Mystery Monday – Why Did Pop Pop Get Disowned?

09 Sep

You know I love a good mystery but some mysteries will eventually drive me batty.  When I started my family history research it was because I wanted to find out about my mother‘s family. I naively thought that once I found out that I’d stop my research. Silly girl. For the first several years I couldn’t find anything beyond my grandfather‘s name and vitals. I knew he was born in England but his death certificate said he was born in Delaware County, PA. The information was given by Aunt Gert, someone I vaguely remember my mother mentioning a couple of times.

Frances Claire Craven Volz

I put his name in the search engine at again and again and got nothing. One day I just went straight to the 1930 census, put his name in  and there he was, Arthur Craven, bold as you please. After that I found out more. His mother’s name was Asenath (widowed), he had two brothers and he lived in Delaware County, PA and they all lived together.

The family store goes that he was disowned when he married my grandmother. When my grandmother died, my mother was only thirteen years old and had to quit school to take care of her father and older brother. She always said that her father’s family never offered any help and she resented that all her life. So when my grandfather died, my mother decided to make sure his family could never find his grave and try to move him to rest with their family.

Now my mother was a very nice and gentle person. She gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and never met a stranger. She was helpful to anyone who needed it and made sure that my brother and I grew up surrounded by her love.

So her resentment of my grandfather’s family was baffling to me. It was so out of character. Of course I never asked her about it when she was alive and my brother didn’t know and there was no one else to ask. Typically genealogy blunder.

Trying to piece together the facts I did have, I knew that my grandfather lived with his mother and two brothers. The three boys (men really) worked in one of the mills. Did Mama resent losing the income from Arthur when he married and moved away?

Another fact that I had is that my grandmother was Catholic. Arthur, being from the working class of England was probably a member of the Church of England. Did his family disown him because he married a Catholic?

The last fact I got was from the census of my grandmother’s family. Her mother’s birth is listed as Wales in one Census but Ireland in two others. Did the English/Irish multi century conflict figure into his being disowned?

Recently I did find out how my mother hid my grandfather’s grave from his family. Last year when I was in Philadelphia, my brother and I visited the cemetery where he is buried and found that my mother had all the stones removed. My grandmother’s, uncle’s and another sibling’s stones were all removed when my grandfather died. So there’s just an expanse of grass, no markings of any kind.

It drives me nuts that I will probably never find the answers I seek, and some days, that’s a short trip. I’m always open to suggestions of  other avenues of research. Any hints, anyone?

About these ads

Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Family History, Genealogy, Life, Names


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Mystery Monday – Why Did Pop Pop Get Disowned?

  1. J. G. Burdette

    September 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

    It’s an interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen H.

    September 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    That’s quite a mystery! Don’t you just wish you could go back in time and ask all the questions you never thought to ask before?

  3. cchidlow

    September 14, 2012 at 5:07 am

    You’ve got that right. How I wish.

  4. Jacqi Stevens

    September 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    What a situation, Carol! Actually, it looks like you are successfully chipping away at this mystery! However, even though the headstones are removed from the cemetery, the office should be able to give you information from their burial records. While that info may only allow you a few more baby steps in the right direction, bit by bit, it will unfold for you.

    Sometimes, in trying to piece together the puzzle of a family rift, you may have to research parallel lines–the siblings of your grandfather, or his parents, to find more data to fill in the blanks. It is sometimes a slow process, but every detail you uncover provides one more dot in the connect-the-dots approach.

    I just read the GeneaBloggers feature of your blog and thought I’d stop by. Nice write-up there!

    Looking forward to hearing more on your progress with this mystery!

    • cchidlow

      September 22, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Thanks so much for your comments. I do have the cemetery records and actually I’m in possession of the legal papers on the plots. No new news there. I think your suggestion about the siblings is a good idea. I will definately put that on my to do list. Thanks again. Carol


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Jetpack for WordPress

A super-plugin that brings dozens of cool enhancements to your blog

The Amber Dragonfly

This and That About a Great Little Etsy Shop

Sitting Under The Family Tree

An Accidental Genealogist

Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

Navigating Through Someplace Called History

Create Serendipity

An Accidental Genealogist

Just another site

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

An Accidental Genealogist

An Accidental Genealogist

Untangled Family Roots

An Accidental Genealogist

I cook... He eats

Recipes and a few of my favorite things

An Accidental Genealogist News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.