Friday, September 28, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #48

Myrtle Gonzalez was born on this date in 1891. She was one of the first Hispanic actresses in Hollywood, and died in the influenza pandemic of 1918.

When did her child die?


James P Jones died 29 Sept 1970 in Los Angeles CA

Here's the route I took to find it:
1. Wikipedia on Myrtle Gonzalez: listed only one marriage to Allan Watt with one child.
2. IMDB on Myrtle Gonzalez: listed a first marriage to James P Jones, a divorce and one child; then they listed the second marriage to Allen Watt.
3. 1900, 1910 Los Angeles CA Census records showing Myrtle living at home with parents, Manuel and Lillian Gonzales
4. Since I knew Myrtle died in 1918, and one source had said she was survived by her child, I figured the child was either living with a)his Jones father, b) Allen Watt (the recent husband), or c) with Manuel and Lillian.
5. I found Allen Watts in the 1920 Los Angeles Census, listed as a widower, living with HIS parents, and no child of the appropriate age.
6. I couldn't find Manuel, but found Lillian, listed as a widow, living with daughter Stella's family. Stella had married Jerome Connor. Living with them was James P Jones age 8, listed as a nephew.
7. I needed to know the birth date of the child James P Jones, as there are several James Jones in the SSDI. I found him in the California Birth Index (1905 - 1995). Birth date was 11 Aug 1911.
8. I looked in the SSDI for his death date, but it showed only SEP 1970 (it also showed another James P Jones who had the same birthdate, but with a SS card issued in NC.
9. I then went to the Rootsweb CA Vital Records database at:

and found his death date. The SS# matched the one in the SSDI (the California entry, NOT the NC entry)



Sep 1970? Her first husband, according to the IMDB, was James P. Jones. A James P. Jones was born on 11 Aug 1911 in Los Angeles. The 1920 census has an 8 year old James P. Jones living in Los Angeles with his aunt and uncle Jerome and Stella (Gonzlalez) Conner. The SSDI has a record for a James Jones, born 11 Aug 1911, who died in Sep 1970. Can't find an exact day, though...


Found her son, James P. Jones born 11 Aug 1911, through a birth record search in CA. Found him in the 1920 and 1930 censuses living with his grandmother, Lillian.

From there, I have been unable to prove to myself that this is the exact James but the SSDI lists a
James Jones born 11 Aug 1911 received his benefits in CA who died in Sept 1970.


IFind-a-Grave says James Parks Jones, actor, born in 1890, died in Los Angeles in 1950. In 1920, James P. Jones, actor, is living in Los Angeles. It says he is single. His WWI draft card also says he is single, but it also says he has one child.

Thanks for the tour of Los Angeles!



Yes, James P. Jones was born 11 Aug. 1911, and most probably died 29 Sept. 1970 in Los Angeles County. A little offline snooping would be necessary to clinch it, but for Genealogue Challenge purposes, I'm satisfied.


Obit in the LA Times on Sep 30, 1970 (Ancestry) for James Parks Jones, Jr. Lists children and burial place (Calvary) but not parents.



Wow, Sharon, great work! It appears that the elder James was something of a hero back in 1907.

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