I decided to share this story because it was a mystery I was never able to solve or even understand. It doesn't involve analyzing DNA matches. It's just a strange story that makes me think there's some kind of family secret. It’s also a good lesson about not believing everything you read on the internet or in newspapers. Sometimes, no matter how much information you find, the answers just aren't there. Maybe someone out there can explain this one. I was researching for someone related to the family of Ira Day from Charles Town West Virginia. Ira had several children. His oldest daughter was Audrey Day. Audrey met James Lawrence Mulford while he was stationed in West Virginia in the military. James was from Millville New Jersey.
In a newspaper article posted on Jan 19th, 1945 in the Millville Daily, it mentions James Lawrence Mulford marrying an Audrey LISKEY in Virginia on January 13th, 1945. Could this be a different James Mulford? Could James have married a different woman named Audrey? Are these different people with a lot of similarities? NO, but who the heck is Liskey? The article mentions Audrey is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Liskey. Audrey Day’s father was named Ira. It mentions James’ parents are Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Mulford. His father was Arthur Mulford. Most importantly, it mentions the street address, 125 South Tenth Street. That was indeed the address of this family. There’s no doubt these are the same people, but why is Audrey being listed as Audrey Liskey instead of Audrey Day? Again, who the heck is Liskey?
My first thought was, this is simply a newspaper error. Newspapers are known for typos and errors and I’ve certainly seen my share. Perhaps they were writing a different story about a Liskey and the names got confused. Another thought I had was, maybe Audrey was married before, for a short time, to a Mr. Liskey and the newspaper assumed that was her maiden name and listed her father as Ira Liskey. Again, NO! I'd also like to point out, I've researched these families quite thoroughly and didn't see a single person named Liskey anywhere. There was no step-parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle named Liskey. The name simply doesn't exist in this family.
Next, I found a second article in the personals section written over eighteen months later. Back then, newspapers posted everyday events that you would never see in a newspaper today. It says, "Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Mulford, of South Tenth Street, are vacationing this week in Charles Town W. Va., with Mr. and Mrs. Ira Liskey." So, again, the newspaper is under the impression that Audrey’s family has the name Liskey. This is not simply an error. Someone had to have told the newspaper her name was Liskey. Now it gets more interesting because this isn’t just about a false name.
Audrey and James’ marriage certificate is publicly available (As are most marriage certificates in the state of Virginia). I've included a copy of it below. The following data is included…
Present name of Bride: Audrey Elizabeth Day
Maiden Name: Audrey Elizabeth Day
Previous Marriages: None
Full name of Groom: James Lawrence Mulford
It also includes the correct parents’ names, and the same address, on Tenth Street. And now the real crazy part, the marriage date: December 27th 1946. This is not a typo, it Is both handwritten and typed on the marriage certificate. This means, not only was she using a fake name, the original marriage date was fake as well. Remember, the fake marriage date was posted in a newspaper from early 1945. There is no record of Audrey and James really getting married almost two years earlier. A fake name and a fake marriage? Why?
I have been in contact with three people from the Day family and none of them have an explanation for the Liskey mystery. I thought I might have an explanation at one point, but it still doesn’t make sense. I thought it may have something to do with the birth of Audrey’s son. He was born in late 1945 (this was confirmed with the family and online data). This means, she wasn’t married at the time of his birth. That was a big deal back then. I thought, maybe the family didn’t want to be associated with an unmarried mother or something like that. Again, no, that can’t be right. The fake marriage occurred over 10 months before her child was born. She was not pregnant at the time of the fake marriage or when the fake name was being used. If there was some kind of pregnancy secret, it would make no sense to post information about herself in the newspaper. I have no explanation. Sorry for repeating myself… WHO THE HECK IS LISKEY???
My next post is about finding a person who was missing for 70 years.