Was Max GORDON (1913-1971) really married? #usa #general


David Gordon
 

I’m baffled.

For as long as I can remember (multiple decades), the family has said that Max GORDON (my paternal grandfather's youngest brother) was single his entire life.  He was born in 1913 in Chicopee, Mass. and died in 1971 in Maryland. Recently I decided to see if I could confirm the story.

When Max died, there is no indication that he was married.  Indeed, there is very little record of him anywhere during his life.  He is buried alone in a cemetery in Maryland, a state far from home, where no other family ever settled.  However, as I looked into things, I
discovered his WWII draft card.  It was completed in 1940 and he listed his next of kin as Mrs. Rose Gordon.  That was not his mother
because her name was Flora.  In fact, there were/are no relations with the name Rose (no sisters, aunts, sisters-in-law, etc.); it's a not
name that appears in our family.  His Army enlistment record, dating from 1943, also lists him as married, though it contains no other
useful information.

My problem?  I can find no record of any marriage anywhere, in any state, at any date.  I realize that the absence of records does not prove anything, but the puzzle deepens.

On the draft card, he listed his address as that of his parents' house in Chicopee, MA.  The address he gave for Mrs. Rose Gordon is in a
completely different part of town, so I thought that she might be a young woman who lived with her family.  I  found the 1940 census for
that address but no one there has the given name Rose and no one there has the surname Gordon.  So I checked the 1930 census for the same address.  Likewise nothing.

As I kept investigating, some tantalizing information came up. According to the 1940 census, a Rose PETLUCK lived with her parents at
70 Granada Terrace in 1940.  My grandfather (Max's older brother) lived at 111 Granada Terrace, so the families weren't far apart,
though I have no evidence either way about Max living with his brother.

In the 1940 census, Rose Petluck is listed as single; Max's 1940 draft card stating that he is married doesn't give an exact date.  It's
clearly possible that they were married after the census took place.

Max listed the address for "Mrs. Rose Gordon" on his draft card as 30 Myrtle Street.  In 1948, a Rose Petluck (not Gordon) is listed on a
manifest of passengers returning from Bermuda (along with her parents).  Her given address? 30 Myrtle Street.  In 1941--a year after
Max's draft card--the city directory has her living on Farnsworth Street with her parents and states that she is single.

Another odd coincidence:  the 1940 City Directory shows a Ruth Petluck (her older sister) at 27 Ward Street in Chicopee Falls (across the
river from Springfield).  That was the exact street address of Max's father, my great-grandfather (it was a single-family home)!  Ruth was
married in 1934 and again in 1944 (but neither time to anyone in our family).

I have considered that maybe Max and Rose were not legally married, but that doesn’t explain why I can’t find Rose at the address he
listed.  It's possible, I suppose, that they were secretly married and then soon divorced.  But even a marriage kept secret from the family
would likely show up in the records--if it was official.  Is there any other likely (or even plausible) explanation?  Any recommendations for
avenues to pursue?  I'm stumped.

David Gordon
tiganeasca /at/ gmail.com
Evanston, Illinois
Searching:
GORDON: Butrimantz, Eisiskes, Daukniunai; HORWITZ: Smolevichi,
Lapichi,  Kholopenichi; GEBALOVITCH: Borisov, DRAZIN: Bobruisk;
BENENSON: Borisov; HURWITZ: Gomel

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