52 Ancestors Week 5 “Aunt” Janie Kates

Out of order as I already posted Week 6.

Week 5 of the #52 Ancestors Challenge. Here’s the story behind the challenge if you want to participate. http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks

For those not familiar with the custom – in some places children are taught to call an older person Aunt or Uncle even though the person is not an aunt or uncle. Occasionally, the person is not related by blood or marriage. It’s a sign of respect. “Aunt” Janie is really my first cousin, once removed according to Ancestry; she’s first cousin to my mother. I didn’t know the actual relationship for many years. I knew she wasn’t an aunt, but not how we were related.

Aunt Janie (Eugenia Cuendet) was born in Mississippi City, Harrison County, Mississippi on 19 March 1922. Good luck finding it on a modern map. The area was annexed by Gulfport in 1965. Her parents were Louis Augustus Cuendet, Sr. and Myrtle Bush. Her obit lists three deceased siblings (Louis Jr., Louise, and Dorothy Wicktom) and one living sibling of Nebraska. I met her mother, Aunt Myrtle, on numerous occasions when I was young, but I was unaware of any siblings.

The 1930 federal census shows her living on McIntosh Street in Mississippi City with her parents and three siblings – Louis, Louise, and Dorothy. On the 1940 federal census, she is not listed with her family and I am not sure where she was living. I searched Eugenia and Janie Cuendet.

Aunt Janie married Uncle Bruner on 19 June 1948 in Gulfport. I found their marriage information on the Harrison County, District 1 marriage index,

Janie Kates Marr

They had several children, all still living. In many ways, Aunt Janie was like a second mother to me. When I was two, my parents went to Colorado for a year. I thought I went with them, but found out a few years ago that I stayed with Aunt Janie during that time.

In the 1953 City Directory, they are listed as living at 2306 26th Avenue in Gulfport. This address is within a house or two of where I was raised for most of my first seven years.I didn’t realize it until I was typing it up. The 1996 public records show her address as 1268 24th Street in Gulfport. I am not sure when they moved there, but my earliest memories of Aunt Janie are from this address.

They would often babysit me when I was young. One of her favorite stories about me involved 37 bananas. I don’t remember the incident, but she said I started eating bananas one day. After I finished, she counted and I had eaten 37.

Another funny story involved a relative. She called Mom and asked if we knew that (name withheld) had gotten married. This was news to us because he told us he had married his “wife” about two years ago. Apparently he hadn’t because their marriage license application was in the newspaper.

When I moved to Kansas, I lost touch with them. Uncle Bruner died in 1992. I received an e-mail from Janie, a cousin named after Aunt Janie, on February 5th, 2008 letting me know that Aunt Janie had passed away. I was unable to attend her funeral and hope to visit her grave and pay my respects in the near future. She is buried in Wilkerson Cemetery, Larue, Jackson County, Mississippi. This is her Find-A-Grave memorial. I have a photo request on BillionGraves.



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3 Responses to 52 Ancestors Week 5 “Aunt” Janie Kates

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 7 Recap | No Story Too Small

  2. Pingback: WikiTree and TribalPages Birthdays Week of 12 March 2014 | Ups and Downs of Family History

  3. Pingback: 52 Ancestors Week 19 Virginia Ann (Peck) Cuendet | Ups and Downs of Family History

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