Sunday, March 11, 2018

Church Record Sunday: Sacramental Records for Roy Lee Guokas

Recently I stumbled across some unindexed records at for Catholic churches my mother and her ancestors were parishoners of in Houston, Texas.  Using some indexes built into the documents, as well as some paging to appropriate dates, I found records for a number of relatives.

Here are the sacramental records for my great uncle, Roy Lee Guokas III (1917-1959), all at at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Houston, Texas:

Above:  Baptism record - Roy Lee Guokas is on the last line.  He was born on July 5, 1917, and baptized one month later, on August 5, 1917.  The godparents appear to be Mrs. H. Snider and Stanley Biechi.  There's also a note that Roy married Maxine Hooks on June 21, 1942, at St. Joseph in Houston.

Below:  First Communion record, on May 9, 1926.  Roy's date of birth is also shown.

Above left:  Roy Lee Guokas (far right) with his sister-in-law Sara Melzina Wolfe Guokas Archibald (1907-1997) and his nephew Charles Guokas III (1927-1999), probably in early 1928 and probably at 1717 Shearn, Houston, Texas, where Roy was living with his family.  Sara and Charles were down the street at 2215 Shearn.

Above right:  Roy Lee Guokas (far right) with his brother Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903-1967) and his nieces Geraldine Margaret Guokas Pape and Jo Ann Guokas.  Easter, probably about 1933, in Houston, Texas.

Above: Confirmation record for Roy Guokas, May 12, 1929 - he is third on the list.  His confirmation name - like that of all the other boys - is Joseph.

Below:  Marriage record for Roy Lee Guokas and Maxine Hooks, on June 21, 1942.  Note that there is no record of baptism for Maxine, and that they are already living at the same address.  Under the annotations (which include dispensations) to the right there is a note that says "revalidatis," which indicates that a non-Catholic marriage ceremony had already occurred.  (There are other notes indicating "mixtae [mixed] rel[igion]" and "disp[arity of] cult ad cautelam." This is in the case of a doubtful baptism, when a person says he/she is baptized, but can produce no certifcate proving the claim.)  A little more searching turned up a marriage license and return in adjacent Fort Bend County, Texas, for a marriage between Roy and Maxine on June 21, 1937.

This record was particularly valuable to me because I had the wrong maiden name for Maxine.  The 1940 Census had Maxine's younger sister living with the couple, and listed her last name as Cook, not Hooks (she was 16 and single).  I was able to trace Maxine particularly with her parents' names listed on the church record:  Henry C. Hooks and Lucy Lee.  The record also spells my elusive Lithuanian maternal great-grandmother's name as Bonewitch, more evidence for that phonetic pronunciation.  The witnesses to the church ceremony were what looks like Mrs. Elizabeth Gouldg and George some-initial Rabroke - neither of those names are familiar, and they could just be other people in the rectory at the time this record was made.

The picture above is of most of the surviving full siblings of my maternal grandfather Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903-1967), taken around late 1942 in Houston, Texas. Youngest brother Roy Lee Guokas (1917-1959) is at the far left. He enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps on September 28, 1942, and was sent to Australia to work in supplies, so this was probably taken before he shipped out.

The others in the photo, moving to the right from Roy, are Philip Edgar Sayers Sr. (1901-1972), next to his wife Elizabeth "Lizzie" Wanda Guokas Johnson Sayers (1901-1980).  Next to her are my grandparents, Charles Guokas Jr. and Sara Melzina Wolfe Guokas Archibald (1908-1997).  The next woman is Roy's wife at the time, Maxine LaVerne Hooks Guokas Huett DeMarco (1919-2012), followed by Eva Louise Guokas Scott (1907-1979) and her husband, Otis Henry Scott (1901-1990).

The photograph was taken at Lizzie and Philip's home at 810 Avenue of Oaks in Houston.  Sister Agnes "Aggie" Verna Guokas Payne (1905-1974) and her husband Milton Clyde "Jack" Payne (1904-1991) are not in the picture, even though they were still living in Houston at the time.

Roy and Maxine were married through at least 1942.  In May 1948, Maxine married her second husband, and by the time of publication of the 1951 Houston city directory, Roy's wife is listed as Fay - Fay Lois Florence Boulter Guokas Nelson (1922-2005), the mother of his daughter Gloria Guokas Ahmad Stone (1941-2017).  Gloria had five children.

Sometime between 1953 and 1958, Roy and his family moved to California, where Roy died on February 19, 1959, in Los Angeles County, at only age 41.  He is buried at South Park Cemetery in Pearland, Brazoria County, Texas.

© Amanda Pape - 2018 - click here to e-mail me.

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