Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Charles Webb Becken

Off and on, I've worked on the Webb family, which is my dad's side of the family. And I am always surprised when I find someone who connects recently to the line.  One such person, was Charles Webb Becken. I began corresponding with him in the late 1990's and a little into the 2000's. Chuck was the adopted son of Mary Louise Webb and Albert Charles Becken. In all our emails, when he gave me dates of births and deaths, he never gave me places. Recently, I started looking for death information on this adopted grandparents, Walter Leslie Webb and Mozella "Zella" Hutcheson. Since the Walter and Zella married in Jackson county, Missouri, that is where I started my search. Walter died in 1930, but was not found in Missouri. Nope, I found him in Illinois.  Once I had his death certificate, I found the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses, and had discovered three daughters. But, Mozella was the mother of 5 with 3 living children. One more daughter was found on Family Search's Illinois birth records - Margaret - born in 1892. Since she is not listed on the 1900 census, I presume she died somewhere in that 8 year time frame.

Obituaries for Walter and Zella, who died December 12, 1941 elicited the spouses of the daughters. Frank Herdman, William H. Brady and A. C. Becken. Unfortunately, it did not give the daughter's given name. Just Mrs. Frank Herdman, Mrs. William H. Brady and Mrs. A. C. Becken. Well, I knew Becken was married to the youngest daughter, Mary Louise. Search of the 1930 census gave me Katherine Herdman and Helen Brady.

Search of the Social Security death index gave me Charles Webb Becken, born in 1926 and died December 23, 2007. None of my online indices have pointed me towards a death notice or obituary. I am saddened by that. One thing I should mention about Chuck, is that he surfed the web and sent email with WebTV. While I never met him, I enjoyed our sporadic correspondence. So here is my poor attempt at an obituary for Charles.

     Charles Webb Becken died in Los Gatos, California on December 23, 2007. Born in Illinois on August 2, 1926 he was adopted by Albert Charles and Mary Louise Webb Becken.

     Later in life, Chuck developed an avid interest in genealogy. Especially his own. He was a willing correspondent and sprinkled his family history emails with jokes. He is missed by his audience. He is survived by one daughter ...

As you see, I don't even know where he is buried, so that I could post a memorial on Find-A-Grave. Blogs touch a lot of people, and I hope someone out there has more information for me.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. I just saw this, thanks to our Webb Digest where someone shared it. I also shared correspondence with Charles, and found him a delightful correspondent. I am sorry to hear of his passing.

  2. I am saddened to learn of Chuck Webb Becken's death nearly a decade ago. Thank you for putting together an obituary. I was hoping to follow up with him re. an posting from 2000 when he posted on genforum that his family came to America in 1629 to settle the Isle of Wight, VA. If he was adopted, I am impressed with his connection to the Webb line and the family of Webb Brothers that came over from England to settle in the new world. Nice to meet new cousins - would love to carry on the tradition of sharing information on our shared family history!