Tracy E. Carnes June 30, 1954-August 26, 2018

I am very sad to report that Tracy Carnes, my fourth cousin, once removed, passed away on August 26, 2018. Tracy had been battling cancer for a number of years and was only 64 when she died. She was survived by her partner Rita Goodman and her sisters Rebecca Alden and Virginia Voges.

Tracy had connected with me almost three years ago when she left a comment on my blog saying that she believed we were related through her grandmother, who was born Celia Nusbaum, but known to Tracy and her family as Sally Carnes. Celia’s story had been a challenge for me as she and her husband Inglis Cameron and their son Edward James Cameron had seemingly vanished in the 1920s. Together Tracy and I combined our information, and through further research we learned much more about her grandparents and father, though some questions were left unanswered. We concluded that the family had probably changed their identity and gone into hiding after cooperating with the government in the prosecution of a securities fraud case in Philadelphia. The story of Celia Nusbaum and her family can be found here and here, titled “The Mystery of the Philadelphia Lawyer.”

Over the last few years I had kept up with Tracy through occasional emails and through her page on the CaringBridge website, where she wrote about her medical treatments and about her courageous and determined fight against cancer. Although not raised Jewish, she had returned to Judaism and found much comfort in her faith and in her life with Rita and their pets. My heart goes out to Rita, Beckie, and Ginger, and to all of Tracy’s loved ones.

May her memory be for a blessing.

The Mystery of the Philadelphia Lawyer: Part II

In my last post I wrote about the mystery of my cousin Celina Nusbaum, who had been married to Inglis Cameron, with whom she’d had a son Edward James.  Then she became Sally Carnes, married to Donald Carnes, and her son Edward James also took on the surname Carnes. Celina’s granddaughter Tracy had commented on my blog and helped to fill in some details about Celina. But there was more to learn.  Why did Celina change her name and move to Texas? Who was Donald Carnes, and what had happened to Inglis Cameron?

An old friend of the family had shared his memories with Tracy and her brother, and Tracy sent me the notes she had from that conversation.  Since I cannot prove some of the details alleged in those notes, I need to be careful what I write here, but from that conversation, Tracy understood that her grandfather had gotten into some sort of trouble, had changed his name to Donald Carnes, and had moved the family to Texas to start over.  Celina became Sally Carnes, and Edward James became E.J. Carnes. Tracy said that her mother’s maiden name had been Barnes, and she thought that the family combined Cameron with Barnes to create Carnes as their new name.

Why did they choose Texas as a place to move? On Donald Carnes’ death certificate, it says that Donald was born on December 2, 1884, in “Corsicane [sic], Texas.”

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah.

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah.

I did some more research into the background of Inglis Cameron and learned that his parents had once lived in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas. The Camerons had first lived in Philadelphia after marrying, but their second child, Charles Cameron, was born in Corsicana, Texas, in Navarro County in 1879, according to his death certificate; that certificate also identified the full names of the Cameron parents—James Cameron and Mary Elizabeth.

Charles Cameron death certificate Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Charles Cameron death certificate
Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Cameron family is also listed in Navarro County on the 1880 census.

James Cameron and family 1880 census Year: 1880; Census Place: Navarro, Texas; Roll: 1321; Family History Film: 1255321; Page: 314D; Enumeration District: 127

James Cameron and family 1880 census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Navarro, Texas; Roll: 1321; Family History Film: 1255321; Page: 314D; Enumeration District: 127

 

The Camerons later returned to Pennsylvania, where Inglis was born on December 2, 1883, according to his World War I draft registration and several census records.

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907636; Draft Board: 17

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907636; Draft Board: 17

 

So Inglis had family ties to Corsicana, Texas.  It seems clear to me that Inglis Cameron became Donald Carnes and that he changed his birth place to Corsicana where his parents had once lived, perhaps to give himself credible Texas roots.  He also kept his birthday (though not the year) the same.  Although I have no official documentation to prove that he changed his name, the circumstantial evidence certainly points that way.

Donald Carnes’ application for a Social Security number seems to support this conclusion as well.  There is an entry in the Social Security Applications and Claims Index on Ancestry.com that indicates that Donald Carnes filed for a Social Security number in October 1940. The SSACI index lists Donald Carnes’ birth place as Corsicana, Texas, and his birth date as December 6, 1884. It lists his parents’ names as James Carnes and Mary Smith. Inglis Cameron’s parents were James and Mary Cameron—coincidence?  I think not.   I have sent for the actual application, but I doubt it will say he was also once known as Inglis Cameron.

Thus, I am convinced that, as the family friend told Tracy, Inglis Cameron became Donald Carnes, that Celina Nusbaum Glessner Cameron became Sally Carnes, and that Edward James Cameron became Edward James Carnes.  But why? What had happened to cause them to change their names and move to Texas?

I was able to find Inglis E.D. Cameron listed as a lawyer in the Philadelphia directory in 1922 and in 1923.  In 1923, he was listed as part of a firm, Cameron & Carey.  In 1925, he was listed in the NYC directory as an attorney, but in the Philadelphia directory, it only listed his residence.  In the 1930 directory, he is not listed at all. (There are no online Philadelphia directories for the years between 1925 and 1930.)

I needed to find a source for news about Philadelphia during the 1920s and 1930s, but the databases to which I subscribe have no Philadelphia papers dated past 1922.  The only online database that has Philadelphia newspapers dated after 1922 is a wonderful free website known as Fulton History or Old Fulton Postcards.  It is run by one man who has scanned and uploaded millions of pages of old newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer.  It is not always an easy site to use because you have to be very persistent and creative in searching, and my first time through I had not found anything too helpful.  But after receiving Tracy’s comment on the blog, I was motivated to spend more time learning how to search the Fulton site.

What did I learn? Inglis E.D. Cameron had been a member of a law firm in Philadelphia called Cameron & Carey, as indicated in the 1923 Philadelphia directory; his partner was James T. Carey.  In 1922 they represented a company called United Auto Stores, a chain that sold auto parts and accessories. The company was founded by Edward B.P. Carrier, a young man who was the son of a doctor in Philadelphia and who had been a student at the University of Pennsylvania when he left to start the company.  By 1922, the company had over fifty stores in many states, and Edward “Bud” Carrier was only 28.

In February, 1922, Carrier and others involved in the business of United Auto Stores were sued by stockholders for conspiracy to commit stock fraud; they were allegedly lying to purchasers about the value of the company in order to induce them to buy stock and also profiting by using a shell company as the selling agent of the stock.

Edward P. B. "Bud" Carrier, head of Auto Stores Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 1922, p. 1

Edward P. B. “Bud” Carrier, head of Auto Stores
Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 1922, p. 1

The story was covered in detail by The Philadelphia Inquirer, and in some of the articles there are references either to Inglis Cameron, his partner James T. Carey, or their firm Cameron & Carey as the counsel to United Auto Stores.  See, e.g., “Gigantic Swindle Seen in Collapse of Auto Stores Co.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 24, 1922, p. 1, 3 [names Cameron & Carey as counsel and quotes James T. Carey]; “File Court Actions to Save Creditors of Auto Stores Co.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 1922, pp. 1, 9; “Gay Parties Marked Spending Orgy of Auto Stores Head,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 26, 1922, p. 1; “Auto Stores Chief Denies All Charges of Wild Spending,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 27, 1922, p. 1, 5 [mentions Cameron & Carey as company counsel and Inglis E.D. Cameron specifically as present during questions by reporter]; “Auto Stores Yields Up But $30,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 28, 1922, p. 2; “Auto Stores Head Called Falsifier,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 1, 1922, p. 2; “Receivers Named for Auto Stores,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2, 1922, p.2; “Hint of US Action Shock to Carrier,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 4, 1922, p. 2.

By March 7, 1922, United Auto Stores was in permanent receivership, and soon thereafter its assets were sold to Gimbel Brothers.  “Special Referee to Probe Crash of Carrier’s Concerns,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 7, 1922, pp. 1. 13.

Philadelphia Inquirer, May 14, 1922, p. 14

Philadelphia Inquirer, May 14, 1922, p. 14

The timing of this case unfolding raised some red flags for me.  It was in the spring of 1921 that “thieves” struck Inglis Cameron’s company, Cameo Dress Company, at least three times.  And it was on February  22, 1922, that the newspaper reported that Cameo Dress Company had been damaged by fire.  The first story about the United Auto Stores’ charges appeared in the paper on February 24, 1922, two days later. Could this be just coincidence? Or is there a connection?

In 1925, sixty-four individuals and the corporation itself were indicted on grounds of conspiracy to commit fraud.  Carrier was indicted as well as other officers of the company and a number of individuals who had been involved in the sales of United Auto Stores stock.  Absent, however, from the list of indicted individuals were the names of Inglis E.D. Cameron and James T. Carey.

Auto Stores Indictments 2 10 25 p 2 pt 1

indictments pt 2

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 10, 1925, p. 2

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 10, 1925, p. 2

And then the case disappeared from the papers.  I don’t know what happened with the charges.  Was there a trial? A verdict?  It’s very odd, but so far I have not found answers to those questions. But even before the Auto Stores indictment,  Samuel Safir and Samuel Rosenblatt, two of the first three names listed in the article identifying those who were indicted in the Auto Stores matter, had been charged in another case of stock fraud, this one involving the Altoona Glass Casket Company, a story that made the newspapers throughout the country. E.g., “Glass Casket Co. Promoters Jailed,” Boston Herald, February 2, 1924, p. 4.  Safir and Rosenblatt were ultimately convicted in the casket case.

As for Edward B.P. Carrier, as far as I can tell he was not convicted of any charges.  He married in 1924 and was living on Long Island, New York, in 1930 with his wife and family. He was working as a real estate broker.  In 1942 when he registered for the draft, he was living at the YMCA in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, working for a company called Defense Builders in Pottstown.  He died in Brigantine, New Jersey, in 1957.  Maybe he was just manipulated  by people like Safir and Rosenblatt, who may have been the true masterminds behind the conspiracy.  One other source I read suggested that Carrier himself may have been duped. “United Auto Stores Swindle,” United States Investor, vol. 33, issue 1 (April 1922), pp.749-750 (describing Carrier as a “tool” in the scheme of another).

The notes that Tracy had from the conversation with her father’s old friend suggest that Inglis and his son went to Florida around 1925 to invest in real estate and ended up losing a lot of money, but I have no way of verifying that information.  But Edward James Cameron, Celina’s son and Tracy’s father, would have been only ten years old in 1925.

So what do you think happened between 1925, when Inglis disappeared, and 1940, when he applied for a Social Security card as Donald Carnes?  Was he running from creditors? Was he running from the law?

Or, as I am thinking, was he running from those who were behind the stock fraud conspiracy? Had he been a witness against them, leading to the 1925 indictments?  Had they been trying to intimidate him by subjecting Cameo Dress to theft and fire?  The Federal Witness Protection program did not exist in those days, but perhaps there was some informal way that the government enabled Inglis Cameron and his family to change their names and move from Philadelphia to Houston.

Inglis Cameron, a/k/a Donald Carnes, was killed in a car accident in 1948. He and his wife Sally/Celina were run down by a Houston carpenter named Homer Bertram Poole.  Sally survived.  The driver was indicted for murder by automobile, as described in the following three articles.   I am grateful to Leah, Amanda, and Barb from the Texas Genealogy Network on Facebook for helping to locate these articles about Donald Carnes’ death.

Donald Carnes accident

Sweetwater Reporter, November 7, 1948, p. 3

 

 

 

 

Houston Post, November 7, 1948

Houston Post, November 7, 1948

 

Amarillo Daily New, December 14, 1948, p.7

Amarillo Daily New, December 14, 1948, p.7

Was this just a case of drunk driving? Or was it something more intentional? I don’t know.

Celina/Sally Cameron/Carnes died eighteen years later in 1966.   Edward James Cameron/Carnes died in 1984. This mystery remains largely unsolved.

Thanks to Tracy and her sister Ginger, I now have pictures of my cousin Celina Nusbaum, her husband Inglis Cameron, and their son Edward James Cameron—otherwise known as Sally, Donald, and E.J. Carnes.

Sally, Edward James, and Donald Carnes Courtesy of Tracy Carnes

Sally, Edward James, and Donald Carnes
Courtesy of Tracy Carnes and Ginger Carnes

Celina Nusbaum a/k/a Sally Carnes Courtesy of Tracy and Ginger Carnes

Celina Nusbaum a/k/a Sally Carnes
Courtesy of Tracy and Ginger Carnes

I will continue to look for more information.  But for now, I am interested in what you all think.  How would you fit together all these pieces of the puzzle?  Why did the Cameron family leave Philadelphia, change their names, and move to Houston?

 

 

 

The Mystery of the Philadelphia Lawyer: Part I

I am taking a short break this week from the Schoenthal story to return to a mystery I discovered in the Nusbaum family line. Back in April I wrote about the strange disappearance of Celina Nusbaum, my second cousin, three times removed.  Celina was the granddaughter of Ernst Nusbaum, brother of my 3x-great-grandfather John Nusbaum.  Her life story was intriguing, and I was frustrated that I could not find some closure to her story.

Here’s what I knew: Celina was born in November 1881 in Philadelphia, daughter of Edgar Nusbaum and Viola Barritt.  She had married Hamilton Hall Treager Glessner in 1904, and their daughter Marian Glessner was born in 1906.  But by 1910, the marriage was over, and Celina had returned with her daughter to her parents’ home.  Celina was working as a dress designer, according to the 1910 census.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Abington, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1377; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1375390

Year: 1910; Census Place: Abington, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1377; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1375390

Celina remarried in August 1912.  Her second husband, Inglis E.D. Cameron, was a lawyer who had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1909.  He must have been somewhat well-regarded there because he was selected as toastmaster for the class banquet:

Inglis Cameron from UPenn 1909 yearbook

Penn Law 1909 Cameron

Philadelphia Evening Bulletin March 15, 1909

Philadelphia Evening Bulletin March 15, 1909

 

Celina and Inglis had a son, Edward James Cameron, born in June, 1915.  On the 1920 census, Inglis, Celina (Selena on the census record), Marian, and Edward (called James there) were living in Philadelphia, and Inglis listed his occupation as a lawyer for a manufacturer. (His name was really butchered by the census enumerator, but this is definitely his family.)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1624; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 617; Image: 269

Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1624; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 617; Image: 269

I was able to find Inglis in the 1925 NYC directory as a lawyer in midtown Manhattan, but residing in Philadelphia.

Title : New York, New York, City Directory, 1925 Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989 [database on-line].

Title : New York, New York, City Directory, 1925
Source Information
Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989 [database on-line].

I found one brief news item in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Inglis Cameron as a lawyer, dated April 17, 1924:

Inglis Cameron atty april 17 1924 p 12

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 17, 1924, p. 12

I am not quite sure what to make of this article.  It appears that Inglis was representing a client whose identity he would not or could not reveal, but that the newspaper believed was the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, a New York bus company that was seeking to establish business in Philadelphia.

After that, I could not find any trace of any of them; Celina, Inglis, Marian, and Edward James Cameron all seemed to have vanished.  I could not find them in any directory nor on either the 1930 or 1940 census.

But a woman named Sally Carnes with a husband named Donald Carnes and a son named E. J. Carnes surfaced in Texas, in the 1940s.  Why is that relevant? Because this death certificate made it very clear to me that Sally Carnes was the same woman as Celina Nusbaum Glessner Cameron:

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Her parents were Edgar Nusbaum and Viola Barritt, and the informant was her daughter from her first marriage, Marian (using her married name Pattinson).  This had to be Celina.  When I then searched for Carnes in Houston, it led me to the death certificate of Donald Carnes, who had a son named E.J. Carnes:

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah.

Ancestry.com. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah.

The initials E.J. for E.J. Carnes?  To me that had to be Edward James Cameron using a different surname, that of the man I assumed was Celina/Sally’s third husband, Donald Carnes.  But I had no further record for Inglis Cameron, no earlier records for Donald Carnes, and no marriage record for Sally and Donald Carnes.  There are further details of my search described here in my earlier post, but the bottom line is that I had no definite answers as to what happened to Inglis or how Celina became Sally Carnes and ended up in Houston.  Even searching for descendants of Marian Glessner Pattinson led me nowhere.

Enter Tracy Carnes, who left a comment on my blog in October. Tracy wrote that she was the daughter of Edward James Carnes, who was the son of Donald Carnes and Lena Claire Nusbaum (Celina was sometimes identified as Lena), also known as Sally Carnes.  That is, Tracy is my fourth cousin, once removed. And she had some answers to my questions and some fascinating information about her grandmother, Sally Carnes, who had once been Celina Nusbaum:

Tracy wrote:

My grandmother, Lena Claire Nusbaum (as listed on my father’s death certificate) or Sally Carnes, was a dressmaker. She had a knack for making fat women look thin and thin women look shapely. I stayed with her in Houston one summer for about a week, and she had dress forms, patterns she was making, and wedding dresses in the works. Mother (Margaret Hannah Barnes Carnes) told us that Sally had the patent on the metal slider that adjusts bra straps. She also designed a slip for Babe Didrikson Zaharias for golfing, called the “super-stride.” Mom and dad said that Sally Carnes had a line of clothing called, “Sally Smart” and four dress factories in Philadelphia lost during the depression. Sally also owned a Russian Tea Room. We don’t have any documentation to support these stories.

So I set out to find some documentation.  I thought the easiest story to validate was the one about the patent on a bra strap slider so I used Google Patents to try and locate such a patent.  Although I did not find one for that specific invention, I did find three patents that were issued to Celina Cameron.  The first, Patent No. 1709337, was filed July 12, 1926, and was issued on April 16, 1929.  That patent was for a garment combining a skirt and bodice.  In her application, Celina wrote:

This invention relates to women’s garments, more particularly garments combining a bodice and skirt. In connection with garments embodying the general characteristics mentioned, I seek to retain all the advantages of the skirt as considered from the esthetic standpoint, and yet afford the wearer the utmost comfort with regard to freedom of leg movement 0 without entailing exposure within the confines of the skirt.

Celina Cameron patent 2-page-001 Celina Cameron patent 2-page-002 Celina Cameron patent 2-page-003

 

A second patent, No. 1797714, filed May 17, 1929, and granted on March 24, 1931, was also for a garment, this one for a negligee, as described in the application:

This invention relates to garments of the negligee class and of a type intended more particularly for women.  The object of my invention is to provide a slip-on garment of the kind referred to which is simple in design, yet highly attractive in appearance; which is easily and quickly put on or taken ‘off and which ordinarily affords complete protection, but when desired permits the back of the wearer to be exposed for sun or heat treatment to the exclusion of all other parts of the body.

Celina Cameron patent 1-page-002 Celina Cameron patent 1-page-003 Celina Cameron patent 1-page-004

Perhaps this was the slip designed for Babe Didrikson Zacharias?

The third patent issued to Celina Cameron, No. 1834331, was for a modification to the first invention so that it could be reversible.  That patent application was filed on February 19, 1930, and the patent issued on December 1, 1931.

So although I did not find a patent for a bra strap slider, there certainly was truth to the family story that Celina had patented some of her clothing designs.  And from the dates on these patents, I knew that at least until 1930 when she applied for the third patent, Celina was still using the name Celina Cameron.

As for the four dress factories, I found two possible companies.  The first was Cameo Dress Company, which Inglis listed as his company on his World War I draft registration in September, 1918.

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Philadelphia; Roll: 1907636; Draft Board: 17

When I Googled this company, however, I found that the company had been incorporated on February 27, 1918, by Edgar Nusbaum, Celina’s father. Edgar had for many years worked as a clerk for the railroad, not as a manufacturer.  I assume that he incorporated this business for his daughter Celina, who had listed her occupation in 1910 as a dress designer.  Although Inglis had been working as a lawyer as of the taking of the 1920 census, in the 1921 Philadelphia directory his listing simply says Cameo Dress Company.

But Cameo Dress Company ran into some bad luck.  The company fell victim to thieves at least twice in the spring of 1921, and then suffered a devastating fire in 1922.

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 9. 1921, p 3

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 9. 1921, p 3

And then just two months later, there was a second theft:

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 25, 1921, p 3

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 25, 1921, p 3

This article made reference to a theft ten days earlier, so it seems that Cameo Dress was subjected to (at least) three thefts in the spring of 1921.

Then, in February 1922, there was a devastating fire:

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 22, 1922, p. 3

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 22, 1922, p. 3

 

Was this really all just bad luck? The article about the fire notes that it “started beneath a stairway from an undetermined origin.”  Was someone targeting Cameo Dress Company?

Because almost all of the databases of online newspapers do not include any Philadelphia newspapers after 1922, I could not find out what happened to Cameo Dress Company after the fire.  But there had been an earlier fire that also seemed to involve the Cameron family.  Reginald on the Philadelphia Genealogy group on Facebook found a listing from the Philadelphia fire department’s annual report for 1914:

I then found this news article:

Mayfair fire

Mayfair fire 2

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 9, 1914, p. 5

Although I have not yet found anything else about Mayfair Manufacturing Company, I did find it rather strange that another company owned by Inglis Cameron had been damaged by a fire.  As with Cameo Dress, it was a company occupying the third floor of a building.  That time the fire department had opined that it could have been spontaneous combustion—dirty rags, I suppose.

(Of course, I am very glad that they saved the kitten.)

I did not find any documenation for a Sally Smart line of clothing or for a Russian tea room owned by Celina, the last two stories Tracy had shared in her comment about her grandmother .

But what Tracy and I were really interested in was why her grandmother Celina and her father Edward James had moved to Texas and changed their names to Cameron.  Tracy said that her father, Edward James Cameron/Carnes, had died in 1984 and that she had known that he had died with a secret, but not what it was.  Then about 20 years ago, Tracy and her brother received a phone call from an old friend of their father who shared what he knew.  Tracy sent me the notes she and her brother had saved from that phone conversation.  That led me down yet another research path.

To be continued….