Sent the following to my parents the other night. The intent was to let my dad know what I'd found about his maternal grandmother's family. My mom says they're going to go over it, as well as some other data I sent them, and see if it jogs their memories at all to help fill in the holes I still have. (Like his grandmother's first husband.)
Flossie's parents were Samuel Jasperson (1849-1902) and Carrie Hansen (1862-1942). They both came here from Denmark, and settled in Neenah, Winnebago county, Wisconsin around 1883. I'm not sure if they married before or after immigration, but they both arrived around the same time. After Samuel died in 1902, Carrie and at least three of their children relocated to Baltimore, MD.
Flossie had three older brothers: Alexander C, Harold J, and John Martin. There's also reference to a sister, Olga Jasperson, who was born in 1887 and shows up in the 1900 census. I'm not sure what happened to her after that; perhaps she died young?
Alexander C Jasperson was in the Navy, as you said, around 1910. By the next census in 1920, he had settled in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, married a woman named Helen, and eventually had four daughters. He seems to have died in Ft. Benning, Georgia, in 1952.
All I've found for Harold J Jasperson is that he died in Baltimore, MD in 1912. So we know he moved to Baltimore with Carrie.
Likewise, John Martin Jasperson was in Baltimore, MD in 1910, sharing a residence with Carrie, Harold, and Flossie. He was still living somewhere in MD in 1917-1918, according to "Maryland Military Men" -- he would have been 22 at the time, perhaps he was in WWI? Not sure where he was in 1920; by 1930-32 he was living in Harrisburg, PA. In 1940 he was living in Boston, MA. At some point he married Helen Louise Vanderpool (great-aunt Helen that we used to visit?). He died in Newton, MA in 1969.
Florence Marie Jasperson was born in 1899 in Neevah, WI. Florence Elizabeth Marie Jasperson was baptized in 1909 at St Stephen the Martyr Chapel, an Episcopal church, in Baltimore, MD (age 10). She shows up in the 1910 census with Carrie, Harold, and John, as noted above. I was unable to find anything on her in the 1920 census -- she would have been 21, perhaps this was when she was married to her first husband? By the 1930 census, she's living with Allen, Carrie, and grandmother on [redacted for public posting]. Carrie is listed there as the owner of the house, with Flossie and Allen renting from her. By the 1940 census, Allen is listed as the homeowner of [redacted -- same home], with Carrie, Flossie, and grandmother all still living there.
For a while, ALL I could find on Allen Young Stokes was that he was born somewhere in Virginia (maybe), and that he was married to someone named Gertrude during the 1910 and 1920 censuses. Eventually I was able to find the marriage announcement for his first marriage, to Gertrude Demitz of Baltimore, in Richmond, VA in December 1901. I eventually found her grave, which is how I found that after she and Allen divorced, she married a James Wesley Knight, and then died in 1977. I've found no evidence that they had any children.
I did eventually find Allen's WWII draft card from April 1942, which gives his birthdate as 24 October 1878, in Richmond, VA. I'm taking that as the best source available.
The best I can find for his death is the Georgia death index; an Allen Y Stokes is listed as having died on 2 June 1943, in "Md, Georgia." That makes no sense to me, but there it is. [Added later: Mom says Allen died in Georgia on a business trip, and his body was shipped home to Baltimore for burial.]
I have found nothing connecting Allen to a circus. (I think trying to find out more about him and this circus business is how I started getting into genealogy in the first place, pretty much as soon as I got on the internet in college!) HOWEVER, I have found what might only be circumstantial evidence that his *father* might have been connected to a circus. The marriage announcement for Allen and Gertrude gives his father's name as only "W. S. Stokes." Let me tell you, there are a LOT of Stokes' in this country, especially in the south! There are even other Allen Young Stokes, as well as variations on similar names, none of which seem to match up to our Allen Young Stokes. However, the ONLY other place I have found a "W. S. Stokes" is on a circus history website; he's listed as the band leader for Adam Forepaugh’s circus 1889. Adam Forepaugh was apparently P. T. Barnum's biggest competition at one point. The same site lists a Spencer Q. Stokes, who was a "horse trainer and showman" with a number of circuses, including Adam Forepaugh's in 1869. Spencer Stokes had four daughters, three of whom were circus equestriennes; the fourth became an actress.
I don't know if any of these Stokes' are related Allen, but they're probably a decent place to start. Do you know anything else that might point me in the right direction?
Was Flossie's first husband's last name Walker? I think I remember hearing/thinking that was Grandmother's maiden name at one point. I only second-guessed that when I saw [living relative name redacted] on the 1930 census, but maybe Allen adopted her when he and Flossie married?