A Multiplication Based Logic Puzzle

Before I write about Aunt Betty, let me give the factoring information for the number 465.

465 = 1 + 2 + 3 + . . . + 28 + 29 + 30, so it is a triangular number represented by (30 x 31)/2.

465 is formed by three consecutive digits so it can be evenly divided by 3. It is not divisible by 9 because the middle digit of the three consecutive digits, 5, is not a multiple of 3.

  • 465 is a composite number.
  • Prime factorization: 465 = 3 x 5 x 31
  • The exponents in the prime factorization are 1, 1, and 1. Adding one to each and multiplying we get (1 + 1)(1 + 1)(1 + 1) = 2 x 2 x 2 = 8. Therefore 465 has exactly 8 factors.
  • Factors of 465: 1, 3, 5, 15, 31, 93, 155, 465
  • Factor pairs: 465 = 1 x 465, 3 x 155, 5 x 93, or 15 x 31
  • 465 has no square factors that allow its square root to be simplified. √465 ≈ 21.5638

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My husband had an aunt that I had never met. In fact he had never met her. She was the baby in her family. The rest of her family had lost contact with her 50 or 60 years ago. All they knew was that she married Herbert Bender and that the two of them had moved to Washington D. C. There may have been some unkind words spoken by them or by her, and there were some very hurt feelings. Some family members didn’t care if they ever saw or heard from her again. Nobody knew her address or phone number.

Forgetting about her just wasn’t acceptable to me so we searched for her on our very limited budget. Back in the day before the internet, when long distance phone calls were expensive, and we lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, we drove up to Washington D. C.  One of the things we did when we were there was go to a phone booth and call every H. Bender in the phone book, but none of them was her husband.

Eventually all of Betty’s brothers and sisters died except her brother, Paul. He was eight years older than she was, but was the closest in age to her. Paul came to live with us in 1988, and he brought his photo albums with him. For the first time we got to see photos of his little sister, Betty. Here are a few of those photos:

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The most recent picture of Betty that her brother, Paul, had.

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Paul and Betty working together. Betty was 5 years old. The identity of the older boy is unknown. I suggested to Paul that it was his brother, Steve, but he said it couldn’t be. “Ma never would have given him such a bad haircut.”

IMG_0007

Paul posing with his younger sister, Elizabeth (Betty).

We were so excited to see these pictures of Betty. Paul had no ill feelings toward his sister so we asked him if he would like to find her. He stated that he wanted to respect her privacy if she wanted nothing to do with the rest of the family.

Paul died in November 2005. I missed him terribly especially since, primarily, I had been the one who took care of him the last 7 1/2 years of his life. We often looked at the pictures and records he left us. There were several pictures of his folks and his siblings, his christening record from Igazfalva written in Hungarian, his passport, his naturalization record, and many other records. I eventually took public transport to downtown Salt Lake City to the Family History Library. I checked out microfilm from Gyoma, Hungary and was thrilled to find the christening record for Paul and Betty’s father, Sallai István. After several months I found the family’s genealogy all the way back to the mid 1700’s. How I wished I could have shared these records with Paul or that I could find Betty and share them with her if she were still alive.

Periodically we looked at the social security death index for Elizabeth Bender born April 7, 1921. We didn’t find her, but that was a good thing, because that might mean she was still alive. One problem with knowing that for sure was that since she was a woman, her surname would be different if she ever married someone else. I loved searching through these old records and indexes. I learned that if I was in the right time and place, I could find a gold mine of records, but if I wasn’t, there was nothing to be found.

Family Search has been indexing records over the last several years. In June 2014, I was able to find this indexed marriage license record.

Elizabeth Sallai - Herbert Bender Marriage

I was tickled to find out that Herbert Bender’s occupation was a Statistician, and amused that Elizabeth Sallay said she was 22 years old and born in Cleveland, Ohio. At the time she was actually 19 years old, and she was born in Hungary.

If I had been searching through microfilm marriage records all by myself, I never would have looked in Columbus, Ohio; instead I would have spent years searching through Cleveland marriage records. But because of an indexer, I was able to find their marriage record, and get her husband’s date of birth. That date helped me know I had found the correct person when I found his name under the social security death index and the United States Public Records. The public records gave me a phone number, but it had been disconnected. It also gave me an address. She had been born 93 years previously, and it appeared that if she was still alive, she had probably moved to a different location. I found a list of the homeowners in that Maryland neighborhood. It was obvious that the list was a little old, but I was determined to write some letters to see if anyone remembered her. I googled one of the other houses and discovered it was for sale. The site also gave a list of all the houses in neighborhood, when they were last sold, and who was the seller and the buyer. I discovered that her house had been sold in May 2013. It was possible I was just over a year too late! She and her husband were listed as the sellers, but estate was written after his name. I called the real estate agent who sold the house. He told me that this now 93 year old aunt was still very much alive, and he gave me her phone number. I called the number and was able to talk to her!

It turned out that my son, John, lived only 40 minutes away from Aunt Betty! He immediately made arrangements to meet her. Steven and I flew out to Virginia at the end of July, and John took us over to meet her as well.  She shared stories and pictures with me that I would never have otherwise known or seen. Since she was 93 years old, she had a caregiver, Ingrid Graham, who was absolutely wonderful. Ingrid explained that after Betty sold her house, they moved into an apartment that included amenities that Betty couldn’t take advantage of, so they moved again. The real estate agent would not have known of this second move except Betty continued to get a gas bill for the house she sold. About a week before I called the agent, her caregiver had written the real estate agent a letter requesting his assistance in resolving the gas bill, and the letter had her new address and phone number. Thus the gas bill mix-up was part of the miracle of finding Aunt Betty! This trip to meet her was the highlight of 2014 for me.

Here is a picture of Betty when she was younger. The picture was taken by my husband’s father:

Scan0019 (1)

And here is a picture of my husband Steve, Betty, and me taken last summer.

Sadly Betty died in December 2014. My husband flew out to Ohio to attend her funeral, but I was recovering from surgery and couldn’t travel. Ingrid planned a memorial service for her in April because there were others who wanted to attend the funeral in December but couldn’t. I was very grateful to be able to attend the memorial service yesterday and reconnect with Ingrid and others who were part of Aunt Betty’s life.

Elizabeth Bender memorial service

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Comments on: "465 Looking for Aunt Betty" (4)

  1. Wow, what a wonderful story of persistence, detective work and the ties of family! And I think this is the first time you’ve gone public with a photo of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lovely story, and how fortunate that you didn’t leave things till too late.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ivasallay said:

        I feel so much gratitude that I was able to meet her before she died. She had a couple of close calls the last two or three years, but thanks to her wonderful caregiver, she was nursed back to health so it wasn’t too late.

        Like

    • ivasallay said:

      Thank you so much for reading all of it. I guess you could say the photo is reserved for those who read it to the very end.

      Liked by 1 person

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