November 8th, 2013

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Friday, November 8th, 2013 11:34 am
Genealogy bloggers have all sorts of reasons for blogging about family history. I blog to get accurate information out on the web about my family. I love it when people find entries through Google or other searches and contact me to exchange information.

I also blog random information about other people's families, often gleaned from photos of people unrelated to me found among my ancestors' possessions, or the lone orphaned photo that calls to me from a rack or plate in a flea market stall. I usually tag those entries with the phrase bits and pieces, if you want to see if I found any of your family photos among mine.
In addition to my own family, I do family history research for four other friends of mine. The links to the results of that research are contained in their online family tree links in the left sidebar of this blog.

One of those families is the Turney family.

And in their case, the reason for this post is much different than usual. There are living descendants of Cleone Ruth Henrichs and Charles Leroy Turney who want answers to questions that have been dogging them literally all their lives. One of them hopes that with this blog entry, someone will have information that will be useful to their descendants.

This post is intended to be captured in Google searches on either or both names. There is some publicly available information already on the web about this couple, but some of it is not factual.
Cleone Ruth Henrichs was born on 29 Jun 1931 in American Falls, Power Co., ID to Myron Jacob Henrichs and Dora Leone Floyd. Ruth had a younger sister.

Sometime before the 1940 census, Ruth's parents divorced. Both parents would later go on to remarry. Ruth lived with her father for a period of time, and as a teenager (possibly shortly after the time of her father's remarriage in 1942) she lived with her mother in Twisp, WA.

A July 1946 photo pictured Ruth (far left) with her mother and maternal grandmother.
 photo July1946RuthEvaRae.jpg


On the 4th of July in 1947, Ruth met the man who would become her first husband, Fred Beeman. (Although he apparently called her Cleone, Ruth preferred her middle name, and that was the name she used on multiple historic documents.) Fred Beeman and Ruth married and had a son together. Shortly after her son's birth, Ruth became involved with the man who would become her second husband, Ronnie Conner. She left her infant son and Fred Beeman at Christmas in 1949.

Ruth became pregnant with the first child she would have with Ronnie Conner - a daughter named Beverly - before her first divorce was final. She and Ronnie Conner married, and had another child, a son named Robbie. By August 1956, Ruth had another daughter with the surname Young. One of the things unknown to Ruth's surviving children is the full identity of that child's father.

And it was during this period of time that Ruth met Charles Leroy Turney.
Charles Leroy Turney was born on 31 Jul 1935 in Hickman Co., KY to Lee William Turney and Sarah Elizabeth Owen. He was the eldest son of three documented children born to Lee and Sarah Turney.

Charles Leroy Turney, 26 Sep 1956.
 photo CharlesLeroyTurney.jpg


Not much is known about Charles Turney's childhood. All the history his children have about him seems to begin and end with the turbulent relationship he had with Ruth Henrichs - a relationship that lasted in some form for nearly the rest of both of their lives.

When Ruth married Charles Turney, she brought three children to the marriage. She and Charles had six children together, born from 1958 to 1968. One of those children, a daughter named Deborah Louise, drowned at the age of 8, six months before the last Turney child was born. Two of their sons died as adults.

But somewhere along the way, first Robbie, and then his sister, Beverly Conner, disappeared. That's disappeared as in, one day each of them was there, and the next day they were not.

It is possible that this photo of Charles Leroy Turney, and all three of Ruth Henrichs' children from previous relationships, may be one of the only pieces of documentation that little Robbie Conner ever existed, as he "disappeared" at a very young age.

Photo taken in October 1956 at an amusement park in Long Beach, CA. Robbie Conner (born in 1953) is at left, Charles Turney is holding Ruth's infant daughter from her most recent relationship, and Beverly Conner (born October 1950) is at right.
 photo October1956.jpg

One of the other known facts about Ruth Henrichs and Charles Turney is that they divorced in California in February 1966.

But they got back together again, and went on to have another child. They also changed the family surname to Conner, with Charles completely adopting the new identity of James Allen Conner. The family moved multiple times to multiple states.

Why? The surviving children know what they were told and what they've heard. Although suspicions run high, none of the stories they've been told have been proven - or not.

Among other questions, one looms the largest.

What happened to Robbie and Beverly Conner?
If you have any information to share, you can reply to this entry or email me at sharpchick13 at hotmail dot com.