Friday, November 09, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #89

Today is the 85th anniversary of Dorothy Dandridge's birth.

What were the full names of her paternal grandparents?


James Henry Dandridge
Florence Jessie (or Jessy)
one source has Florence's maiden name as Locke.


Donald Bogle's biography of Dorothy Dandridge here
gives the names of her father's parents as Florence Locke and Henry Dandridge, and states that Cyril was a lifelong Cleveland resident.

The 1920 Census
shows a Florence Dandridge, listed as head of household, with son Cyril of the correct age. However, this Florence is listed as born in Michigan, while other sources show her as born in Canada - 1910 Census, which lists Florence and Cyril, living with a mother in law Anna Warren, whom I haven't been able to slot into a place on the family tree.


Dorothy Dandridge's father was Cyril Dandridge. In 1920 he is living with his mother Florence who was born in Canada. Based on various census records and Ontario, Canada marriages, Cyril Dandridge's parents were James Henry Dandridge and Florence Jessie.


Henry Dandridge and Florence Locke


The paternal grandparents of Dorothy Dandridge seem to be:
Florence Jessie (Jessy) and
James Henry Dandridge

I found Dorothy's father, Cyril Dandridge living with his mother, Florence, in the 1900 Wayne Co Michigan census and the 1920 Cleveland, Cyuahoga County OH census. In each census, Florence shows her birthplace as Canada, and Cyril shows the birthplace of his father as Canada.

The 1900 census shows Florence came to this country in 1884. However, I found the following marriage in Essex, Ontario Canada:
Jas Henry Dandridge (bca 1858) married 23 Apr 1890 Florence Jessie. If this is the right Florence and the right Dandridge, she had to have made a trip back home to be married.

I found a Florence Jessy living with a widowed Ellen Jessy (probably her mom) in the 1881 Ontario census. This Florence Jessy was born around 1872, which is close to the 1900 Wayne County MI census birth listed for Florence of June 1871.

Cyril was born in Ohio 25 Oct 1895 (from SS Death Index), and his mother shows herself as married in the 1900 census, but I didn't find James Henry Dandridge in any of the census records.



Yes, it was James Henry and Florence Dandridge. According to her Ohio death record, Florence was the daughter of John and Ellen (Johnson) Looke [sic], b. 8 June 1871 in Windsor, Ontario. Her father was born in England, her mother in Kentucky. The 1881 census and her marriage record give Florence's surname as "Jessy" or "Jessie," suggesting that her mother remarried in the decade after her birth.



"Anna Warren" is James Henry Dandridge's mother, Edmonia Charity Dandridge Warren. Edmonia Dandridge is listed as James Henry's mother on marriage certificate to Florence Jessie. Edmonia was married to Albert Dandridge and later Robert J Warren (together with Florence & Cyril 1900).


The surname Dandridge is also Martha Washington's birth name. Could there be a connection?

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