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
The questions raised in “Serving on the Home Front,” came when I was browsing draft registration cards. I browsed the draft cards looking for my Great Grandfather, Bryant Edward Hays. I had started thinking about him while I was reading a novel about a family that lived through the two world wars. Born in 1888 and married in 1916, I wondered whether he served.
He did register for both drafts:
The World War I Draft Registration Card lists Bryant Hays as married and engaged in farming for himself in Polo, Illinois. His card indicated that he had not served previously. He cites “wife & farming” as the reasons why he is claiming an exemption from the service. (1)
Based on the draft categories, marriage may have given Bryant a temporary deferment and farming may have given Bryant a temporary exemption. (2)
The World War II Draft Registration Card lists Bryant Hays as living in Milledgeville, Illinois. The card does not ask about prior service nor provide space to claim an exemption. He used the card that was intended for men born after 28 Apr 1877 and before 16 Feb 1897. (3)
His 1930 Census listed “No” in the column for whether a person is a veteran or not. While this is not absolute proof, it is a good indication that Bryant did not serve in the armed forces.(4)
I look forward to exploring the ways in which people served on the home front in WWI.
(1) “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Apr 2017) Card for Bryant Hays. Citing “World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” Washington, D.C.: NARA, M1509, Roll: 1614436.
(2) “Selective Service Act of 1917” Wikipedia/org (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_Act_of_1917 : accessed 10 Apr 2017)
(3) “U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, ” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 2 Apr 2017) Entry for Bryant Hays. Citing United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. NARA Branch l, NAI Number: 623284; Record Group Number: 147.
(4) 1930 U.S. census, Ogle County, Illinois, population schedule, Buffalo Township, enumeration district (ED) 3, Sheet 1A (penned), Page 268 (stamped), dwelling 12, family 12, Bryant E Hays household; index and digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 7 Jun 2017), citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 546.
In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a snap of my dad and his from a few years ago 😉
#FridayFeeling #FlashbackFriday #HappyFathersDay
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.
In the 1850 Agriculture Census for Maryland (1), Henry Hays is listed as owning 80 improved acres and 20 unimproved acres.
If I was as genealogically lucky as my husband, I would be related to everyone who bears my maiden name. While that isn’t as easy for the Hays/Hayes clan as the Bartimus descendants, I still feel a kinship when I hear the name.
I also like to hear the different Hays/Hayes stories to see where paths parallel and diverge. It is amazing that Hays/Hayes could be Scottish, Irish, English, German, and even French.
I’m looking forward to hearing Sean Hayes’ story on today’s episode of #WDYTYA. The teaser indicates that his lineage is Irish, but doesn’t yet mention his American roots.
So far, I can only trace my father’s Hays line back to Washington County, Maryland in the early 1800’s. Henry Hays is reported to have been born in that county in 1808. While I have not yet found direct evidence to support the birth date and location, he did marry Sarah Eakle in Washington County, Maryland in 1832 and buy and sell land between 1843 and 1854. (See source information below)
Henry Hays, reportedly born in 1808, was killed in 1888. Because he is my four times great grandfather, I have been curious about the facts of his life since I started researching in 2003. Initially, I only had information from family bibles. My challenge with this source if I don’t know who originally entered the information on the family page.
I know that he has a shared family plot in Fairmount Cemetery in Polo, Illinois, but I haven’t found officially information regarding his death yet.