Over the last few weeks, I have been poking at my brick walls as one does, and a few records have popped up, much to my surprise.
Still not much luck actually 'proving' W.A. Lavelle's parents, as I am still unable to locate him in the 1860 or 1870 census records. I have found him in theater cast lists in various newspapers which trace him through the 1870s and 1880s, I believe I found him on a Chicago directory living with his mother one year - cannot confirm it is him, but I believe it to be him. He is active as a stage manager in the early 1900s, marries Henrietta Rosch Anderson in 1903 - I have the Ohio Marriage Record, and I find him on the census in Chicago living with her in 1910 and 1920, and I have his death certificate from Mar 1924, and his brief obituary. But I am still stuck on his actual birth date and place - I suspect his parents may have been born in Ireland, though the records I find state they were born in PA.
I have made an interesting discovery regarding Shadrach Steere(1779-1870, RI), as I discovered a record of probate - his mother's (Rachel Steere) will very clearly claims him as her son, and also claims that she is a single woman. I am still struggling to find other information about her - according to records I have found she was born in 1756 to Anthony and Rachel Comstock Steere, there is no record of marriage or record of death for her. I am hoping there are records still lurking out there for her...