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                                               The following story was given to me by

                                                         Jacqueline Dona Lam bert

                                                             Her email address is: 

                                                   lambertjacquelin@hotmail.com                                   

                                                                                                                                             


I hadn't been able to get any information on the Lambert side of my family because my father doesn't really know anything and his mother, Blanche, died when I was 15. I only knew her for 3 years but she was a major influence on my life and I still think of her frequently. Blanche was Frank's second wife. She left him about 2 years after the stock market crashed and with her two sons went back to her family, most of which was now living in Kansas City. They were originally from Diamond, MO, which is about 30 minutes from where I live now. I've lived all over the USA, but settled in this area about 5 years ago. I think it's interesting to find that this is where my family comes from as I didn't know that when I moved here.

My understanding from family remembrances, most of which came from my mother, as she remembers Blanche relating to her over the years, so that's kind of sketchy, is that Frank was a "crackerjack" (meaning outstanding) salesman from Canada working in Chicago, who came from wealthy Catholic family in Quebec. My dad said this was Lambert Pharmaceuticals, but he tells tall stories sometimes. Frank divorced his first wife to marry Blanche so was blackballed from his family. When the market crashed, Frank lost most of his money, but not all. Over the next couple of years Blanche sold off the silver and whatever they had to pay the bills, but Frank was still carrying on like he had the money to blow. When Blanche had enough she left. Frank followed her to Kansas City shortly afterward, but Blanche wouldn't let him move in with her, she was staying with her sister who watched the boys while she worked as a tool and die maker. They did see each other and she hoped that he would settle down, get a job and be responsible. He kept disappearing. Eventually he got a job as a salesman in KC, got an apartment, but also got a girlfriend who lived with him. Blanche and Frank were still married, though. My dad remembers him and Wayne going to visit his dad, then finally living with him when Blanche couldn't provide daycare for them as her sister also got a job to survive and the girlfriend not taking very good care of them.

Dad said his dad and the girlfriend took off at some point and left the boys alone. My dad (Donald) was 8 y/o then and Wayne was a couple of years younger. Social services stepped in and put them in Gillis boys home. Blanche had one day off, Sunday, and she used to ride the city bus all day to get there to visit them, stay a few hours, then ride back. She did that every Sunday for 2 years. Shortly after they went to Gillis my dad contracted polio and was paraplegic for a year or so. He eventually regained the use of his legs and when he was 11 was sent to live with a family on a farm outside Rich Hill, Kansas. They were wealthy, only had one daughter and wanted a son. They took very good care of him, treated him like a son, bought him a car, and wanted him to inherit the farm. He got in trouble a lot always doing wild things. He wanted to be a pilot so joined the Navy after two years at Kansas University. Shortly after that the Navy scaled back it's pilot program and cut him loose, so he joined the Marines to be a pilot, became one, and was in the Marines for 17 years. He met my mom in Kansas City shortly after joining the Marines. He retired to KC when I was almost 13, and we lived with Blanche until he got a job and we got a house. Blanche died a few years later. I lived in KC a few more years, then moved to Colorado after traveling around the USA for a bit. I lived in Colorado, mostly around Boulder, for 15 years, then in San Diego for 10 years.

Wayne didn't fare so well with his placement, also on a farm, in Lawrence, Kansas. He was treated as a hired hand and lived in the barn and beaten a lot. But he made straight As in school, was an Eagle Scout, went to college, became a Chiropractor, married a floozy whom Blanche hated, had a turbulent 1.5 years, then he divorced the floozy after she left him for another man (having had an affair is my understanding) and he moved to Michigan or someplace like that. He met Priscilla, a minister's daughter, married her, and they had two daughters, maybe 3. He ended up going to work for IBM there, got transferred to Boulder, Colorado when I was living in Denver (married) and my husband, daughters and I went with both my parents (who were divorced by then and out visiting me for the birth of my youngest daughter) to visit him and his wife. He was the President of a division of IBM then. My husband ended up getting a job with IBM shortly afterwards and has worked there since. He and I divorced about 14 years ago. Priscilla didn't like Wayne's family, particularly my Dad, so limited contact. Wayne died of a heart attack while playing golf, his passion, about 5 years later (guessing as to time) and we went for the funeral. After that, Priscilla cut off all contact and no one seems to be able to find her.

I also lost contact with Blanche's side of the family after my parents divorced when I was 16 y/o as my mother didn't want to have anything to do with them or them with her. My father was gone a lot most of my growing up years, and drank some, so wasn't very reliable and the family had a lot to say about him being just like his father. In a lot of ways he was. Blanche (and my dad remembers also) said that Frank used to smoke $5 cigars, drove a large white convertible top Cadillac and wore a white suit and panama hat and carried on like he was made of money. My dad, in his own way, did the same sort of thing. My dad quit drinking about 28 years ago and has been an upstanding citizen since then, but went through a couple more relationships/marriages before he met Beverly, whom he's been married to about 28 years. My parents were married for 17 years.

My mother tells that a body was found on the street in St. Louis, that there were reports that Frank was working there (but that he never did gain back his wealth to the same degree). Apparently there wasn't any identification, but for some reason they contacted Blanche's brother, Roy Elder, who went and said he didn't know the body so it was buried in an unmarked paupers grave in St. Louis. He then came home and told Blanche it was Frank. Before this, or after, I don't know for sure, Blanche had Frank declared legally dead after not hearing from him for seven years, as was required at the time. She remarried a couple of times, but one of them didn't last long and the other died shortly afterwards. She died at 62, a week before she was to retire from being a tool and die maker, from a heart attack while watching the evening news. She'd been under a lot of stress and working long hours to get the money together so bills would be paid so she could retire.

I posted a message on a website asking for information about Frank Meadreau Lambert and Ranae (Abbott) Eugene replied. We compared histories, which didn't match what I'd been told by my family at all, other than some names were similar, Frank, Clark (Don/Wayne's half brother), and Don. She sent me some family photographs, including one of Clark when he was about 17 y/o with her line of descent, Nellie's son, Frank's sister. Clark looked very much like my father, but not enough that I was sure it was the right connection. I showed the picture to my Dad, who said he was sure that it was the correct connection, but nothing really matched up so I still wasn't sure. However, it was also the only connection to Frank Lambert that I've ever been able to find, probably because my family had the history all wrong. When Blanche died she left a fairly large box of photographs with my dad, which I never knew about. A few years back when I went to the funeral of my Great Aunt Tootie (who used to take care of me when my dad was overseas and mom worked, Blanche's sister) I had a chance to talk to the family (having not seen any of them since I was 16) and get some history. At that time I learned that another of Blanche's sister's descendant was living in Carthage, MO, which is about 15 min. from me, and they used to own a large company that was in direct competition with the company I now work for and was recently bought out by my company, so I was considered 'the enemy'. We had a good laugh over that. Anyway, she had been given the box of photographs a couple years back b/c my dad didn't want them. After the contact with Ranae I called/wrote asking for the box, but she was wintering in Florida, so it took 6 months to get it, along with a family tree she'd created, but being my grandmother's relative, it didn't contain any information for my father's side of the family. When I went through the photos I saw the same one of Clark and Nellie's son that Ranae had sent to me, and other photos of people that looked very similar to the people in the photos that she had. Given that, I concluded that her story about family history is accurate and my family's story is pretty much 'made up'. I'm not surprised by that, my dad's fish size still gets bigger with each telling and my mom can't really remember much but her own family's history. Interestingly, I have a photograph of Albert Lambert and his descendants. There is a woman in the picture that I think must be his wife, but she doesn't look anything like the woman in what is obviously his wedding photograph. She does, however, look very German! Ranae said something about her information showing a different name for Albert's wife than the one on the website, so we speculate that he may have had two.

I think Ranae said most of her information was gained from Hart's website. She hasn't been able to trace very much of her family either and is waiting for me to get my genealogy program together and input it all, then send her a copy. I'd planned to go up to Cleveland last spring to share photographs with her, but vehicle problems prevented it. I still plan to do that next year as my oldest daughter is living just outside Indianapolis now. According to her, Frank's father manufactured copper piping in Cleveland and made a fortune. His father's family is all from that area, and Frank was originally a salesman for the company which is what took him to Chicago. Interestingly, my ex-husband's family is all from around Dayton/Cleveland, Ohio, and are German. I have a photograph of a very young Frank with a very young woman on the steps of a building, and that woman is not Blanche, but it could be Minnie, Frank's first wife, or it could be his sister, Nellie. I don't know anything about Minnie or her family. Frank met Blanche who was working as a sales girl at Macy or something like that (this is from Blanche's version). He divorced Minnie, married Blanche and two years later had Donald, then 2 years later had Wayne, then a few years later the stock market crashed. My dad remembers going to the lake house as a baby. There are photos of Frank/Blanche/Don the baby with boats (my dad has had a lifelong love of boats, once owning 4 at the same time - I wonder if this is where it started?), cars, tents at the lake (and a house, looks like they were building one as it grew in size with various photos from the tent to a house and there's photos of the inside fairly empty) with lots of other folks. Dad remembers they stayed in a smaller house and they used to go over to the bigger house to see people. Ranae says Frank's father's lake house was also at the same lake in Chicago. Ranae said Nellie's son used to hang with his cousin Clark [Minnie and Frank's son] and they were best friends growing up. This may explain why Blanche/Frank weren't all that welcomed into the family get togethers, although my dad remembers seeing lots of family at the lake, which is surprising since he'd had to have been younger than 5.

My dad remembers visiting Clark in Hollywood when my Dad was about 25 y/o, where Clark was an actor/producer with some success according to my Dad's description of his house that they went to. He only met with him that one time, although they did write sporadically for a bit. My dad was overseas flying planes at night during most of this time. Ranae found a Clark Lambert that died in Florida with the same name and roughly the dates match, but neither of us has found a way to verify that he's the correct Clark Lambert. Interestingly, Hollywood folks were retiring to that part of Florida at that time; they had a whole community there. Clark never married or had children, according to both my dad and Ranae's family history. There's also photos of Don the baby outside a house that looks like a city house, townhouse style, and Wayne as a baby. Frank always has a big ole cigar in the photos, and a Panama hat. Several nice cars also. Photos stop about that time, then don't pick up for about 20 years. A few of Blanche and her family are in-between there, but none of the boys. Blanche had done the typical bride thing and put all the early photos in books in sequence, but no labels. Many of those had come out of the books and I need to figure out which ones go where and put them back in. They tell a story in pictures. I can't imagine my dad not valuing them. I think he didn't see the story behind the photos.

She also writes these comments:

So I will get my family tree together and get you all a copy. I have to go back and dig out documents and piece the whole thing together, so it will take me some time. It is most interesting to find this wealth of information about my father's family. I had thought to go through my whole life never knowing anything. Matter of fact, I didn't know I had any German blood at all. It thought I was Irish/Scots and French. One of my daughters has very similar nose/facial bone structure as the girls in the pictures of the 3 girls on the web site. I always wondered where it came from as it doesn't look anything like either my family or my ex-husband's family. Anything you want to share is MOST appreciated as I have no more knowledge than what I've already imparted. I love hearing the history of how we all came to be.
It is so wonderful all that you all have done to get this together. It's so interesting to hear all this information. I'll also make sure Ranae knows everything. I'm sure she will want to make sure her stuff is accurate also.
WOW!!! I am so thrilled! 

                                                      

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