Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bittersweet Photo of 3 Year Old Twins Doris Edna Challans and Morris Edward Challans, Waverly, Illinois

Circa 1910 photograph of 3 year old twins Doris Edna Challans and Morris Edward Challans of Waverly, Illinois.  No studio marking on the photograph.

From online research, hopefully correct:

Doris Edna Challans and twin brother Morris Edward Challans were born 26 November 1907, possibly at Waverly, Illinois.  Their parents were John Richard Challans and wife Fanny Jane (Taylor) Challans, both Illinois natives.  

The twins' paternal grandparents were George and Mary Ann (Woodcock) Challans.  Their maternal grandparents were William and Alice (Harris) Taylor.  All of their grandparents were born in England, but died at Waverly, Illinois.

Sadly, Morris Edward Challans died before his fourth birthday, on 17 January 1911.  

About 1922,  when she was 14, Doris Edna Challans married Ora Lee Vankirk (or Lee Ora) of Missouri.  He was born 10 May 1901 at El Dorado Springs, the son of Henry Mills Vankirk and wife Allena Leota (Scott) Vankirk.

In the 1930 Census, Doris and Ora Lee were living at Elgin, Illinois, with three children listed with them.  Also in their household were Doris' father John Challans and Ora Lee's brother George and his wife and two children.  If I'm reading the entry right, Ora Lee was a chrome plater, as was his brother George.

Doris Edna (Challans) Vankirk died fairly young in 1951.  Ora Lee was not far behind her, in 1959.

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding any of the information presented here, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  

A map of Waverly, Illinois:

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I just found this picture today online. Doris Challans Van Kirk was my grandmother. She died before I was born. She had three daughters and one son, my father Marvin Lee Van Kirk.They lived in Kansas City.

    Rick Van Kirk-Kansas City
    July 7,2012

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you enjoyed seeing this photograph of your grandmother and her brother!

  3. I also just found this picture online. Marvin Lee Van Kirk was my grandfather. I am the oldest granddaughter of Marvin's only daughter, Debra Ann Van Kirk (now Zuniga). Hi Uncle Rick!

    Rachel Zuniga-Schroff- Kansas City

  4. It's so neat that two descendants have happened upon this photograph - and that the family history bug has bitten another generation of the family!