Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jumping Back Into The Poole: Olive Pettit Bashaw

     Well over a decade ago my Aunt Faith asked, "I sure wish you could find out whatever happened to my Mom's niece, Olive". Before sites like Ancestry, finding Olive Bashaw was next to impossible. Over the years I periodically plugged her name into the various search engines currently available to those of us who love to do genealogy research. I think I now have enough info to give blogging about her a try and perhaps some family member might see it and contact me.

     Olive Pettit Bashaw belongs to my Poole family branch and is my first cousin twice removed. She was born on June 2, 1914 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the daughter of Leon Hamilton Bashaw and Eleanor Poole. Her mother, Eleanor Poole, is my great grandaunt.  Olive's middle name, Pettit, was the maiden name of her paternal grandmother, Lucretia M. Pettit.

1240 Palo Alto Street

     Soon Olive became nicknamed "Little Olive" to distinguish her from her namesake, maternal aunt, Olive Poole. By the 1930 census, Olive, then age fifteen, and her younger brother Leon Poole Bashaw were enumerated with their Aunt Olive Reeves in a boarding house at 1240 Palo Alto Street on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

     I have been told that Olive attended Divine Providence Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during her high school years.

     Following her graduation, Olive became employed as a clerk and stenographer with Kaufmann's Department Store in downtown Pittsburgh.

     I have recently found three Pittsburgh City Directories that list Olive living with her mother in 1949 and then Olive living alone in 1952 and 1955 Her mother died sometime in the early 1950's.

     Of interest in the directories is Olive's name. She decided to change it to Olivia. Name changes seem to be common with the Pooles. Actually many in the family added the final "e" to the original spelling of Pool in the early 1900's. My own grandmother decided to change the spelling of her first name from Sarah to Sara and her maiden name from VanGilder to VanGuilder. I don't think any of this name changing business was done legally....just for fun and it stuck!

     Family members told me that once her mother died, that Olive, or Olivia, moved in with her brother. The trail is lost once again.

     I have located a death certificate for Olivia P. Bashaw. The birth date is the same as our "Little Olive" and I believe it to be hers. According to the social security death record, Olive died September 11, 1987 at Shreveport, Caddo County, Louisiana.

     She apparently never married and why she was in Louisiana still remains a mystery.

More on the Bashaw Family on Flipside

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© 2012, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. And, she opens with a great mystery, I hear there are some new PA data bases on Ancestry. :-)

  2. Have you ever checked to see if she has an obit in the Shreveport Times? I live in Baton Rouge and am going to the LSU Library in the next month or so. I can see if Olive has an obit in the Shreveport Times if you would like. I've never used that particular paper in my research, but I believe they have the Shreveport Times on microfilm for that time period.

    1. Jennifer, I would appreciate any information you can locate on Olive. She seemed to disappear from the family following her mother's death. Thank you.