Thanks for tracing them all forward and backward and analyzing. Appreciate the detective work. The following is for anyone who is chasing this line of inquiry. So we have at least the three Underwood kids who had lost only their mother, and their father was still living but unable to care for them for one reason or another. I had omitted mentioning Oscar B. Black another boarder. Both Oscar and Byron answered Maryland to the place of birth of both parents. It looks as if
the two boys may have been brothers who were orphaned and we would like to find out the circumstances. The 1910 census says Byron’s mother was from France. If anyone knows anything…such as when the children first came into these households, from where, how long they stayed, whether there was a formal court-sanctioned placement, if they were some distant relatives and whether they remained in contact with the foster families. We are trying to find who the boys’ parents were.
It appears that Oscar could be the Oscar Benjamin Black born April 27, 1889 in Saint Louis MO to John and Ruth Black. John (age 28-29) and Ruth (age 18-19) appear on the 1880 census in Saint Louis twice. Once it says he and his parents were born in Missouri and once it says all three in Ohio. Both say that Ruth was born in Missouri and both her parents in France.
There is a death record for a Ruth Black (age 31) in Saint Louis Feb. 2, 1893 of Septicemia from a miscarriage. At the time of her death, she is listed as a housewife so her husband (not listed) was still living then. There is a St. Louis marriage record between a Ruth Leslie and a John N. N. Black on August 8, 1878. And there is a Hyacinth Leslie from France on the 1870 census, but no Ruth in the household.
Byron L. Black's middle name was Leslie. Perhaps we have another case of motherless children being given a home while the father was still living, but elsewhere.