Monday, June 21, 2010

Madness Monday: Run-away father, Raymond Mason Peterson

A BIG thank you to Thomas MacEntee from GeneaBloggers who highlighted my blog in his Saturday blog post. Another BIG welcome and thank you to all of you who took the time to click the link and check out my blog. I welcome any comments and suggestions.


My grandfather's father, Raymond Mason Peterson, left the family soon after my grandpa was born. His maternal grandparents, Clarence and Elizabeth Brown (nee Galligan) adopted him as his birth mother, Ruth Margaret Brown was having trouble raising him alone during the great depression. My grandpa was an only child. After he was adopted, my grandpa took on the Brown name (maiden name of his birthmom). Although my grandpa is still alive, bringing up the past is difficult for him, and getting family stories or history from him is worse than pulling teeth.

Raymond and Ruth, August 1925, Chicago, IL
I've been able to locate a lot of information on the Brown side of the family, as well as the Galligan family, but I have not been able to find Raymond Peterson or his family.

Raymond and Ruth, September 1925, Chicago, IL

Here's what I know:
  • Raymond Mason Peterson was born around 1908
  • Raymond's nickname was "Ray"
  • Raymond and Ruth Margaret Brown were married in Chicago, IL, between 1924-1929
  • In August and September 1925, Raymond and Ruth are together in a picture in front of a building, address: 2634 W 15th Place, Chicago, IL
  • Raymond and Ruth's first and only child was born in 1930 (*details left off, as son is still living)
  • Raymond and Ruth were divorced between 1930-1937
  • Raymond's brother owned the Peterson Funeral Home in Chicago, IL
  • Raymond owned a tent and awning shop in Chicago, IL

Raymond and Ruth, August 1925, Chicago, IL

I don't know when he died, if he moved, or if he remarried, or his exact date of birth

Here's where I've looked:

  • Chicago City Directories. I've found many Raymond or Ray Peterson's but are they my Raymond?
  • Obituaries from Chicago Tribune....found over 20 with the name Raymond or Ray Peterson. I've been able to narrow it down to a couple, due to ages
  • I've contacted the Peterson Funeral Home in Chicago via email to request information---no return email.
  • Social Security Death Index (SSDI)--found a couple, best match shows he died in Arizona.

My plans:

  • Request a copy of Raymond and Ruth's marriage and divorce record
  • Re-contact Peterson Funeral Home via phone

Any other suggestions? Please let me know.

Pictures courtesy of Ruth Margaret Brown's family photo album


  1. Don't know how else to get this to you. This must be your Raymond.

    U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
    Name: Raymond M Peterson Jr
    Birth Year: 1908
    Race: White, citizen (White)
    Nativity State or Country: Illinois
    State of Residence: Illinois
    County or City: Cook

    Enlistment Date: 26 Jun 1942
    Enlistment State: Illinois
    Enlistment City: Chicago
    Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    Grade: Private
    Grade Code: Private
    Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
    Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
    Source: Civil Life

    Education: Grammar school
    Civil Occupation: Salesmen and sales agents, except to consumers
    Marital Status: Divorced, without dependents
    Height: 71
    Weight: 193

    Found on Ancestry.
    This is on FamilySearch Records.

    Hope it helps.

  2. Hummer,
    thank you so much for taking the time to search for Raymond. I've looked on ancestry but never found this record. It certainly looks like this is my Raymond.

    It's interesting how he's listed as divorced without dependents as he had my grandpa. If he's a jr, his dad was probably Raymond as well.

    Thank you so much, I truly appreciate this record!!!