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Lester Letson (#46627920)
 member for 10 years, 6 months, 29 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Born and raised in Fresno, California of Alabama born parents, got into Genealogy in 1997 when I could not figure out what else to do with this computer on-line. I have built up quite a lot of pictures of old shots of Clay County and Jefferson County Alabama. I have visited most of the cemeteries of my ancestors and my Wife's ancestors in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. A Self-proclaimed Historian with a California Historical society (E Clampus Vitus), I am visiting places of historical interest and with my trusty Dimage , Vivitar and Olympus digital cameras have been taking pictures of headstones at whatever cemeteries we may visit and Historical Monuments in our travels in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Washington. In Fresno, I have added the 1919 biographies of early Fresno residents from the Paul E Vandor book titled "The History of Fresno County" to as many listings as I could. If you have something you would like to have added to a Bio, just drop me a line.

I follow FindaGrave rules and usually transfer close relatives within 30 days. You can complain to the FindaGrave administrators if you want, but you will likely find they too have little patience for impatient people.
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Messages left for Lester Letson (887)[Leave Message]
Henry Webber
William Venard
Thank so much for the article on William. I have posted it to his Bio and gave you credit for it. Thanks so much, Henry
Added by Henry Webber on Mar 01, 2015 3:58 PM
RE: Sarepta Akers Statham
Thanks Lester!
Added by JeanR on Feb 25, 2015 8:01 AM
Della Coen Lipe
W. D. De La Grange
Thank you so much for posting the biography online. His mother was the sister of my great-grandmother and I have copies of old family letters that date back to Civil War days. I have been trying very hard to discover who W. D. De La Grange's mother's family was. The McCLAIN sisters were evidently left without parents before 1850, and no record has surfaced yet to tie them to any one set of parents. I have one letter in W. D. De La Grange's handwriting that was written July 6, 1879 before he moved his family from Missouri to California that mentions the death of their 6 month old baby in June, 1879. The baby, Oscar, is buried in Schuyler Co., MO. The family name is sometimes "LaGrange" and that is how William wrote it in the letter.
Added by Della Coen Lipe on Feb 24, 2015 5:16 PM
Dannette Marie Dickson
Thank you so much for the photo, Lester.
Added by Peggy on Feb 24, 2015 10:28 AM
Paul S.
Saroyan 2
I have spoken to a Saroyan scholar who knew Saroyan himself and the extended family. He says he has never ever heard any claim that Cosette and Henry were anyone's child except for Armenag and Takoohi's. Perhaps the story got confused, in which Uncle Aram was the one with the brother/uncle relationship to William, not his actual brother Henry. Like I said it is also believed that Minas Saroyan was dead by 1903, meaning his alleged son Henry was born two years after his death. I appreciate all the work you did in adding Saroyan information to findagrave, thank you. Could you remove the parts from Henry and Cosette's page which state they were not the children of Armenag and Takoohi as it seems to be based on a misunderstanding? Thanks!
Added by Paul S. on Feb 23, 2015 2:39 PM
Paul S.
Thanks, I looked through the biography. The part I read about the family history seems to imply Saroyan's siblings really were his siblings, this is quite a confusing story.

You state that Henry and Cosette were the children of Lucy and Minas, but there was another daughter Zabel who was born between them who would then be their child as well. This means that Saroyan was an only child. Furthermore, a family tree online says Minas died in 1903, but Henry was born in 1905, which makes it seem impossible that Henry could be Minas's son. Lucy would have been 45 by that time, not impossible to give birth but unlikely. I just don't know what to think about this situation, or why Takoohi would go through so many struggles to raise her "children", if they were not actually her children! How did they get attached to her, and not perhaps split amongst her other sisters and their families, as an example. Everything about the story makes it seem like the Saroyan children really were the children of Armenag and Takoohi, but of course can't find anything conclusive yet. I have written to a renowned Saroyan scholar asking for help.
Added by Paul S. on Feb 23, 2015 9:22 AM
Saroyan: A Biography
Rather than me sending a bunch of info. here's William Saroyan's biography that explains the whole family and then some. The info is spread thru-out the book, but it all makes sense now. There's a full copy to read on Google books.

Saroyan: A Biography
By Lawrence Lee, Barry Gifford
originally published 1984

Added by Sheila on Feb 22, 2015 2:26 PM
RE: Saroyan 32176220
Thanks for making the edits Lester. Sorry, it took me awhile to respond. I did read everything you said, but just wait 'til you hear this!

Research on Armenag/Armenak's wife, Takoohi shows her MAIDEN name was also Saroyan! She was the daughter of Lucy!! Armenag was the son-in-law of Lucy!!! I swear I'm not off my rocker :)
Have more, but will just send this for now.

All from California Death Index:
Name: Takoohi Saroyan
Birth Date: 13 Oct 1882
Birth Place: Other Country
Death Date: 25 Feb 1950
Death Place: San Francisco
MOTHER's MAIDEN Name: Garoghlamian
Father's Surname: Saroyan
Note: Lucy (Karoglanian/Garoghlamian)

Children of Armenag/Armenak
and Takoohi [Saroyan] Saroyan:

Name: Cosette Saroyan
Birth Date: 22 Jan 1899
Birth Place: Other Country
Death Date: 9 May 1990
Death Place: San Francisco
Mother's MAIDEN Name: Saroyan

Name: Zabel ...

Name: Henry Armen Saroyan
Birth Date: 8 Aug 1905
Birth Place: Other Country
Death Date: 14 Apr 1987
Death Place: Santa Cruz
Mother's MAIDEN Name: Saroyan

Name: William Saroyan
Birth Date: 31 Aug 1908
Birth Place: California
Death Date: 18 May 1981
Death Place: Fresno
Mother's MAIDEN Name: Saroyan

Added by Sheila on Feb 22, 2015 7:32 AM
Linda Wolfe
Silas M. Holmes
Lester, I just discovered this website and you are spot on with the info you have on Holmes.
One bit of history you don't have in your site is that he was VERY active in the underground railroad in Detroit with the First Congregational Church of Detroit.
Also, he and his family moved to Oakland CA(I would love to find out why) approximately 1875 subsequently moved to Corning to be near his in-laws.
He is buried in the Corning cemetery along with his Chittenden in-laws.
Added by Linda Wolfe on Feb 21, 2015 11:23 AM
William David Wristen
Wow! Great find. Thank you!

I see you have a W. B. Wristen in your list of memorials. Are you related to W. D. Wristen? I'm related through the Dew family.

Thank you for your generous contributions to the Find A Grave community, and especially for this very special contribution to our family. Cheers!
Added by bpojito105 on Feb 20, 2015 5:28 PM
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