Jeannie Waggoner called on Jan 8, 2013, asking for information for a friend she had known about 8 years. The friend’s name is Sandra Lee Mcdowell, a retired school teacher who doesn’t know when or where she was born. Her sister, Vicki Lynn Mcdowell, was born in Finley, Ohio and never married. “Sandy” thinks she may have been born in Michigan, but she doesn’t have a birth certificate. Also, Sandy doesn’t do computers. She apparently was married before, I don’t know if he died or they divorced, but she has 3 children, two daughters and one son. Sandra’s current husband was Michael Taylor and they married in Midland-Odessa. Jeannie never knew that Sandra had the son until Michael’s funeral in early December. One daughter used to live in Longview. The son’s name is David and lives on Oregon, Sandra went to college in Oregon. Sandra’s father was John Mcdowell and her mother was Mariam Gertrude Bennett. Someone was born Nov 4, 1941. With this information, I will attempt to find everything I can for Jeannie to help her friend. I asked if it was possible since Sandra was a retired schoolteacher that there should have been some kind of documents when she got her teacher’s degree. Jeannie (my friend) and I thought that not knowing any more about your early life is very unusual. I asked could it have been possible that she had had a stroke. I went to Ancestry and found an obituary on Michael from the Midland newspaper but my computer wouldn’t bring it up. I thought if nothing else it might have some names of survivors. We’ll see what we can find.
At the library and on Ancestry I found the obituary for Michael Taylor. The only survivors named were his wife, Sandra Taylor of Mineola, his mother Cleo Rae Taylor of Odessa, a son Ryan Taylor of Denver City, daughter, Myia Dale Scott of Odessa and 4 grandchildren. He had died on Nov. 29 in Mineola and this obit was published in the Odessa American on December 1, 2012.
Also on Ancestry I found Sandra Mcdowell in U.S. School Yearbooks along with a picture of her. According to this report her estimated birth year was about 1939, and she was age 20 when this picture was made. The school was Northern Pontiac High School in Pontiac, Michigan, and the year was 1959. The title of the yearbook was “Avalanche”. It’s possible that this picture is the Sandra Mcdowell we’re looking for and the approximate birth date is 1939. With that information, assuming she was born in Michigan, we can write the Michigan state capital and (maybe) get a birth certificate.
I also found a 1930 U.S. Census placing John D. Mcdowell in Michigan. He was single then, living with his father Thomas G. Mcdowell, who was born in Michigan, and his mother Katherine A. Mcdowell, who was born in Pennsylvania. His siblings named were Thomas M., Lucile , John D. (Sandra’s father), Donald M. , Dorothy M., and 2 others who may have been boarders or relatives living with the family. Their names were Helen J. Hamilton and Miles D. Hamilton.
I called Jeannie on Jan. 16 and told her what I had found. She said several people agreed that Sandra might have had a stroke but she didn’t want to do anything. I suggested she have it checked because it might just be the first and doctors can use blood thinners and other drugs to prevent them. I am sending Jeannie the information that I have found along with the picture and if this lady is the one in the picture she or one of us could contact the school or the state records department in Lansing, Michigan to get more information.
If this information is not correct, we can use any of these names to further our search.
Jeannie Waggoner’s email is email@example.com.
Submitted by Shirley Bates, Genealogy Research