Connection Combat: April Showers Showdown - Gene Kelly vs Al Roker

+16 votes
749 views

Hi Connectors (and anyone else interested)!

This may seem like an odd pairing but hear me out :) 

As the saying goes "April showers bring May flowers".  So for our April Connection Combat I thought we could have a couple fun twists on that.

Gene Kelly, brilliant actor, singer and dancer, was perhaps best known for his epic number "Singin' In the Rain".  (Incidentally the movie hit theaters in the US in April of 1952.) He has Irish, Canadian and German roots.

Al Roker, is a well known weatherman who can make sure we know to bring an umbrella with us so we aren't stuck singing in the rain!  He has Jamaican and Bahamian roots. Maybe a fun challenge for our Bahamas project?  Fun fact: Al holds the Guinness World Record for reporting weather for 34 uninterrupted hours.

Gene Kelly

vs

Al Roker

Ready, set, CONNECT!

The rules and guidelines are here, and post in this thread once you've made a connection so we can declare a winner! 

Remember, the goal is to connect one of these individuals to the previous month's winner -  Maureen O'Hara.

If you need to be added to a Trusted List, let me know and I will add you.

The winning profile will be featured as one of our Special Connections (like AJ Jacobs and Kevin Bacon) so members can have a chance to see how they are connected.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Please add me to the trusted list for Al Roker - I'll take a shot at him.
You're added - thanks!
Could you please allow me to adopt Roker-11 so that I can update her sources? I'll make the profile public so that others can also assist. Thanks.
Excellent! Thank you, Eowyn, Jamie, and Scott!

2 Answers

+5 votes
I'm going to start working on Gene Kelly's family.
by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (285k points)
Great, thanks Jamie!
I think I found a connection.

I connected to http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Eiler-56 who is 27 degrees from Maureen O'Hara.

The connection is Gene Kelly > (brother) Fredric Norbert Kelly > (wife) Beatrice Dorothy Greenawalt > (father) Frederick A. Greenawalt > (brother) Louis F. Greenawalt > (wife) Sylvia Robinson > (mother) Mary Eiler > (sister) Julia Eiler

I still need to check the connections between Julia and Maureen O'Hara for accuracy.
Congratulations! I'm still hunting for one for Al Roker - no luck so far. We'll see after the links update if you've officially won!
Congratulations, Jamie!
Thanks :)

http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:Connection&action=connect&person1Name=FitzSimons-38&person2Name=Kelly-6819

I've verified the connections from 24 to 34, but I haven't found a good source tying 23 to 24.
Hi Jamie! Were you able to find a good source for 23 to 24?
I found a published book (that doesn't list its sources), which is slightly better than find a grave. I was able to verify everyone else except #7 Sabra Spencer.
Interesting - I was looking on Geni and it says Sabra Spencer is the 4th Great Grandmother of John Wayne.
+5 votes
OK - so we got Al Roker started - some interesting connections and some confusing ones. Al's Grandfather Albert Hubert Roker is an interesting source of discussion.

Born 1900 in Nassau, he immigrated prior to 1929 - likely to Florida. He married Bessie Mitchell in 1929 and they had one child together in 1929. Al, Bessie, Albirtha (Roxie) and Al's sister Mabel show up on the 1930 Census in Florida. He is listed as a "restaurant porter" by profession.

So - there then appears to be a double-life, as there is evidence of an Al Roker in New York City - married to Remilda Roker where there is a child (Naomi Roker) who was born in 1924 - another (Al Roker Sr) born 1932 and another (Mary Ann) born 1935. What's interesting is that this Al never shows up on the Census as living in NYC.

Add to this the unusual circumstance that Remilda shows up on the 1945 Florida Census (or at least it appears to be her) in the same city as Al.

So - same person? Or different? And if different, are they related? And if the same, did Al have two wives at the same time, or did he have a very short marriage with Bessie? Was Naomi his natural child, or did he adopt her? Or was her name simply altered on the Census?

Lots of questions.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (898k points)
Here we can try Remilda Roker's fruitcake https://books.google.com/books?id=bQuqRf9TRF4C&pg=PA102
Wait. Are there THREE Albert Rokers??

This seems to imply that Remilda's Albert died in 1962...

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076860/00507/10j
Hmm.... so we've got a mysterious Albert N. Roker who died in Florida in 1973... and apparently Albert Hubert Roker, father of Albert Lincoln Sr and husband of Remilda, who died in 1962? The Albert "N". Roker was born (according to the documentation) 1 January 1902 and died 21 June 1973 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Albert Hubert Roker was born 1 January 1901 - I would think that the both of them are likely to be the same person, but I'm not sure how to reconcile the conflicting death dates of 1962 vs. 1973.

Jamie said:

"It looks like Albert S.'s parents are Joseph Roker and Loretta Johnson... 

Maybe the Bahamas project can help."

I think it was Geni who originally quoted a set of parents as being David and Francis. I'm going to pre-suppose that our research is further along than theirs, so if David is invalid now, then we'll just have to release his profile into the wild.

As you said, perhaps the Bahamas Project may be able to assist in pinning things like this down. I think we can probably add Francis Rolle to his profile to keep him company, but beyond that, there's not much more we know about David and Francis.

Also looking into Sylvia Austin - found a couple of records:

"United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KLP7-ZHB : accessed 20 April 2016), Sylvia Johnson, Residence, West Palm Bch, Florida, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.

Possibly a remarriage? To Henry R Johnson. And her middle initial appears to be W.

"United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJH2-PWXQ : accessed 20 April 2016), Sylvia Roker, Residence, West Palm Beach, Florida, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.

Birth date of 1 September 1908 - would go OK with either Albert Hubert (born 1901) or Albert Stanley (born 1910) or another choice.

Can't find any Sylvia Roker in the SS Death DB born 1907 - 1909 - Sylvia Johnson? Nothing for 1908, but a few for 1907

"United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JBSX-4TL : accessed 20 April 2016), Sylvia H Johnson, 28 Dec 1989; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

- This one doesn't seem likely - seems like she was born in Nevada and/or possibly passed away there as well

"United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JYZ8-24X : accessed 20 April 2016), Sylvia A Johnson, 16 May 2002; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

This one's a possibility, but middle initial differs - passed away in Palm Beach, FL - at least that rings a bell

And that book has a few interesting tidbits:

Page 95: "I chose to talk to Grandma Roker, since she still went back to Nassau and her home island of Exuma quite a bit."

Page 96: "A few years back, Courtney and I took a trip to Exuma..." (his daughter)
There are (at least) three!

Signed up for a trial subscription to Newspapers.com because they have the Palm Beach Post. Albert Nathaniel Roker was the one who died in 1973 (at 73 years old), he was hit by a car while he was on his bicycle. He was the one that married Sylvia, had a sister Mrs. Carmeta Wildgoose, nephew Glen Wildgoose.

So Albert S. died in 2004 in California, Albert N. died in 1973 in Palm Beach, and Albert (Hubert??) died in 1962 in New York? The last one is the ancestor of Al Roker weatherman.
I guess that would make sense why Sylvia married him in 1946, he died in 1962, and then she apparently remarried to Johnson after 1962.
Starting work on the 3 Als again.

I'm pretty sure that Albert N.'s father is Ezekiel (because Ezekiel had a daughter with the same birth month and day as Albert N.'s sister Carmetia -- none of the records can seem to agree on a year), Albert S.'s father is Joseph, and Albert H. (Al Roker's real grandfather) has an unknown father so I've reattached David Roker as his father.

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