Can you give me any information on Ralph Chaplin?

0 votes

I was always told that my mother's father had the last name of Chaplin. When they opened up the 1940 census, I located that information. The only problem, I can not find any more information.

This is what I have so far (remember, this is from the 1940 census): Ralph Chaplin 28 white, male, occupation Officer to police dept. married to Grace (Hansen) 22 white, female. [ May 31, 1917 Il. - Jan 2, 1977 Wilmette, Il]   James, 5, white, male, stepson.  Judith, 2, white, female [Oct.11, 1937 Il.]  (my mom said that he was her bio father but it states in the census that he is her step father. She never said if it was James' bio dad.) Their address was 119 64th St. Chicago, cook county, Il. It asks where were you living on April 1, 1935 and for all of them it says same place. 

I also found a newspaper article from the Southeast Economist dated December 21, 1939 Southeast Chicago serving Woodlawn, Grand Crossing, Chatham and South Shore.  The article went on to state: Officer Ralph Chaplin, of the accident prevention bureau, less than a block away in a squad car, drove to the scene and called the fire apparatus and additional police. 

That is all I have. I haven't found any information before or after that. According to the CPD, he didn't die in the line of duty but that is all that was offered. I don't know if Ralph is his 1st name or middle name. My Grandma Grace was remarried in 1945.  She used to say that Ralph died then she would say that he left so I don't know what is true. I was very young when Grandma died and my mom said that she had never seen him again once he left. I have no records of her marrying Ralph. I have searched for months. I hope you can help. 

Thank you,



in Genealogy Help by
Just a thought: James was 5 and Judith 2 in 1940, meaning Grace would have been 17 or so when James was born.  Maybe Grace is Ralph's 2nd wife, and they are her stepchildren. And she answered the census taker, or filled out the form????
no, she is their birth mother. I know this as a fact.

2 Answers

0 votes
The following is from

Sylvester Ralph Chaplin born 4 Jul 1911 Cook Co.

Married Grace Elaine Hanson 27 mar 1948 in Cook Co.

His parents were Addison Sylvester Chaplin and Bertha Hokamp.


This link is entitled “Judy’s Dad” has written on it “My Father.”!jwTQGr6UT1IWBCzvcF_7H30a!E/600

Click on it to see the picture.
by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (197k points)
edited by Tom Bredehoft

The information about Ralph is correct except the marriage to Grace. She started her second marriage on April 7, 1945. Thank you so much for your help. smiley Having that information about Ralph's parents has helped a lot.

Glad I could help, thanks for letting me know about it.
0 votes
Hi Jennifer

Here is what I have found:

Major Ralph Sylvester Chaplin

Born 4 July 1911 Cook County Ill

Died 21 June 1970 Buried in Fort Sheridan Cemetary Highwood Lake

Son of Addison Sylvester and Bertha

Served WW11 in both Korea and Vietnam

Survived at the time of his death by wife Dorothy and daughter Kathi Coles of Harvey Ill., Son Theodore E. Palmer of DC

He was also a member of Grace Lutheran Church.

The only thing I know for sure about researching my family is to expect the unexpected. That and keep an open mind. We don't know anything about what the circumstances were that were faced way back then.

If I can help or you need anything - reach out.

by Jenn Lacey G2G1 (1.1k points)

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