Delmar & Maxine Kernan Family

The child of George Edward Kernan (1884-1960) and Maudena Elizabeth Stearns (1885-1936) that concerns the ancestry of William G. Kernan (LIVING), my paternal grandfather, is their third child, Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979). What is presently known about the life and family of Delmar Kernan will be discussed below.

Early Life and Marriage

Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979) was born on the 03 August 1908 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, where his parents, George and Maudena, had been living since their marriage in 1903. When Delmar was about a year old, his parents moved their family to Kelso, Cowlitz County, Washington, where they are enumerated as living on the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. According to this record, Delmar and his family were living in rented home in Kelso, where Delmar’s father, George, was, employed as a grocery deliveryman.

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The 1910 U.S. Federal Census showing Delmar (shown “Delmar Kern”) and his family living in Kelso, Cowlitz County, Washington. (Click to Enlarge)

By about 1913, Delmar’s parents moved their family back to Portland, Oregon. The family is enumerated as living there on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. According to this record, Delmar and his family were living in rented home in Portland, where Delmar’s father, George, was, employed as a truck driver for a furniture company, which was most likely Calef Bros. Furniture Store. This record also states that Delmar was about twelve years old and was attending school.

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The 1920 U.S. Federal Census showing Delmar and his family living in Portland, Oregon. (Click to Enlarge)

Following his enumeration on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, a few additional sources provide some details about Delmar’s early life. According to oral family history, one of Delmar’s first jobs was working as a furniture mover for $0.15 a day with his father, who worked as a driver for several Portland area furniture stores at this time, as shown by the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Oral family history states this was around the time of the Great Depression, though it could have been at any point between 1920 and 1930, as this is when Delmar’s father worked for furniture stores and when Delmar could have as well.

Two entries for Delmar in the Portland City Directory also provide some details about his early adult life. The first of these is Delmar’s entry in the 1926 Portland City Directory. According to this entry, Delmar, who was about eighteen years old, was employed as a clerk for M & F Company in Portland. The M & F Company likely refers to Meier & Frank Company, which was a chain department store. This entry also states that Delmar was living at 1471 Greenwich Street in Portland, which was his parents’ home. By 1929, Delmar had not only changed his occupation, but also his address. According to his entry in the Portland City Directory for that year, Delmar was living at 104 1/2 Philadelphia in Portland and was employed as a mill worker. Table 1 below summarizes Delmar’s entries in the Portland City Directory, images of which can be viewed by clicking the year.

Table 1: Entries for Delmar Kernan in the Portland City Directory, 1926-1929
Year(s) Occupation Employer Residence
1926 Clerk M & F Company 1471 Greenwich, Portland
1929 Mill Worker Not Stated 104 1/2 Philadelphia, Portland

It appears that between 1929 and 1930 that Delmar was living part of the time in Portland, and part of the time in Camas, Clark County, Washington, where his parents and siblings were living. It is unclear how long this lasted. However, it was while he was living in Washington that Delmar began a family of his own. On the 25 March 1930, Delmar married Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992) in Clark County, Washington. Maxine was born Maxine Elizabeth Beeney on the 12 January 1912 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon the daughter of George Benton Beeney (1890-1970) and Gladys Cook (1894-1957). Soon after her birth, George and Gladys’s marriage came to an end and Maxine was adopted by William Phylitis Davis (1876-1960) and his wife Mary Williams (1883-1968). (To learn more about the Davis family, please see “Davis Family History.” To learn more about the Beeney family, please see “Beeney Family History.”)

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Marriage Record for Delmar and Maxine Kernan. (Click to Enlarge)

The Family of Delmar and Maxine Kernan

Following their marriage, Delmar and Maxine had two children between 1930 and 1933. What is presently known about their lives and families is discussed below.

Delmar and Maxine’s first child was Deldalyn Florence “Del” Kernan (1930-), who was born in 1930 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. On the 18 February 1950, she married Robert Lee “Bob” Kreisman (1931-) in Puyallup, Pierce County, Washington. Robert was born in 1931, the son of Peter Paul Kreisman (1910-1985) and Martha Mary Bittick (1912-1989), in Kansas City, Wyandotte County Kansas. Following their marriage, Deldalyn and Robert had seven children, which were named Kathy, Sandra, Robert, Karen, Laurie, Daniel, and Susan. In 1959, Robert’s work led them to move to Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. In 1983, they moved to Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona; and in 1993, they moved to Chandler, Maricopa County, Arizona, where they currently reside.

William George “Bill” Kernan (1933-), Delmar and Maxine’s second child, was born in 1933 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. On the 28 June 1952, he married Margaret Ann “Margie” Lapham (1936-2004) in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Margaret was born on the 20 September 1936 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon the daughter of Theodore Alexander “Ted” Lapham (1910-1955) and Alice Lucretia Wellin (1916-1985); and died on the 3 March 2004 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona. Following their marriage, William and Margaret had five children, which were named Patrick, Vicki, Richard, William, and Terry. In about 1961, William and Margaret moved their family to Huntington Beach, Orange County, California. In about 1989, William and Margaret moved to Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, where William currently resides.

Table 2: The Children of Delmar & Maxine Kernan
# Name Birth Death Marriage
i. Deldalyn Florence “Del” 1930 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon LIVING 1950 to Robert Kreisman in Pierce Co., Washington
ii. William George “Bill” 1933 in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon LIVING 1952 to Margaret Lapham in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon

Life in Oregon

Following their marriage, moreover, Delmar and Maxine lived in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. They are enumerated as living there on the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. According to this record, they were renting a home or apartment at 104 1/2 Philadelphia street in Portland, where Delmar was living in 1929, for $14.00 a month (or about $208 today). Another person, Earnest Chase, is shown as living at this address, which likely indicates they were either renting part of a home or lodging house, or an apartment. This census also states that Delmar was employed in construction at a paper mill.

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The 1930 U.S. Federal Census showing Delmar and Maxine living in Portland, Oregon. (Click to Enlarge)

Furthermore, with respect to Delmar’s employment the 1930 U.S. Federal Census shows that he had not been at work the previous regular working day, and notes that an entry in the 1930 Unemployment Schedule was made for him. Although this may indicate that Delmar was actually unemployed, it may mean other things as well. According to the enumerator instructions for this census, this indicates that “the person enumerated worked no part of the last regular working day.” The instructions add that this is to include those “temporarily absent because of sickness, accidents, voluntary lay-offs, and all personal reasons…even though they continue to hold their positions.” Whether Delmar was actually unemployed or was not at work for one of these other reasons is unclear. Since the 1930 Unemployment Schedule was destroyed in 1949 without being microfilmed, there is no way to know with any certainty which accurately captures his circumstances.

More Coming Soon…

Later Years and Death

More Coming Soon…

Delmar Kernan Family Timeline

The following summarizes the major events in the lives of Delmar and Maxine Kernan, as well as the life of Pauline Kernan.

Table 3: Timeline of Delmar Kernan Family
Date Event
1908 Delmar Clair Kernan was born in Portland, Oregon
By 1910 Delmar moved with his parents and siblings to Kelso, Washington
1912 Maxine Elizabeth Davis was born in Portland, Oregon
By 1913 Delmar returned to Portland with his parents and siblings
1926 Delmar was employed as a Clerk at M & F Company in Portland, Oregon
1929 Delmar was employed as a Mill Worker in Portland, Oregon
1930 Delmar Kernan married Maxine Davis in Clark Co., Washington

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Published 07/13/2012. Last Updated 05/02/2018.

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