I blogged about the tragedy during the summer of 2013, and as I always do, tweeted a link to the post. One of the editors of the British magazine, Your Family Tree, asked if I would write an article for their magazine. The article appeared in the December 2013 edition and was entitled, "Skeleton in the Cupboard: Murdered by Her Husband."
|My article about Samuel and Emma's murder-|
suicide in Your Family Tree magazine
In late August of this year, someone posted on my Tangled Roots and Trees Facebook page. She said she lived in the U.K. and was re-reading the magazine prior to throwing it out. It struck her that Samuel and Emma's daughter had disappeared after the death of her parents. So she went looking for Della and found a marriage record!
We exchanged email addresses and she sent me the link to the record. Once I had that bit of information, the brick wall that was Della Virginia Jennings (1899-1959) came tumbling down!
|Virginia Select Marriages, 1785-1940 on Ancestry.com|
I knew from my one of my Jennings research collaborators that Della was born on 26 January 1899 in Columbus, Ohio. Her family moved to Toledo before her brother was born in 1909. Her father killed her mother and then himself in June 1913. Della and Clifford's Uncle Charles Jennings traveled to Toledo to see to shipping his brother's body back to Virginia and about the care of the children. Clifford was placed in the Baptist Orphanage in Salem, Virginia. I do not know what happened to Della until 1918.
She married Clement Elliott Bray, Jr., on 21 May 1918 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Clement was a professional musician, composer, and orchestra leader, specializing in popular dance music. During their marriage, they lived in Easton, Maryland; Martinsburg, West Virginia; and Fairmont, West Virgina.
|As published in the Harrisburg Telegraph|
on 15 September 1934
While they were living in Easton, they had a daughter, Maxine Elliott Bray, born on 23 January 1920. However, things went bad for Bray marriage sometime between 1927 and 1931. It likely went bad in Fairmont where Clement perhaps met a young married woman named Ruhamer Inez (Bosserman) Kuner as Ruhamer was born and married in Fairmont. Clement and Ruhamer were living together in Tampa, Florida. by 1931.
Through the power of social media -- blogging, tweeting, and posting on Facebook -- I was able to solve the mystery of what happened to Della immediately after the tragic death of her parents. What happened to Della after she and Clement Elliott Bray, Jr., were no longer together? Had I lost her again? Staying on Della's trail, however, required the use of different tools.
Murder-Suicide in Toledo
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Your Family Tree magazine