Overmyer: Sol White, a mystery solved

From SABR member Jim Overmyer at Our Game on January 28, 2015:

When “Our Game” reported last summer on the quest to find out more about the life of black baseball lifer Sol White, a player, manager and journalist who left many words on early blackball, but practically no information about himself, the search for surviving family had hit a wall. A likely daughter, Marian White Ewell, Sol’s only child who lived to adulthood, was recorded as having died in Pittsburgh in 1992. Solid information about her family was sorely lacking. When White was inducted posthumously into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, no living relatives could be found to accept his plaque from Commissioner Selig.

But recent Internet sleuthing and that move that seals many a deal, a phone call, has solved the White family mystery. Recently the genealogical website Ancestry.com added another set of records to its voluminous collection, Pennsylvania death certificates from 1906 through 1963. White’s estranged wife Florence, born in 1887, had passed in 1962, and her death certificate was in the collection. Other than to offer another confirmation that she was Marian Ewell’s mother, the certificate didn’t do anything directly to advance the search for living White descendants. Except, that is, for the notation that Florence’s burial was in the Merion Memorial Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, a Philadelphia suburb.

If Florence White was buried in Merion, perhaps it was in a family plot, and if so, perhaps her daughter was interred there, also. A call to the cemetery office was answered by an extreme helpful fellow who after a short search was able to find that Marian, as well as her husband Charles, was buried there, also. This, of course, still brought the search no closer to Sol White’s living relatives, unless the next question, the jackpot one, got the right answer.

Read the full article here: http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2015/01/28/sol-white-a-mystery-solved/

Originally published: January 28, 2015. Last Updated: January 28, 2015.