Off on a different kind of search today. It started with a new (to us) piece of furniture, an antique display cabinet bought at an estate sale. This glass enclosed cabinet replaces another wood cabinet. When we cleaned out the wood cabinet, we found a pile of old stock certificates purchased at an auction years ago. Our original plan was to decoupage the certificates on old pieces of furniture. We looked through the certificates and made some interesting finds. One of those finds is an original issued patent, complete with the red seal from the US Patent Office. This post tells about my first foray into forensic genealogy with the goal of returning this heirloom to a rightful owner.
The patent is for Rotary valve engines issued to Chester E. Sherman of Kansas City, Missouri in 1918. There are also 4 stock certificates in the Rotary Valve Manufacturing Company issued to L. A. Sherman in November 1914.
Who was Chester E. Sherman? I entered his basic information on Ancestry. First item uncovered was a 1920 census record for Chester E. Sherman in Kansas City , Missouri. Following the information from that record, I found Chester’s death certificate.  He was born in Kansas in 1874 to Louie A Sherman and Alta Page. Chester died in Dallas, Texas in 1961. He married Izetta Peppard in 1916.  Izetta died in 1987, presumably also in Dallas.
Chester and Izetta had two daughters. Edith Pauline, born 21 December 1923 in Missouri, died 5 March 2002 in Dallas, Texas.  Edith’s name is on same mausoleum slab as her mother’s. Edith possibly never married.
Eleanor Lucille Sherman was born 16 April 1915 in Kansas City. She married C.W. Morris on 5 March 1933 in Dallas, Texas.  Eleanor died in September 1996. C.W. and Eleanor had at least one daughter, Bobette Eleanor, born 23 March 1937 in Dallas.  Bobette married possibly two times – 1st to Max Alford and 2nd to Everett W. Campbell. Bobette may still be alive and could be Chester’s only direct descendant. Other relatives of Chester may also be interested in having this piece of their family’s history.
Three ancestry trees included Chester. I sent a message to the owner of one of those trees and wait for a response. If I don’t get a response, I will message the owners of the other two trees. Posting the information on my blog is another way of trying to contact a member of Chester’s family. I will hold on to this document for several months then seek an appropriate repository.
This line of inquiry is called forensic genealogy. Recently, there have been several TV shows about this type of search using DNA matches. All of us probably use similar methods to find cousins or other relatives. I admit that I am not as proficient in this as others. I do not expect any financial renumeration for returning this very important document to the family. I hope that someone someday will do a similar favor for me.
This was an interesting journey. I used many skills learned through my Genealogy Do- Over to access information and evaluate the data. I amazed myself that I was able to find relevant information within a few hours. My reward will be the return of this document to a family member.
I needed a break from the intense work I’ve been doing on an article about my mom’s family. I only need to track down a few more sources. I wasn’t sure what to write about this week. A topic always seems to surface!
What I learned: more about forensic genealogy and different ways in which it can be used.
What helped: genealogy do over skills. Online database with search feature.
What didn’t help: having only a name and residence in 1918 for Chester E. Sherman.
To do: wait for someone to claim the documents.
 1920 U.S. Census, Jackson Co., Missouri, population schedule, Kansas City, enumeration district (ED) 117, p. 5A(ink pen), dwelling 80, family 113, Chester E Sherman, head, age 24; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 8 May 2021); citing National Archives & Records Administration, Washington, D.C. microfilm publication T625_927.
“ Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 8 May 2021), entry for Chester Elisha Sherman; citing Texas Department of State Health Services. Austin, Texas.
 “Missouri, U.S., Jackson County Marriage Records, 1840-1985,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 8 May 2021), entry for Chester E. Sherman and Izetta Peppard, certificate no. 1913K0058670; citing Marriage Records, Jackson County clerk, Kansas City, Missouri.
 Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com : viewed 8 May 2021 ), memorial page for Izetta P Sherman, Find A Grave Memorial no. 107692206 , citing Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park (Dallas, Dallas Co., Texas), memorial created by T, photograph by T.
 Social Security Administration, “U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 , database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 9 May 2021); entry for Edith Sherman, SS no. 449-24-6962.
 “Texas, U.S. Select County Marriage Records, 1837-1965,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 8 May 2021), entry for Ms Eleanor Sherman and C.W.Morris, certificate no. 16229; citing Dallas County Clerk’s Office, Dallas, Texas.
 Social Security Administration, “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, “ database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 9 May 2021); entry for Eleanor Lucille Morris [Eleanor Lucille Sherman], SS no. 449-68-6967..
 “Texas, U.S. Birth Index, 1903-1997,” database with images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 10 May 2021), entry for Bobette Eleanor Morris, roll no. 1937_006; citing Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas; father: Charles William Morris, mother: Eleanor Lucille Sherman.