One of the things most frustrating about researching Leona Bean Grant is the source of her married name. Well, yes, I realize one gets one’s married name from one’s husband.
What I mean to say is that I’ve never come upon any information about just who Leona’s husband might have been. Other than the obvious—yes, his last name was Grant—I have come up empty-handed from any plunges into data-rich online environments.
Until, of course, I encountered one slip of a photo in the trash-collection-turned-treasure-box that contained all those unmarked Bean family photos.
I nearly missed the photograph. The face was one I didn’t recognize, and I must have passed it over in the several other times I’ve been through this box. But this time, I didn’t miss the note on the back, despite the faded ink.
The photo was marked:
Bob Grant, 1914.
I’m not even sure I’d want to find out what the story behind this photo might have been—or what the man was holding in his left hand. Knowing Leona’s strong personality, though, whoever she chose as husband would have had to be either bland as vanilla, or a real character in his own right.
Even though I was now armed with the man’s actual name, I haven’t made any further progress in discovering more about his identity than I had in searching for “First Name Unknown” Grant. None of the “Bob”—or even “Robert”—entries in all the usual databases seem to be a viable match.
It doesn’t help that “Grant” happens to be a fairly common surname. This quest has certainly tried my patience. Sometimes I’m inclined to give up the search because, after all, Leona never had any children of her own. There’s not really anyone left who might care about this line.
One day, however—and you knew this would have to happen—I stumbled upon a hint. I’m not sure I even remember where I saw this note. It was something I found while catching a spare moment’s look online. One of those snatched moments that vaporizes when a more pressing matter (read crisis) pops up.
The hint was: try “Bob” as a middle name.
Of course! Hadn’t my own family been rife with those middle name issues? I should have thought of that.
But what to do with “Bob”? Was it short for Robert? Or assumed as a nickname to substitute for another, less popular name.
I played around with what I could find online. It didn’t take long to do what the online social media crowd now calls “head desk.” Yep, *slams palm to forehead*—why did I not think of this?
As a first name for Mr. Grant: try Ulysses.