Monday, November 7, 2016

The Life of Jessie Speed "Donna" (McGlashan) Monnier (1912-1990)

Jessie "Donna" Speedy McGlashan was born in 10 September 1912 in Baltimore County, Maryland, to William James Jardine McGlashan, a Scot who was born in Australia, and Mary Helen Murray Speedie, who was also Scottish. After his birth William's parents returned to Scotland and he immigrated to the U.S. on 15 November 1909 aboard the S/S California which sailed from Glasgow on 6 November. He told immigration officials his ultimate destination was Philadelphia. Mary Speedie arrived in New York City on 4 October 1910 aboard the S/S Furnessia, which sailed from Glasgow on 24 September. Mary told immigration officials her destination was Baltimore County, Maryland, to meet her friend, William McGlashan. So the couple must have known each other in Scotland. I imagine a big surprise was in store for Mary after she cleared immigration. William was waiting for her in New York City and they married on the same day Mary arrived in Manhattan!

William James Jardin McGlashan and Mary Ellen (or Helen)
Murray Speedie marriage index record; image courtesy of
Family search

When the 1920 census was enumerated Donna, her parents and older brother, William, lived on 1725 Ridgeway Avenue in Chicago. Her father worked as a carpenter for a construction company. Her mother had another daughter, Grace Murray McGlashan, later that same year. Donna's brother died on 29 October 1927 at Waukegan, Illinois, and was interred at Lake Villa Cemetery in Lake Villa, Illinois.

In 1930 Donna and her family lived in Lake Villa at a home her father owned, which was valued at $12,000. I suspect William moved his family to Lake Villa sometime before 1927 when William died. Lake Villa is about 60 miles north of Chicago. Her father still worked as a carpenter in the building industry and Donna and her mother worked as laborers in a candy factory.

Ten years later Donna was married to Elmer Austin Monnier. They lived in Chicago at 1408 North Central Avenue in an apartment Elmer rented for $20 a month. Elmer worked as a laborer on a tree trimming and removal gang and Donna worked as a power machine operator. Two children lived with them, Donald Davis (10) and Darlynn Davis (2). They were enumerated as Elmer's step-son and daughter.

1408 North Central Avenue, Chicago; image courtesy of Google Maps

Donald's social security application listed his name as Donald Rae Davis, Jr. and his parents as Donna J. McGlashan and Donald R. Davis. His date of birth was listed as 20 March 1930 and this is consistent on all his records. However, Donna was enumerated in the 1930 census on 15 April 1930. You will recall Donna lived with her parents and her marital status was listed as single. So I do not know when of if she married Donald's father. Donald died on 17 November 2000.

Snippets of the 1930 census for the William McGlashan family; image
courtesy of

Darlynn's obituary listed her father as Elmer Monnier, but my sister-in-law's mother says she was a half-sister. She was enumerated in 1940 as Darlynn Davis. Darlynn died on 17 September 2012.

Soon after their marriage Elmer and Donna moved back to Lake Villa, Donna's home when she was single. They had two daughters.

Elmer died on 1 February 1990 in Lake Villa and Donna died on 16 November 1990 in the same city. Both were interred at Angolan Cemetery in Lake Villa.

A big thank you to a DNA of my sister-in-law who ensured I traced the correct Mary Speedie/Speedy.

Finding Speedy -- My Sister-in-Law's Maternal Grandmother

No comments:

Post a Comment