17 November 2014



The document that started me on the hunt to understand my surname change was the one filed by “June Vaillant” who you have met in another posting.[i]  On February 8, 1944 June filled out the State Board of Health of Missouri, Bureau of Vital Statistics form.  She stated her birth as July 7, 1909.  She is a white female who was born in St. Louis, MO.  Her father’s full name was August Vaillant, born in New York and her mother was Mary Branc born in France.  And she signed declaring “upon oath that the above statements are true”.  Her address was 6227 N. Leader in Chicago, Ill.[ii]  The top of the document was notarized.  What follows is an ABSTRACT OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE.

The items of evidence are:

1.       Registration record from Seattle, Wash dated July 23, 1943
2.       Baptismal record from St. Charles Borromea Church, St. Louis, MO dated Aug. 10, 1909
3.      Marriage record from Chicago, Illinois dated June 6, 1936
4.      Affsgd[iii], Mary Vaillant (mother) Chicago, Ill dated Feb. 8, 1944

There follows a section INFORMATION CONCERNING REGISTRANT AS STATED IN DOCUMENT.  The first column is headed Birth date or age, the second column is Birthplace, the third column is Name of Father and the fourth column is the Full Name of Mother.  The first document has her age as 34.  The second document has a birth date of July 7, 1909.  The third document has her age as 26. And the fourth document has her birth date as July 9, 1909.  The first, second and fourth documents have the birthplace as St. Louis, MO.  The column for Name of Father is blank and the full name of mother is the fourth document being Mary Vaillant.

The STATEMENT OF REVIEING OFFICIAL is “I hereby certify that I have reviewed the evidence recorded above and that the information contained therein is as noted in the preceding abstract.  The signature of reviewing official is Daisy Bellman and the document was filed Feb 23, 1944.

In some ways the family surname of Vaillant is lies, lies and damn lies!!![iv]  Two of the four items of evidence I have obtained.  The marriage to Michael J. Poeltl was on the 6th of June, 1936 as stated and on that document she is recorded as “June R. Vaillant”. (On the 24th of December, 1943, she marries Bernard Church Larrabee in Seattle; however that marriage license has her as “June Poeltl.)

Fortunately, the baptismal record was microfilmed and obtained from Kenrick Seminary for viewing.[v]  Line 6 has an entry for Francisco Giusephena Veneziano.  The date of birth is 7 July 1909.  The date of Baptism is 15 Aug 1909.  The names of the parents are Augustis Veneziano and Maria Branca.  The names of the witnesses are Salvatore Campione and Angelina Brusca.  The priest was Fr. Buonainte.  If a copy of this document was submitted as implied for Item 2 in the abstract of supporting evidence how the column for Name of Father can be left blank in the Information Concerning Registrant as stated in Document is a mystery!!

The use of the surname Veneziano is consistent through the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census.  It is starting in the 1930 and 1940 Census that Vaillant appears.

To be continued………….

[i] I obtained a copy of the document on July 7, 2000—slight irony as that is June’s birthday!  It has taken about 14 years to sort out the facts from the fictionJ.
[ii] Same address cited in Francisco Vaillant’s World War II Draft Registration contained in a separate blog.
[iii] It appears that this may mean an Affidavit and Signed as separate items.
[iv] The surname change was a secret between mother Mary and siblings June, Pauline and Benjamin never revealed while they were alive.  Countless hours of research were done by Benjamin’s wife Virginia trying to tie the Vaillant surname to his family—to no avail!!
[v] Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, Mo, Roll 49, Vol,4—St. Charles Borromeo, St. Louis, MO Baptism records from 24 March 1907 to 17 October 1909 labeled LIBER BAPIZATORUM IN ECCLESIA, Page 96 that I viewed about March 2001.

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