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10 Jun 2015

Wrestling, pools and silk


One bright morning in half-term I couldn't stay in bed any longer. By six I was on Ancestry.com wondering if cousin Claire had made anything of my leads, concerning our Hunt cousins in New Jersey. I'd discovered Beatrice Hunt born 1907 in Salford had married an Italian man and died in Rancho Cucamonga after deciding to search Passaic county for all the English Beatrices. Of course she was alonely possible. Claire had done something similar for the second daughter, noting the existence of a child, Verna. By 0804 I had confirmed this and stood possessed of Verna's birth name and married name. By 0806 I had learnt she starred in two recent YouTube videos, including one with her grandson, six foot four pop journalist Giancarlo. Before I jogged off for my doctors appointment at half nine I resolved to find the other two, trickier, Hunt sisters, and that's what happened. Here are Betty and Lily in the 1930 census for Paterson with their incorrect birthplaces. Unfortunately the next census won't give the parents' birthplace of England, so it's time to use FamilySearch, for free, to comb the whole town in 1940 for clues.
The fact that they must have been born across the Hudson, in Manhattan, would turn the impossibility of finding them into a distinct possibility. Searching all the girls in Paterson New Jersey yielded plenty of possibles...
but an unexpected link pulled both girls out snap and pronto!

This is the 1940 census of Paterson with possibles for Betty and Lily grown up.
And so is this.  Hmmm, Quicks appearing twice? Suspicious!
Writing to Giancarlo, he indeed confirmed Betty had married Victor. And the Quicks and Cobianchis are living just a block from each other and/or the 1930 home on Straight Street. It's all a world away from scary old Salford. Victor worked in the silk mills as an examiner. Wrestling is a big local sport. The pools closed in the 1930s for regular cleans. A Hunt nephew drowned in the fast-flowing Passaic river. I am going to the States in August and northern Jersey is gonna talk to me more than its swankier neighbour just across the water. Go garden state.

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