186 years ago today, Henry Hays, my 4 times great grandfather, married Sarah Eakle, in Washington County, Maryland. I am grateful for their union, the children that were born, and the fact they later moved to Illinois. Without all those steps my father, most likely, would not have met and married my mother.
Henry Hays is the ancestor that I am most curious about and that has me the most stumped.
It is believed that he was born in Washington County, Maryland in 1808. But, the earliest mention I have of Henry is in the marriage index for Washington County, Maryland. And, the earliest original record I’ve found for Henry Hays is a land purchase in 1843.
Nothing before their marriage in 1832.
I am curious about Henry’s earlier life and about his parents. Ultimately I would love to know the nationality for Hays. It could be English, Irish, Scottish, and even French.
If you are researching Henry or another Hays / Hayes line from Washington County, Maryland, let’s connect. If you’ve taken a DNA test, let me know which ones. Depending on what you’ve taken, we can compare results.
A fellow Family Tree DNA member emailed me asking about an Andrew Sass that may have arrived with his known relative with the surname Nowak. For my convenience and to protect his privacy, I’ll use the initials SW to indicate this contact.
SW had tested with his sister and I had submitted a test for my mother. Both of us are exploring our Polish heritage. Family Tree DNA is predicting that we are 3rd to 5th cousins. SW asked whether Andrew Sass and Louise Sass could have been siblings. It is possible.
In my previous research using Polish church records on Family History Center microfilm, I found the church baptism index for Louise. I unfortunately have not found the actual baptism register that the index listed.
I made note of the other Sass entries in the index, including an Andreas Sas, baptized 17 Aug 1894, and 7 other Sas babies baptized between 1880 and 1896.
My research plan into whether Louise Sass, who was baptized 22 Jun 1889 and emigrated 27 Apr 1907, is related to Andrew Sas, as described by SW, and whether this Andrew Sass is the same person as the Andreas Sas who was baptized on 17 Aug 1894 includes researching Chicago and Polish church records available as protected digital images at FamilySearch affiliated libraries.
Specifically, I’ll search:
o St. Barbara Catholic Church, Chicago, IL.
o St. Mary of Perpetual Help, Chicago, IL
o Zwiernik, Pilzno Parish in the Tarnow, Poland collection
I just need to find the time for a field trip to a Family Search affiliated library. I like the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook, IL. The building design allows in a lot of natural light, they provide large tables, and have consistently strong Wi-Fi.
So, thank you DNA for the connection.
#DNADay #Genealogy #familyhistory #geneticgenealogy
Whether my sister and I are identical or fraternal came into question this past Christmas. I’m not sure how we got to the topic, but remember saying, “we’re identical,” my mom disagreeing, and one of my cousins loving the hullabaloo.
We quickly called my sister over and debated the question for a bit longer. My mother said she never tested us to check whether we were identical or fraternal.
Look at us as age 5. Continue reading We ARE Identical!
The holidays are a great time to catch up with family. You can share the research you’ve done and listen to the family stories that put the research in context.
Scan and share old photos.
You can show how family members and the holiday celebration has changed over the years. You can share photos of family members that everyone hasn’t seen in years.
This year I scanned slides my father had gotten from his father. Since my parents never had a slide projector, we never saw these images growing up. I used an adapter that we had for our older Epson scanner. Continue reading Holiday Conversations
It started with a photograph. The image behind the blog title includes my father and his parents. (1) Dad is in a miniature version of Herb’s navy uniform; and, I wanted to find out more.
Using a combination of interview, newspapers, and muster rolls, I pieced the story together that took Herb from the farm in Ogle County to the Harbor of Japan in the final months of WW2.
Herb Hays, my paternal grandfather, enlisted in the Navy on 9 May 1944 at Chicago, Illinois. (2) My grandmother said that he enlisted in the Navy rather than wait to get drafted in the army because he didn’t want to sleep in a foxhole. (3) Continue reading Herb Hays: From the Farm to the Pacific
In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a snap of my dad and his from a few years ago 😉
#FridayFeeling #FlashbackFriday #HappyFathersDay
On 30 Mar 2017’s post “Where’s Bessie?“, I wrote,
“A Bessie Greenwell does appear in the 1905 Iowa State Census in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County. She is located at, “Convent E Drummond” with 8 Sisters and a “Veta Greenwell (1).”
I went searching for the original census cards and found the images at FamilySearch.
1905 Iowa Census: Bessie Greenwell, age 9 from Kentucky, is at the St. Francis Convert. Veta Greenwell is age 7 from Kentucky. (2)
My great grandmother would have been age 16 in 1905 and was born in Tennessee. This is an indication that the 1905 Census Bessie is not the same person.
I then looked for Bessie and Veta in the 1900 federal census, but didn’t find any perfect matches. The closest matches are in the West Greenwell and Martha Greenwell households.
1910 Census: West Greenwell (head, 33), Katie Greenwell (wife, 31), William R Greenwell (son, 6), Mary B Greenwell (daughter, 5), Mary Z Greenwell (daughter, 4), Joseph H Greenwell (son, 2), and Mary E Greenwell (daughter, 1). The family is white. (3)
1910 Census: Martha Greenwell (widowed, head, 32), Lillian J Greenwell (daughter, 4), Matilda L Greenwell (daughter, 3), and Bessie M Greenwell (daughter, 2). The family is black. (4)
Further connections between these households and St. Francis Convent appear in an article that mentioned St. Francis Academy in Mason City, Iowa. (5)
1887: School for Colored Children opens in Chicago, Kentucky.
1890: Sisters leave Kentucky on Nov. 30. Francis Academy opens in Mason City, Iowa.
This is enough for me to take the 1905 Census out of my great grandmother’s history, but not enough to connect the 1905 Iowa Census Bessie and Veta with a 1900 Census households.
So, I’m still trying to find where Bessie was in 1910 and what brought a girl from Tennessee together with the boy from Illinois for a wedding in Iowa.
(1) “Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2017) Entry for Bessie Greenwell, Cerro Gordo County, Mason City, 1905
(2) “Iowa State Census, 1905,” digital images, FamilySearch.com (http://www.familysearch.com : accessed 31 Mar 2017) Entries for Bessie Greenwell, Card #622, and Veta Greenwell, Card #623, St. Fancis Convent.
(3) 1900 U.S. census, Marion County, Kentucky, population schedule, Chicago, enumeration district (ED) 80, Sheet. 4-A (penned), line 38-44, dwelling #63, family #64, West Greenwell household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Mar 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 542.
(4) 1900 U.S. census, Breckinridge County, Kentucky, population schedule, Union Star, enumeration district (ED) 7, Sheet. 10-B (penned), line 38-44, dwelling #182 (corrected), family #183 (corrected), Martha Greenwell household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Mar 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 510.
(5) “The Sisters of St. Francis: Missions and Milestones,” 2 May 2016, Transcription, Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa (http://www.clintonherald.com : 31 Mar 2017).
Today I’m focusing on Bessie P Greenwell, my great grandmother. In the 1920 Census, we find her, together with her husband, Bryant Hays/Hayes. (1)
1920 Census: Bryant Hayes (head, 31), Bessie Hayes (wife, 31), and Evelyn Hayes (daughter, 2 4/12)
I believe they were married before 19920, because in 1910, Bryant is with his father (2). However, Bessie is not in her father’s household (3).
1910 Census: Charles W Hays (head, 50), Emma Hays (wife, 45), Bryant Hays (son, 22), Harrold Hays (son, 19), Edgar Hays (son, 17), Max Hays (son, 3), and Ruby Dockery (servant, 16)
1910 Census: Martin Greenwell (head, 58), Rebecca L Greenwell (wife, 58), Tim Greenwell (son, 28), William E Greenwell (son, 23), Robert T Greenwell (son, 19), and Clay Greenwell (son, 15).
In addition, there are no other Greenwell’s in Civil District 2, Washington County, Tennessee.
So, where is Bessie in 1910?
- Is she living with a sibling, aunt, or uncle? The 1910 census indicates that Bessie’s mother, Rebecca Greenwell, has 10 living children, only four of whom live with them.
- Is Bessie living with a relative of Bryant?
- Does a Bessie P Greenwell exist elsewhere is the 1910 census or in a state census between 1900 and 1920?
I didn’t find Bessie with any known Greenwell siblings, aunts, or uncles nor any known Hays siblings, aunts, or uncles.
A Bessie Greenwell does appear in the 1905 Iowa State Census in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County. She is located at “Convent E Drummond” with 8 Sisters of the order and a “Veta Greenwell.” (4)
I have not found any other information about Veta, so I don’t yet know whether there is any relationship the two Greenwell girls. There is also no additional information in the 1905 digital image, except a reference to Card #622. Most likely the digital images are an index of 1905 census cards that had details of each individual.
I did not find the Convent in the 1910 census for Mason City, Iowa.
In trying to find where Bessie and Bryant came together, I found their marriage information (5) for 3 Jun 1916 in Clinton, Iowa. Their parents are included in the database, increasing my confidence in snatching up the right marriage record.
But, what took them both to Iowa and where is Bessie in 1910?
The only relation in Iowa is Bryant’s great aunt who is living in Lafayette, around 83 miles from Mason City. But, Bessie is not in her household in 1910.
Possible next steps include,
- Find the cards for the 1905 Iowa State Census and see whether they offer more details about Bessie and Veta.
- Find any archives or manuscripts for the Convent on E Drummond in Mason City.
- Review newspapers in Mason City, Iowa, Washington County, Tennessee, and Ogle County, Illinois that mention the convent or Bessie.
- Discover more about Veta Greenwell to see how or if Bessie and Veta are related.
Where else should I look?
(1) 1920 U.S. census, Ogle County, Illinois, population schedule, Pine Creek Township, enumeration district (ED) 104, Sheet. 7A-B (penned), line 50-52, dwelling #157, family #157, Bryant Hayes household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 398.
(2) 1910 U.S. census, Ogle County, Illinois, population schedule, Buffalo Township, enumeration district (ED) 65, Sheet. 3A (penned), line 31-37, dwelling #53, family #53, Charles W Hays household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 314.
(3) 1910 U.S. census, Washington County, Tennessee, population schedule, Civil District 2, enumeration district (ED) 190, Sheet. 7A (penned), line 1-6, dwelling #107, family #107, Martin Greenwell household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2017); citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 1524.
(4) “Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2017) Entry for Bessie Greenwell, Cerro Gordo County, Mason City, 1905
(5) “Iowa, Select Marriages Index,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Mar 2017) Entry for Bryant Hays and Bessie Greenwell, 4 Jun 1916. Citing FHL Film #1840000.
One of my biggest genealogical discoveries last year was a hopeful clue to the parentage of my 4th great grandfather, Henry Hays (1808-1888). I’ve believed that his father’s name is John, but this belief stems from early research I conducted that was not documented at all. (Sham on me.)
To find some leads in Washington County, Maryland, the county of his birth, I searched FamilySearch’s Will Index to the “Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999” (1a) for Hays or Hayes in Washington County and found 10 matches for the last name.
One record for John Hays in 1833 with John D Eakle as executor seemed interesting because Henry Hays married Sarah Eakle. Even though the “Administration accounts 1833-1836 vol. 10” on pp. 159-161 list a Henry Hays without specifying the relationship, other details in probate records lead me to believe this John Hays is not Henry’s father, but is instead the John Hays listed in the 18 Jan 1825 announcement of the marriage between John Hays and Catherine Eakle listed in the Torch Light and Public Advertiser (2). This background and these relationships will be explored in a future blog post.
Back to the Wills…
After considering the other Washington County Hays entries, I looked through the records for Frederick County (1b) and found an exciting entry for a John Hays in 1811. In John Hays’ Will (1c), a wife, Syellany, is listed with her “three youngest sons, ” Samuel, Barney, and Henry indicating that “my wife Syellany Hayes should continue my youngest son Henry Hayes to school until he learns the art of book keeping and surveying.” Since my Henry Hays would have been 2 and a half, this instruction could fit his timeline.
To strengthen the connection between this John Hays and my Henry Hays, I’ve started looking for other records of the family. However, so far, the only record I’ve found is the baptism record for Barney. (3, 4) A Barnabas Hays born to John and Silana on 1 Apr 1793 was christened at Jacob’s Lutheran Church in Washington County, Maryland.
The hunt continues…
If you are a descendant of John Hays or Henry Hays, I would love to hear from you and discuss any research or DNA testing that you’re working on.
(1) “Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999.” Images. FamilySearch. (http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 24 Feb 2016.) Citing Prerogative Court. Hall of Records, Annapolis.
(1a) Washington County, Will index 1777-1850; H Index (Images 88-102)
(1b) Frederick County, Will index 1747-1930 (Image 102 of 236)
(1c) Frederick County, Wills 1809-1815 vol. 1 (Image 86 of 310)
(2) “The Torch Light And Public Advertiser (Hagerstown, Maryland)” digital images. Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/8296479/marriage_announcement_of_john_hays_and/: accessed 11 Jan 2017) Marriage announcement for John Hays and Catherine Eakle, 18 Jan 1825, p.4.
(3) “Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2WR-VD9 : accessed 27 February 2016), Entry for Barnabas Hays, 01 Apr 1793.
(4) Wright, F. Edward. 1988. Washington County, Maryland church records of the 18th century. Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications. p. 61.