So I thought I would start with working backwards on my family tree. So here it goes. We will see if this works out, lol.
My name is Christine M. Ranger, I have 2 brothers Wayne A. and Kenneth J. and 1 sister Deborah A.
My father’s name was Richard Allen Ranger and my mother is Margaret Ann Attenello.
Richards parents were Alvin Ulmont Hodgdon/Texas A. Ranger and Mary Ellen Buck. The story on his father’s name is that Alvin wanted to be a Texas Ranger but couldn’t because he was part Native American and back in the early 1900’s they were not allowed to be a Ranger, so he legally changed his name to Texas A. Ranger. in addition to this story I was told that he also changed his name because he was married to a Genevieve Mary Still. They had 3 daughters, Cecila Agnes, Patience Mary Bertha, and Betty Carol. Betty was killed on her way to school, being run over by a car. Cecila seen the whole thing. Sometime after Betty’s death Alvin left his wife and 2 daughters in NY. I am not sure when he met his 2nd wife Mary. I have heard that Alvin never divorced his 1st wife. My mother said he had to have because he was a Jehovah Witness and the Elders from the hall he belonged to required him to prove with documents that he divorced his 1st wife. Now I don’t have any of these documents and neither does one of his daughter’s daughter-in-law. She said they never divorced.
So the plot thickens. I have no census record of him ever showing a divorce and no marriage certificate of him and Mary. I was also told that Alvin was born in North Dakota, but no record of birth was recorded supposedly for the year he was born.
Now specking of his birth, I have 3 different years. 1. Jan 1898 2. Jan 18993. Jan 1900. I have conflicting information for the first 2. The 3rd one is coming from his daughter. My grandfather never talked about his parents or siblings. He had 1 brother, 7 sisters, 2 half brothers and 2 half sisters.
Now Alvin’s Parents were William Henry Hodgdon and Bertha Wade/Weeks. Okay, so here is the deal with his parents. I was told by my father, who also is the one who filled out Alvin/Texas’ death certificate that Bertha’s last name was Weeks. Again there is no supporting record of this. There is a Weeks in the family, but it is Bertha’s sister Anna Margaret who married John Charles Fremont Weeks. Bertha was reported as living with them on the 1895 Census, but she is also listed as living with her mother at the same time. So how is she able to be living in two different places at the same time? Could it be 2 different people? Well both are 19 at this time, the only difference is the spelling of the name With her sister her name is spelled Bertha and with her mom it is Bertie. So it seems both her sister and mom listed her as living with them.
Now on the 1900 census it get’s more interesting because Bertha (Bertie, which must have been a nickname for her) is listed as living with her mother and her son. Now Bertha’s last name is still Wade and her son is listed as Alvin Ealstman. Also listed on there is where the parents are from. On Alvin both his parents are from Minnesota. All the dates add up right for the births of all three, Jennie (Bertha’s mom), Bertha, and Alvin’s. So who is this Alvin Ealstman? I do know that one of Bertha’s sisters was raped by a Native American, so could Bertha have been as well? Or could it have been a different man? Maybe she was in-love with this man and was going to marry him but he died before they could and she found out she was pregnant. Now thinking back in those times, it was very frowned upon to have sex before marriage but it does not mean it never happened. I think chances of it being so are pretty slim though. I have searched all over the internet for the name Ealstman and always come up blank. Now spelling was not a strong point back in those days either and there was no auto-correct or spell check button. Most of the time the name was spelled they way it sounded. So again who the heck is this Alvin Ealstman? Alvin daughter’s had said once that she had heard that Alvin was adopted. Now if we look at the 1900 census it says on there that Bertie has given birth to 1 child and that 1 child is living at the time. Plus if you see the picture of Alvin and one of his mother there is no way she can DENY that is her son. I will have to keep scratching my head on this one.
Now for Alvin’s father. We have been told that his name is William Henry Hodgdon. He is listed on a lot of census’ with Alvin as his son, but here is the kicker. I have a 1900 Census for North Dakota that has William on it. He is with 2 of his children and is divorced. The only time he was in Minnesota was at some time when his son was born in 1887. He had not been working for 4 months and his son had been out of school for 8 months. On a 1910 Census we have William and Bertha together, it says they have been married for 12 years, which would mean they were married in 1898, so why in 1900 is he listed as divorced if he was married and Bertha listed as single the same year? Williams youngest child was born in 1893. 9 years it seems before Alvin was born. Bertha was also 18 years younger then William and she was his 3rd wife.
Now in the picture above is William and Bertha Hodgdon with Ernest their only other son (he looks to be about 21/22 yrs. old), and sisters Bernice, Elizabeth, Ada, and Edith. Now if you look at all the girls, they look just like their father and Look at Ernest, he looks like his dad, but has the cheeks of his mother.
Here is Alvin, who is about the same age as Ernest in the picture above. Alvin has brown hair and does not look as much like his father, where Ernest has blonde hair just like his sisters. Sorry, but to me Alvin looks nothing like William, there fore it bring me to believe that he is not Williams son. Maybe he was treated as an outcast, could be why he never talked about his parents and siblings. Maybe because it was a disgrace that Bertha was raped by a Native American, that they never spoke of it?
I just find it very interesting how after connecting with family members I find out I am not the only one who heard stories of there being Native American blood in the family. Maybe Bertha is part Native American, she sure has the high cheek bones. Growing up I always thought my grandfather looked part Native American. The skin color and cheeks.
Well, I am off to pick my brain and pull my hair out some more hunting down the truth, so til next time…………Happy hunting!!