Sunday, July 13, 2008

Genealogue Challenge #131

Actress Evelyn Keyes died July 4th in California.

"I have no roots," she told The New York Times in 1977. "I deliberately set out to destroy them, and I did.

"If there's any such thing as a hometown for me, it's Hollywood. I was formed here as an adult." [Link]
Boy, that sounds like a challenge to me.

On what date did her father die, and when did his parents die?

Drew Smith

According to Wikipedia, Evelyn Louise Keyes was born on 20 November 1916 in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas.

According to a news story at the Telegraph news site, Keyes was "the daughter of an oilman who died before she was a year old. After the father's death, Evelyn's mother took her young family to live close to her own parents in Atlanta, Georgia."

The 1920 census for District 125, Atlanta Ward 8, Fulton County, Georgia shows the household of 42-year-old widow Maude Keyes, with children Norma (19, born in Georgia), Julia (17, born in Georgia), Mary (14, born in Alabama), Garrett (12, born in Texas), and Evelyn (3 and 1 month, born in Texas). The father of the children is shown as having been born in Indiana.

The 1910 census for District 83, Justice Precinct 2, Jefferson County, Texas shows the household of 36-year-old, Indiana-born Omar Keyes (the surname is mis-indexed by Ancestry as "Keyer"), wife Maud O., and children Norma, Lena, Mary, and Garret. Omar's father was born in Kentucky. Omar and Maud have been married for 10 years.

The Texas Death Index shows that Omar Dow Keyes died in Jefferson County on 7 January 1919 (which answers the first question).

The World War I Draft Registration Cards show that Omar Dow Keyes was born 15 August 1875. (It also shows that Maud's middle name was "Ollive".)

The 1880 census for District 123, Butler, Miami County, Indiana, shows the household of 42-year-old Isaac Keyes, with children Sophronia (20), Thomas (18), Thaddeus (13), Omer D (10), Dora (8), and Anna (5). Note that Omer's a bit old to have been born in 1875.

The 1870 census for Butler shows Isaac Keys, his 32-year-old presumed wife Julia, and children Sophronia, Thomas, Thaddeus, and 6-month-old Omer.

A list of marriages for Miami County shows that Isaac Keyes married Julian A. Fansler on 23 December 1858. He may also be the Isaac Keyes who married Emma Johnson on 11 October 1882.

...still looking for the death dates for Isaac and Julia(n) Key(e)s.

Drew Smith

This would seem to indicate that Isaac Keyes died in Butler Township on 19 Sep 1885.

Drew Smith

And this cemetery listing for the Keys Cemetery provides a death date for Julia A. Keyes of 24 September 1876.


First time posting... hope I got this right!
Evelyn's father Omar Dow Keyes died 7 Jan. 1919 in Port Arthur, TX.

As for his parents, the closest I can get is that Isaac Keyes died in Sept. 1885, and his wife Julia (Fansler) Keyes between 1875 and 1880.

Genealogy Mom

Spoiler Alert

Omar Dow Keyes
born 15 Aug 1872
died 07 Jan 1919 Port Arthur, Texas

Father Isaac Keyes
died 19 Sep 1885 in Butler, Miami County, Indiana Buried in Keyes Cemetery in Butler County, Indiana.
His wife, Julia died 24 Sep 1876 most likely in Butler, Miami Co., Indiana. Buried in Keyes Cemetery in Butler County, Indiana.
Isaac and Julia are living in Butler, Miami Co., Indiana in 1870.
In 1880, Isaac is listed as a widow in Butler, Miami Co., Indiana.


Omar Dow Keyes died 7 Jan 1919 in Jefferson County, Texas. His parents were Isaac W. Keyes and Julia Ann Fansler, but i have yet to discover when they died.


Her father: Omar Keyes died 7 Jan 1919 in Jefferson County TX

Her paternal grandparents:
Isaac Keyes b: 2 Sep 1836 d: 19 Sep 1885
Julia A Fansler Keyes b: 9 Dec 1839 d: 24 Sep 1876 both in Miami County Indiana

Supporting docs:
from Wikipedia
b: Evelyn Louise Keyes 20 Nov 1916 in Port Arthur TX (Jefferson County)
d: 4 Jul 2008 in Montecito CA (Santa Barbara County)
m: Barton Bainbridge (1938-1940)
Charles Vidor (1943-1945)
John Huston (1946-1950) adopted mexican child with him
Artie Shaw (1957-1985)
Under contract by Cecil B DeMille at age 18
Says she grew up fatherless and poor in Atlanta
Evelyn Louise Keyes was born November 20, 1916, in Port Arthur, Texas,
where her father was an oil-platform laborer. She was a toddler when
he died because of an infected carbuncle on his chin.

Her mother moved her and four older siblings to Atlanta [Georgia],
where she described a neglectful upbringing. She found pleasure only
in movies. Determined to crash Hollywood, she began dancing as "Goldie
Keyes" and found her way to Los Angeles [California] in 1936.

Atlanta is Fulton or DeKalb County GA

1920 Atlanta Ward B District 125, Fulton, GA
Spring Street
840 2 3 Keyes, Maude head head f w Wd GA SC GA
, Norma dau f w 19 s GA IN GA
, Julia dau f w 17 s GA IN GA
, Mary dau f w 14 s AL IN GA
, Garrett son m w 12 s TX IN GA
, Evelyn dau f w 3 11/12 TX IN GA

1910 Justice Precinct 2 District 83, Jefferson Co TX
62 62 Keyes, Omar D head m w 36 m1 10 IN KY US time keeper oil refinery
, Maud O wife f w 31 m1 10 4 4 GA GA GA
, Norma dau f w 9 s GA IN GA
, Lena dau f w 7 s GA IN GA
, Mary dau f w 4 s AL IN GA
, Garret son m w 2 s TX IN GA

From: Texas Death Index 1903-2000
Omar Keyes died 7 Jan 1919 in Jefferson County TX

WW1 Draft Registration
Omar Dow Keyes
76 W Port Arthur Refinery Park, Port Arthur TX
Age 43; dob: 15 Aug 1875
Stk Clerk for Gulf Refining Co
Closest relative: Mrs. Maud Olliva Keys (same address) Medium height; Medium Build; Gray eyes; Light Hair;
12 Sep 1918
Jefferson County TX

1880 Butler District 123, Miami Co, IN Census
238 243 Keyes, Isaac M? w m 42 wd farmer OH OH PA
, Sophronie w f 20 dau s keeping house IN OH OH
, Thomas A w m 18 son s works on farm IN OH OH
, Thaddeus s w m 13 son s at home IN OH OH
, Omar D w m 10 son s at home IN OH OH
, Dana B w f 8 dau s IN OH OH
, Anna B w f 5 dau s IN OH OH

1870 Butler, Miami Co, IN Census
277 272 Keys, Isaac 33 m w farmer 1600 710 OH
, Julia A 32 f w keeping house OH
, Sophrina E 10 f w IN
, Thomas 8 m w IN
, Thaddeus 4 m w IN
, Omer 6/12 m w IN

Isaac Keyes married Julia Ann Fansler 23 Dec 1858 in Miami County IN
Isaac Keyes b: 2 Sep 1836 dod: 19 Sep 1885 age 49
Julia A Keyes dob: 9 Dec 1839 dod: 24 Sep 1876 age 36


I found Evelyn L. Keyes age 13 on the 1930 Atlanta, Ga census with her mother Maud, widowed, with older sisters Norma age 29 and Nema (?) age 27.
Going back to 1920, they are in Atlanta also, along with sister Mary and brother Garrett, in same household with a Lucy Garrett whom I suspect is Maude's mother.
In 1910, the family is in Jefferson Co, Tx, and daddy is there. Omar D Keyes age 36 born Indiana, with wife Maud O, daughters Norma, Lena, and Mary, and son Garrett.
Omar Dow Keyes was born 15 Aug 1872 and died 5 Jan 1919 in Jefferson Co, Tx according to the Texas Death Records. Father was Isaac Keyes, mother "not known" on death cert.
On the 1880 Indiana census Omar D. Keyes is in the household of Isaac W. Keyes and shown as age 10.
Interestingly enough, on the 1870 census he is shown as 6 months old. Boy...time flies!

In 1860 Isaac Keyes age 32 was married to a Julia Ann (Fansler, according to ancestry).

Didn't have time to find more out.


Well done, folks! The FamilySearch Record Search Pilot has the Texas death certificate which confirms that her father died of "carbunculosis." A photo of Isaac and Julia's gravestone may be viewed here.

As Drew noticed, Omar's birth date differs in different records. The 1870 census would make it Nov. 1869 (consistent with the 1880 census), his death certificate says 15 Aug. 1872, and his WWI draft card says 15 Aug. 1875. The 1900 census for Kansas, Carroll Co., Georgia, says he was born in Jan. 1875.

Omar and Maud were newlyweds in 1900, suggesting that their marriage may have been recorded in Georgia.

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