Friday, September 20, 2013

Pilot Cousin Has Aviatrix Mother-In-Law

Today I lost myself researching Snyder relatives again.  Franklin J. Snyder (grandson of John Martin Snyder and Jane Frances Hoyt) and his wife Bernice A. Gillette had a son Walter Russell Snyder born 21 July 1914 in the Town of Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Mass.  I discovered that on 8 April 1940 he was living in East Greenbush, Rensselaer County, N.Y., single and a pilot.  On 8 Nov 1941 he was an instruction officer for the Civil Air Reserve.  It appears as though he was married by July 1943.  I haven't been able to find any more definite information so far other than the obituary of his wife's mother, which is a little different.  Ordinarily you feel lucky to just find a woman's full name. 

Mrs. Melba G. Ferry, 35, Pittsfield, aviatrix and mother of Mrs. W. Russell Snyder, Scotia, died yesterday.  

Knickerbocker News, 24 July 1943

It is unusual to read about a woman pilot in the 1940s.  I wonder if it's more than a coincidence that she and her son-in-law were both pilots.  

It appears as though my distant cousin stayed in the area after World War II, but the possibility of two men with duplicate names is making the research challenging.  That's a fairly common occurrence.

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