Mabel from Michigan

Mabel M. V. Webster-Palmer

What you see is what you get with Mabel. Her long name and a location – good info. But sometimes a name like that can be confusing. Did she really hyphenate her name, or was that just for identification purposes? The way it’s written was even a little odd. Was Palmer part of her name or was it a town in Battle Creek County, Michigan? You can learn a lot about geography in the genealogy biz!

Her long name was key in identifying her – if she had just been Mabel Palmer or Mabel Webster we may not be here now. I guesstimated her birth date to between 1895-1905. It’s almost a game now, how close I can get to the actual year! MANY family trees came up, but let’s focus on the evidence first because there’s not a lot of it.

A Mabel Palmer, born April 24, 1899, died in March of 1969 in Battle Creek, Michigan – good match. However, every other census I’ve found a Mabel Webster in is in New York: in 1900 she lives with grandmother Mary Kling at the age of 1; in 1910 and 1920 she lives with parents the Webster’s also in New York. No way to know from my photograph if this is the same woman.

So, in rare form, I’m relying on the family trees to tell the story – not many of which have evidence attached to them. I am sure that this picture matches the woman in their trees at least. To that end, this is likely Mabel Mary Vestella Webster, born (as the SSDI indicated) on 4/24/1899 to George and Mable Webster. She married Lawrence Palmer in New York, and died in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1969 – with probably a lot of great stories in between :)

Good luck Mabel!

By the way, I own Mabel. If anyone wants the photo let me know.

3 thoughts on “Mabel from Michigan

  1. Hey Jodi — This is indeed Mabel Mary Vestella Webster Palmer, who also happens to be my paternal grandmother. She did not normally hyphenate her name, so this was likely given to one of her Webster relatives. Grandma Palmer was originally named Mary Vestella Webster, however she was given her mother’s name as well after her mother’s death — which occurred when little Mabel was one month old. Mabel’s father was a minister and well-known hymn writer.

    Grandma Palmer received training as a teacher, and taught in West Fort Ann, New York. She and her husband moved to Battle Creek, Michigan about 1925, and had two children — one of which, my Aunt Mary, is alive and well. There were many great stories in between!

    I remember my grandmother very well. She was an extraordinary person.

    Thomas Palmer
    Galion, Ohio
    tpalmercrew@gmail.com

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