Even though my Marilyn book is now published, my research into Marilyn's life will go on forever. I love uncovering new information, and was thrilled when the 1940 census was released and revealed that Norma Jeane was living at the time with Doc and Grace Goddard, and a lodger called Margaret T Kanaun.
Well I knew she had lived with Doc and Grace, but it was intriguing me who Margaret was, so I did a bit of digging around, and here is what I came up with:
Her name was actually Margaret T Kanouse, (they spelled it wrong whilst transcribing the census) and she was a 79 year old widow when living with the Goddard family. She was born in 1860 as Margaret T Willett, and was the sister of Grace's mother Emma. Therefore she was Grace's aunt.
Margaret married a man called James Kanouse in 1896 and lived for most of her adult life in Montana, where both she and her husband owned land. Margaret moved to Los Angeles after James' death. As stated in the census, Mrs Kanouse was living with the family in 1940, but I have discovered that sadly she died the next year on 7 March 1941. This is quite intriguing because if she continued living with the family, she would have actually died while Norma Jeane was still living there.
I have been unable to find a confirmed photo of Margaret Kanouse, but I think that the old lady in the photo above (far right) could very well be her.