Viola Browning: The Traveler (52 Ancestors #47)

This week’s ancestor isn’t in my direct line.  She’s my half third great aunt, my third great grandfather’s daughter from his second marriage.  I took an interest in her simply because of an interesting document I came across.

As I was going through one of my grandparents’ boxes of papers, I found a stack with surnames I didn’t recognize:  Hite, Dell, Ringold, Orr.  I hate it when I can’t connect people, so I set to work.  My first clue was a death record for Viola Browning Hite Dell, the daughter of Daniel Browning and “unknown.”

Daniel’s wife, Ossian, has always been a mystery.  Thinking that Viola might lead me to more information on Ossian made me want to continue to pursue this lead.  The next document was a copy of a passport with a photo.  This was the first time I had come across a non-traditional source and I was very excited.  The copy is poor, but I was able to make out the information.

Browning, Viola - Passport

Passport for Viola Browning Hite, 1920.

Further research revealed that Viola was not Ossian’s daughter, but Daniel’s daughter with his second wife, Nancy Catherine Ringold.1  This was a clue as to what happened to Ossian and when.  I followed that lead, and then I came back to Viola.  I wondered what else I could find on her.

Melvina Viola Browning was born on August 22, 1878 in Jefferson County, Kentucky.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,12,13  Her parents were Daniel and Nancy Catherine (Ringold) Browning.1,13  Viola married William Marders Hite in 1898.2,3,4  They had one daughter together, Clara M.2,3  William died on March 3, 1917 of myocarditis.4

In March of 1920, Viola applied for a passport, with the purpose of traveling to Holland.6  She received her passport the next week and did go to Holland.7  Viola returned from Rotterdam in June of 1920 on the S.S. Noordam.8

Passenger Ships and Images, N Noordam 1902-1923

S.S. Noordam

New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Roll T715, 1897-1957 2001-3000 Roll 2785

Passenger list for S.S. Noordam, 9 June 1920.

Some time after her return, Viola moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, Clara and Luther Wetherby.9  By 1940, she was living on her own again and had taken in a boarder.10

Shortly after that, Viola moved to Florida.  She married James W. Dell in Pinellas County, Florida in 1949.11  Viola died on November 12, 1963 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  She was buried in Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Pleasant Grove, Kentucky.13


Sources

  1. Ancestry.com. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Year: 1880; Census Place: Boston, Jefferson, Kentucky; Page: 4D; Enumeration District:0089.
  2. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Year: 1900; Census Place: Middletown, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 533; Page: 11A; Enumeration District:0147; FHL microfilm: 1240533.
  3. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Year: 1910; Census Place: Anchorage, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T624_483; Page: 5B; Enumeration District:0001; FHL microfilm: 1374496.
  4. Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1963 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
  5. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1920; Census Place: Middletown, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T625_577; Page: 4A; Enumeration District:7; Image: 663.
  6. Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 1120; Volume #: Roll 1120 – Certificates: 1500-1875, 26 Mar 1920-26 Mar 1920.
  7. Passport. 26 Mar. 1920. Viola Browning Hite. Copy in My Possession, New Albany, Indiana.
  8. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.Year: 1920; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2785; Line:12; Page Number: 49.
  9. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Year: 1930; Census Place: District 1, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 752; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0184; Image: 212.0; FHL microfilm: 2340487.
  10. Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Year: 1940; Census Place: Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T627_1320; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 56-15.
  11. Ancestry.com.  Florida Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA:  Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
  12. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
  13. Florida Office of Vital Statistics. Certificate of Death. 13 Nov. 1963. Viola Browning Hite Dell. Copy in My Possession, New Albany, Indiana.

 

One thought on “Viola Browning: The Traveler (52 Ancestors #47)

  1. She was my great grandmother and I am still wearing her yellow diamond that she purchased on one of her trips overseas.

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