in 1900 E. M. Webster, who died. She married second, in 1912, [Waide?] Scott, from whom she was divorced, and with whom she had a daughter, Dora.


One correction: a notice of her death says that she was predeceased by her three husbands, but not that they died while married to her.


I checked the article and it does say the second marriage was to William W. Scott but was later dissolved. I wonder if Dora is Frederica, or if Lucille married someone named Taylor soon after the Waide marriage ended. Lucille is listed in the 1920 as a widow, and likewise a 1927 ship record says she is widowed. This suggests a third marriage, but it would have had to be real quick if it was the marriage that produced Frederica, who herself had Grace in 1933.


Could Waide Scott have died in 1963? His World War II Draft Registration Card shows that this man's full name was Waide William Scott, and that he was born in Virginia.


I'll bet that's him, even though it's twenty-some years Lucille's junior. Based on what we've learned today, she seems like the type that could pull that off!

The Waide Scott in 1920 and 1930 lists an occupation of commercial (teamster?) of an art film co (1920) and as advertising in the motion picture industry in 1930. That 1914 article in the Atlanta Constitution said he was the press agent for the Lucille Lavernse Stock Company. So, surely this is the guy. Only odd thing is the census has him born in 1893 and 1892 respectively and in Ohio, not Virginia. The later birth might explain why he wasn't in the WWI registration though.


Should have mentioned, the 1920 census lists Waide as divorced. He's living in Cleveland with his parents, and no children (Dora) with him.


1900 census shows William W Scott, age 8, in Cleveland, with the exact right parents to be our Waide. It shows dob of Jan 1892. Plugging that dob into SSDI and you get a William Scott who died in PA in 1973. So the VA Waide William Scott might be an imposter. With his occupation in the industry, this Ohio guy sets up nicely to be the ex-Mr. Lucille Laverne.


Yep, that must be the guy. He was an actor in 1910, living with his parents in Cleveland.


So, somewhere in the 1920 census should be a kid or two (Dora and/or Frederica) with a father born Ohio and a Mother born Tennessee. I've tried looking but came up with nothing.

On a more positive note, Lucille bragged in the 1936 article you turned up:

"Lucille's main interests are two-fold: her work and two chubby grandchildren. Says Lucille, "You should just see them. The two year old boy has a shock of platinum blond curls, and beautiful, big, blue eyes."

So, by that, if this little guy is Grace Lucille Miralles' brother, the CA birth index should show a male Miralles born ca 1934 with a mother whose maiden name is Taylor. Lo and behold:

Frederick Henry Miralles, born in Los Angeles on August 28, 1934; mother's maiden name Taylor.

Seems like we have the three husbands' surnames: Webster, Taylor, and Scott ... I'm now thinking Taylor was in the middle.

Fun drill today!


Not an answer to the question, but found this filmography with a picture. Looks like she was a natural for the Wicked Queen!


Thanks for the picture, Terri!

Doogles, you've done some great work today. At least one of Lucille's grandchildren (Frederick) is still living, so maybe we should give him a call and find out his maternal grandfather's name.


For those keeping score at home, I believe Lucille Laverne's daughter married Frederick Rahn Miralles, born 14 Oct 1909 in TX. (see CA death records.) He was the son of Dr. Enrique Miralles, of Spain, Mexico, and the US, and Maria Rahn, born in Germany. Grace Lucille MIralles, Laverne's grandaughter featured in the LATimes article referenced above, married a man named Sullivan in 1950 and had a son they named William Rahn Sullivan (see CA births.)


One more follow-up: I don't think Frederica is a Frederica at all. In looking at the LATimes birth notices, the parents of Grace and Frederick are listed as Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Miralles.

The LATimes article with Lucille Laverne's daughter says she is "Mrs. Frederica Miralles." I believe that is a misprint and that it really should say Mrs. Frederick Miralles.


Going back to the theory that Lucille had a daughter named Grace (who appeared on stage with her in 1928-29), I see that there is one woman of that name in the California Death Index whose mother's maiden name was Laverne. Grace Blanco was born in Georgia in 1915, which is about the same time Lucille was working there.

I just now noticed that there was a Grace Taylor La Verne who arrived in New York in 1926. Could this be the long-lost daughter?


Ship - Winnekahda
Date Dec 28 1925 leaving London arriving NYC Jan 8 1925 (sic)
Grace Taylor La Verne, age 11, born in Clarksville, GA, Feb 23 1914
Address in US: 421 Waverly Road, Glenside Penn.

Here's another entry for Grace La Verne (No Taylor)

Ship name - Leviathan
Date Oct 4 1929 leaving Southampton arriving NYC Oct 10 1929
Grace La Verne, Age 17, born in Clarkesville, GA, Sept. 23rd 1912
Address in US: Players Club Grammercy PK NYC

Maybe she needed to stretch her age in the second one to be over sixteen. The 1912 dob must be false because it puts her in the Waide Scott time period. Plus the 1914 more agrees with the Grace Blanco death entry.

More notes on the Miralles' and Rahns:
-there are several border crossings for them; it looks like they traveled frequently (especially Dr. Enrique Miralles) between San Francisco and Mexico City
-The records confirm that Maria Rahn was born in SF and he in Valencia, Spain
-Maria's mother was born in Panama and that is how her census in 1900 and 1920 are in agreement; in the 1900 she is with father Frederick and mother, and in 1920 she is with husband Enrique and son Frederick (the one who will marry Grace, no doubt)
-her father was born in Germany

I think we aced this most excellent challenge.


hello every one i see no one has posted since 2007 but i figured i would give it a try...... my name is ashley nicole roberts (davenport) daughter of fredrick leon davenport son of Grace L trying to trace back my family line and running into some walls. if anyone may have a little insight feel free to contact me @


Hi I am one son of Grace L Miralles. Most of the postings look to be about right the only problem is when you get to Grace Treon Taylor. Very hard to trace back. If it helps you at all there is a article that states that Lucille Lavern Mitchum that is Lucille Lavern Grandmother of Grace L Miralles and it states that Lavern played in a play called ( Sun up ) and to prepare for the roll she went to north carolina to study the mountain people because that is what the play was about. There she adopted a little girl age 11 she was one of 12 children the girls name was ( Grace ) so if you put this together no record of a marriage to someone with the last name Taylor. Then it may be that Grace Treon Taylor May have been adopted by Lucile Lavern Mitchum. And yes I am your dads half Brother.
Good luck this is very hard to trace back


I wanted to shed a little light on the last post that I submitted. My name is John Sullivan I am one son of Grace L Merallis. She is the daughter of Grace Treon Taylor. After talking to my mom, and going over things, she remembers going through her mothers private things and reading a letter that her mother had kept. It was addressed to her grandmother Lucille La Vern Mitchum. In the letter it was asking how the adoption was progressing, and when she thought it would be final. She did remember asking her mother about an adoption, and was told that it was nothing that concerned her. So I hope this helps everyone that is looking. I am not sure where the name Treon Taylor came from. One, or both, may be her birth name that she kept.


Hi there - getting back on this thread to see if the previous poster, John Sullivan, would be willing to reach out with information about Grace Treon Taylor. Please respond here if you get this - I'd love to hear from you. My great-grandfather was a cousin on Lucille LaVerne and we've always been interested in learning more about her and her family. Thanks! Rick, Columbus, Ohio.


I am reaching out on the chance that anyone might still be checking this thread. I have done some reasearch on Lucille LaVerne and have new info that probably wasn't readily accessible when this thread was started, but which answers many of the questions asked above. I'd love to share what I've learned with any family or interested fans.

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