Myrtelle Wheeler Molyneaux

Questing Heirs Genealogical Society Newsletter, Volume 36, Number 11 (November 2003), Page 84:



Myrtelle (Molly) Wheeler Molyneaux died on October 11, 2003, in Huntington Beach, California.

Molly, who was the first president (1969-1970) and long-time member of Questing Heirs, is remembered with fondness by many members for her long list of admirable qualities and the dedication and work she contributed to the club over the years.

She was very much an elegant lady, and described as being very professional at all times. She was dedicated to Questing Heirs and knowledgeable about genealogy, and always willing to share her knowledge with others. She taught the beginning classes for many years and was very efficient at it—always arriving at the July board meeting with the full outline of what she intended to start teaching in September.

She had a lovely home on Ocean Boulevard where she liked to entertain, and where it is said that Questing Heirs was founded. Two or three people shared almost exactly the same story that Molly related to them about the founding. There were five people, including Molly’s brother, who met and decided to form a genealogy group. They all put their names in a hat to decide who would be president, and her name was pulled out.

Molly’s obituary in the Long Beach Press-Telegram also showed other aspects of her full life, such as her devotion to her family and to the community.

We are very proud of our first president, and thankful for her sharing of her many talents and hard work, all of which contributed to getting us to where we are today.

—Submitted by Barbara Brown, Jeanette Jones, and Mabelle Little

Questing Heirs Newsletter, Volume 36, Number 12 (December 2003), Page 92:


We received the following from Nancy Anderson, Vice President and Program Chair of the New Mexico Genealogical Society, and President Elect of that society for 2004. Nancy has kindly offered to donate several volumes of early New Mexico records to the Long Beach Public Library in memory of our late first President, Molly Molyneaux. Nancy writes:

A cousin of mine, Myrtle Wheeler Molyneaux, was a member of your organization for a number of years. I just heard that she passed away on October 10 of this year. She only had two grandchildren surviving in the immediate family and I am about to notify the Texas family.

Myrtle Mae Wheeler Molyneaux—what a terrific lady! Molly authored two books, The Wheeler Family and Some Descendants of William Ward of Middletown, CT. Plus, she had put together quite a bit of information on our Martin Family and I still have the book in my computer. I knew she was going downhill in 1998 as far as memory and several times since have almost picked up the phone to call and tell her that I had found some of our information that she had hunted for long and hard.

I had started doing genealogy in 1979, but it was in the 1980s that we actually met face to face and she really whipped me into shape as far as doing it the right way! That is also the same time she talked me into working with her on my mother’s maternal side of the family. (I had started with my mother’s paternal side)

Myrtle May Wheeler, daughter of Clarence E. Wheeler and Minnie Myrtle Martin, was born in Hereford, Texas, 7 September 1909. She married 12 June 1931, Wilbur Lyman Molyneaux, Jr, born in Pomona, California 25 November 1905, died at Carlsbad, New Mexico 17 February 1949, son of Wilbur Lyman Molyneaux and Ena Marie Reed.

Myrtle received a Bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University in 1937 and a Master’s degree from California State University at Long Beach in 1965. She taught school for three years before marrying, the first in a one-room rural school. She resumed teaching in 1937, completing ten years before moving to California. During World War II, she worked for the government as projects services advisor in a public housing project, overseeing the social and educational functions of 1300 families. In 1948, she began teaching for the Los Angeles City Schools, retiring in 1972. The last ten years she was a training teacher for California State University of Long Beach. During her time in the latter system, she was given two years of sabbatical leave for traveling in the States, Europe and the Near East.

She served as president of the Harbor Area Teachers’ Association, president of the Realette Toastmistress Club, and vice-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies for eight years. She helped organize and was charter president of the Questing Heirs Genealogical Society in Long Beach.

In 1983, she published a small book, Some Descendants of William Ward of Middletown, CT and in 1992, she completed a family book, The Wheeler Family of Cranfield, England and Concord, Massachusetts and Some Descendants of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord. She had also started compiling allied families of the Martin family and passed that work on to cousins to finish.

Myrtle, Molly to friends and family, became interested in genealogy through an aunt, Daisy Martin Currie, during the late 1930s and early 1940s. She has taught many how to hunt for their ancestors and passed along the “addiction.”

When her memory began to dim in 1998/99, many of us felt the void. She left so many memories behind that she will never be forgotten, just missed!

Serving the Long Beach area since 1969