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Friday, December 5, 2014

Rites Conducted For East Prairie Women: I had no idea.

I was very surprised to discover this obituary and even more surprised by what it contained. The misspelling of Noble’s last name is not unusual, it’s a problem that occurs and reoccurs as far back as our European ancestors. It is however a spelling that usually occurs back in the 1800s, not one used by recent generations of our family line. The spelling does suggest to us that whoever submitted the obituary information was not a Littrell.

Over the last few weeks I have come unexpectedly across information for Noble’s first wife Corene; such as her tombstone, and finding her parents family on the Census, and then this obituary. Read the obituary and see if you don’t get a surprise.

Belew~Littrell Corene
                                                                            From the Missourian 3-9-1943.

Do you see it? Where’s Rex? Noble and Corene had two sons? Billy & Bobby?

Its not unusual for obituaries to contain mistakes, but these are doozies.

Now maybe I’m the only one who didn’t know about this, but it sure was a surprise to me. I was afraid to post anything until I got some kind of explanation. So here goes:

Noble and Corene got married in 1937. She already had a child at the time, Billy Belew(?). Billy must have been born earlier in 1937 for him to be 5 years old in 1943. But where was he on the 1940 census where Noble and Corene are living with Noble’s parents, John & Kizzie?

Seven households away from John and Kizzie, on the 1940 census, is Corene’s parents and siblings… and Billy.  On the census he is listed as Billy Harold Belew, son of W.D. and Ivy (Iva Shelton) Belew. Obviously he was WDs grandson, not son. His age is consistent with an early 1937 birth. If this Billy is indeed Corene’s son, then Ivy Belew raised him as her own to the grave. Her 1969 obituary list as a surviving son, Bill Belew of Hampton, Virginia. On the other hand, her daughter Mary Juanell "Jill" (Belew) Johnson’s obituary,  list Billy Belew of Hampton, Virginia as a surviving nephew along with Rex. Mary Juanell’s obituary was in 2005.

So where is Rex and who is Bobby? Well they’re one in the same. When Rex was born Corene wanted to name him Bobby, but Noble wanted to name him Rex. When it came time to fill out the birth record it fell to Noble and he said Rex.

Assuming from the misspelling, (that does not resemble the Littrell families spelling commonly used by the family) and the use of the name Bobby instead of Rex we can assume that the Belew family submitted the obituary information, and that they evidently were using Bobby for Rex at the time.

You would think that after all this Rex would have gotten a middle name out of this confusion, but no, he’s still just plain ole’ Rex to us.

Thanks to Rex’s wife, Nancy, for clearing this up.
                                                                                        see also


Penny Chapek Corene was ill for a long time with TB. She died from complications from TB and alcoholism. Rex says he believes that Ivy adopted Billy(William Harold) and raised him. Rex says that Ivy wanted to raise Billy because she didn't have any sons. Billy lives in Virginia. Noble married Azilee in September 1943 in Georgia. Noble, Azilee, and Rex moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee soon after.

Belew Corene

MO., East Prairie, W.O.W. Cem.

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