My 33rd entry in Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks family history blogging challenge.
The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.
I have fallen way behind in this challenge again due to continued health issues the last few months, but I am trying to catch up by the end of the year.
My 33rd ancestor is my grand uncle Leonard Luther WARD (1917-?). Leonard was the middle brother of my grandfather. I never met him.
I know almost nothing about Leonard. I did not even know Leonard existed until I found that very first lead about my grandfather’s family history, the 1930 U.S. Census record. As I’ve shared many times, my grandfather was orphaned as an infant (his father died in 1928, when Grandpa was only 1 year old) and toddler (their mother died in 1930, when Grandpa was only 3 years old), and never knew his parents. Raised on a farm by a foster family, Grandpa’s brothers ran away, and Grandpa grew up not really knowing his brothers — especially the older ones, those born to Frank Ward. I knew about an Uncle Pat, but I had never heard of an Uncle Leonard.
Leonard is listed on the 1930 U.S. Census record with his brothers at the German Roman Catholic Orphan Home in Buffalo, Erie County, New York. Leonard is 12 years old at this time. The boys’ mother died three months after this Census record was taken. Leonard’s stepfather (my great grandfather) died two years prior.
The brothers’ orphan records state that Leonard was baptized at the extended family’s hometown church, St. John’s Catholic Church in Bellaire, Ohio.
The only other reference I find to Leonard is that illusive 1920 U.S. Census record I mentioned in my last blog post. He is 2 years 1 month old, identified as the grandson of Catherine DARNLEY Fabry (1878-1926). Leonard along with his older sister Catherine and older brother Joseph are living with their mother Sarah KENNEDY (1898-1930), Sarah’s half brother Andrew QUINN (1906-?), and grandmother. The family lives in Bellaire, Ohio. Leonard’s father, Frank D. WARD (1895-1967) is not living with the family.
Sometime after the 1925 christening, in Bellaire, of Leonard’s younger brother Patrick Joseph, and before my grandfather Michael John was born in 1927, Leonard moved to Buffalo, New York with his mother, stepfather, sister, and brothers.
As mentioned in my recent post about Leonard’s grandmother Catherine Darnley, I think Leonard’s mother Sarah may have named Leonard after her stepfather, Leonard Fabry.
I do not know if Leonard ever saw his father Frank J. Ward again.
Sadly, I have no further information about Leonard. He simply disappears after running away from the boys’ Buckley foster family.