I think this is Mary Boothby in about 1917

I think this is Mary Boothby

The evidence is amassing that Elizabeth M. Hockman/Earhart was not born to John Earhart and Margaret Shotwell.  Here is what I have found so far.

1.  Elizabeth Hockman, age 4, was enumerated with the John Arehart household in the 1860 census (taken 6/28/1860, which according to her daughter on the death cert would have been 11 days after her 5th birthday but if the census taker was sticking to 1 June as the date of record then 4 is accurate).  Also in the household were Margaret Arehart, Tillford Arehart, William Arehart (later AKA Samuel), and Ruth Shotwell, Domestic.

2.  Elizabeth M. Earhart was also enumerated with the John Earhart household on the 1870 census (15 years old, listed as helps mother) along with William S. Earhart (age 18, works out, Farm), and John C. (age 6, attends school).  It seems likely that Elizabeth/Mary lived with the Earharts until she married at 18 in 1873.  This was a very rural area, and the Earharts lived on a farm described as a mile or so off the main road, so I haven’t figured out what other records might show her presence at the Earharts between the two census points.  It seems unlikely that there is a city directory that would include the household.

3.  Tilford Earhart lived at home in 1860 and up to the time he enlisted in the Army in the Civil War in August 1862.  He died at home in 1866.  In 1888, Margaret made an application for a mother’s pension based on the death of her son due to his military service.  In 1892 there was a special hearing on this application and statements were again taken.

4. In her application for the pension, Margaret Shotwell Earhart did not ever mention a daughter.  She said in her sworn statements that she had borne two sons, one of them Tilford E. Earhart who had served in the Civil War and the other John Charles who was born during that War.  She clearly described the family as consisting of her husband, herself and the 2 sons.

5. John Earhart’s statement in the pension application  process also did not mention Elizabeth (or any daughter) but did also mention his sons.

6. The affidavits of 2 other individuals mentioned a nephew (and one named him as Samuel) who lived with John and Margaret and helped on the farm.  Margaret herself described her nephew Samuel as having stayed on and helped them around the farm until he was a young man although he had no legal obligation to do so.

7. At least one of the affidavits mentioned that Margaret had required “girl help” over the years (perhaps due to ill-health) but at times not had it (couldn’t afford it).  I’m guessing that “girl help” meant help with the work on the farm usually done by Margaret or any woman.

8.  In no description in the pension application of either Tilford’s death or the circumstances the family was in at that time was Elizabeth mentioned.  She would have been 9-10 years old at the time of his death in 1866.

In the early 1850s Ohio law directed that township trustees were responsible for the care of impoverished and destitute children and orphans.  Such children were placed in either institutions for the poor or with individual families to whom they were indentured.  Based on abstracts of the indentures of Green Creek Township, Sandusky County (found on the R.B. Hayes site) , children as young as 4 weeks old were legally indentured often to the age of 18.  Thus it is possible that Elizabeth might have been placed with the Earharts if she were orphaned or her parents were unable financially to take care of her.

9.  In registering the birth of their son M. K. Boothby in 1879, the parents were listed as Alexander Boothby and E.M. Hockman.  Their other children that I have found registrations for are all listed with her name as Earhart, although I have not found all of the children and the ones found were the later-born ones.  She was also married giving her name as Earhart.

10.  Confusingly there is a Hockman family in the same close area with a daughter named Elizabeth who was born about the same time as my ancestor.  Luckily, the 1870 federal census sheet shows both the John Earhart and the Delitha Hockman households within a few families of each other.  Thus I am pretty sure that there were in fact 2 different Elizabeth Hockmans.

11.  The only Hockman household to show up on the 1850 censuses in either Brown County or neighboring Clermont County Ohio besides the David Hockman family later the Delitha Hockman family, was a William  (age 21) and Cynthia A. Hockman (age 18).  I have not yet found them in the 1860 census nor subsequent ones.

12.  I have not found any record of the birth of a female  born to a Hockman  in Ohio in 1855, although there was not state-wide mandated reporting of births until the early 1900s.  Brown County did not register births until 1867, and although Clermont County registered some births from 1856 on, there is no Hockman birth found by search on familysearch.org.  No luck finding a Boothby family Bible which might have included Mary’s birth information.

I conclude at this point that Mary Elizabeth (or Elizabeth Mary) was born to a Hockman, taken in at an early age by John and Margaret Earhart and that she took their name whether there was any formal or legal relationship with them.  Still to be searched: court records, will/probate records, school records if they exist, church records if they exist.  My quest is not over, but some progress has been made.

 

 

 

2014-01-31 17.02

Research
* Earhart project:   I received the Civil War pension file for Margaret Earhart applying based on her son Tilford’s death.  This record was pulled and scanned for me by Pamela Loos-Noji at Kinwork Connections.  I found her by using the Association of Professional Genealogists website’s Find a Professional section.  Easy peasy.  Pam was very responsive and I had the file of 81 scanned pages in less than a month.  I’m still reading through this 81-page gem and getting ready to transcribe at least some of the affidavits, which look like they contain much useful information.  Unfortunately, so far I don’t see any reference to my Mary Elizabeth Hockman.  But hope springs eternal.  Realistically, reading through this file and transcribing is likely to be my major project for this short month.

Organization

I see that once again I have a set of goals that mostly aren’t getting accomplished.  I will try to do better this month.  Honest I will.
* Pick a family group in Evernote that is tagged To-Analyze and enter into my database.  The information isn’t going to jump in all by itself (drat!). I actually did get started on this one in January. I got some of the Boothby information transferred and organized but then, as usual, got distracted by searching online for the details to fill out the picture. So now I have images of Boothby certificates or registers sitting on my desktop along with a couple of Earharts and a couple of Justices. So back I go to try again.
* Pick a group of census records and really learn how to enter them in Clooz – a program which I really like my early experience with but which I need to learn to be more proficient using.
* Type notes from Maine trip and file information.  Figure out next steps.  Since this is my Boothby family line, I will make the family group from my Evernote files to start on the Boothbys. Also since I can travel pretty easily to Maine, even doing a day trip for some places, I need to keep myself focused on this goal.

Education
* I am registered to watch a webinar titled “Find Your 17th-c. New England Ancestors with NEHGS” which I am looking forward to.  I recently seem to be reading and listening to books set in the colonial period of the U.S.  Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower was a good listen as an audiobook and I’m still listening to Woody Holton’s Abigail Adams.  I am addicted to podcasts and audiobooks to make my hour-plus each way commute pleasant.  It makes a huge difference.

For our GRIP course we were asked to describe a research problem for discussion with the class.  I wrote up the basics of what I knew about Mary/Elizabeth Earhart (or Hockman) Boothby.  I included the information I have posted here before.

The fun part was having everyone in the class read my problem and then ask questions and make suggestions about what to do next in my search for Mary’s true parents.  At the time I wrote it up, I basically had all of the places she appeared in the Federal Census, the information about her marriage to Alex Boothby, the registration information for some of her children, and her death certificate information.  Her youngest daughter, my grandmother Carrie, was the informant on the death certificate so not a primary source for any of the information I was interested in (like her parents or her date of birth).

The consensus of the GRIP class was that I needed to do a timeline of some sort to help me decide whether there was truly a second Elizabeth Hockman of about the same age (as it appears at first blush on the census records I had).  This turned out to be quite easy once I was back home and had access to all my documents and saved records.  The first census I found Elizabeth Hockman on, in the John Arehart family, was the 1860 census and she was listed as 4 years old.  This census was taken on 28 June 1860.  The one showing a David Hockman family which included an Elizabeth Hockman aged 5 was taken on 9 June 1860.  So they could have been the same child in two different places at two different times.  The 1870 census, however,  showed the two families on the same page 5 households apart, one Elizabeth M. Earhart and one Elizabeth Hockman.  This argues that there were two different girls.  Lastly, on the 1880 census, Elizabeth E. Hockman was still living in her mother’s household (census taken 4 & 5 June 1880) while Mary E. Boothby was married and living with her husband and three sons (census taken 7 & 8 June 1880).  It seems unlikely that first Elizabeth was at the Hockman’s using the last name of Hockman and 3 days later at home using her married name of Boothby.

The next set of suggestions were ways to look for who this Elizabeth Hockman of mine might be.  Did her father have sisters who might have left a daughter?  Did her mother?  Was her older brother married when he died?  This wouldn’t really explain the Hockman name.  Then there is the possibility of finding probate records showing a guardianship or the death and will of a possible father.  Once home, I also decided that I need to look into the death of Tilford Earhart, her older brother, who served in the Civil War.  Margaret Earhart, their mother, applied for and seems to have been granted a pension based on Tilford’s service and death.  I am now trying to find out if this pension file has been digitized by Fold3 and if I can get the pension file that way.  I also need to add Tilford to the list of probates to search for.

At this point I come to several conclusions.  The David Hockman family that had an Elizabeth was not the family that Mary/Elizabeth Hockman Earhart was born into.  Although the two families lived in the same small area of Brown County, Ohio, for much of their lives, making it more confusing to figure out, Elizabeth daughter of David and Delitha Hockman was not the same person as Elizabeth/Mary Hockman Earhart.   The John and Margaret Earhart family seems to have included 2 biological children and 2 “adopted” children.  Since the censuses did not list relation to head of household until 1880, it is difficult to be sure which of the children were which.  Tilford was born within a little more than a year of their marriage, suggesting to me that he was a biological child.  William S. Earhart and Elizabeth Mary were born within a couple of years of each other, and John Charles followed 8-10 years after them.  The only clue so far is the 1900 censusEarhart, Margaret - 1900crop which shows Margaret Earhart living with John C. and his wife Emma, listed as mother of head of household, and reporting that she was the mother of 2 children, 1 of them living.  Since we know that Tilford was dead by 1900 and that Elizabeth Mary was still alive, and William S. was also still alive (at least based on later censuses showing him in Wyoming), this suggests that John C. was her son and that the middle two children were adoptees.

It seems like I didn’t accomplish much of my goals in August. I think I got distracted by my trip to Maine and everything else fell by the wayside last month. I am determined to get back on track this month.

Research
* Do a timeline for Mary Elizabeth Hockman Earhart. Get all the census records for the Earhart families, her Boothby family, and any Hockman families. Also get all possible birth, marriage, and death records. (I have some of these records but need to be sure I have all of them.) [This one didn't get done in August and seems like an important place to start in going back to my exploration of just who Mary Earhart was.]

Organization
* Pick a group of records and really learn how to enter them in Clooz1 – a program which I really like my early experience with but which I need to learn to be more proficient using.
* I may also try to create my own version of a spreadsheet to track digital files and note the basics of the sources they come from, as described by Josh Taylor in one of the sessions he taught in our GRIP course.
* Continuing to organize the various files on my hard drive.
* Back up the blog! Plug-ins found so far to automate this task don’t meet my needs However I just saw a review of another one, that looked worth investigating. There is always hope – in the meantime I must remember to do it by hand.

Education
* I did not get a webinar watched in August, although I had a couple I intended to attend or watch after original presentation.  I will do better this month.
* I did learn some things about researching in person in Maine (see my recent post about my trip).

**********

  1. http://www.clooz.com

As I said I was going to in my August To-Do list, I went on a short road trip with my sister to Maine.  My main goal was to begin to explore the resources available in Maine for researching family history and genealogy.  Before we left I developed a tentative itinerary and time-table.

Based on scraps of information about our Boothby line and where they likely had been in Maine, I wanted to see what we could see or find in the Scarborough area.  From my online searching I knew that there is a Scarborough Historical Society and Museum that I wanted to explore.  A short phone call to the Scarborough Town Hall confirmed that the Historical Society was the place for me to look for information.  I was told that for vital records created after 1892 the Town Hall should have the record and will search it and copy it for you.  Before 1892  they have some of the records but not all.  Since I am interested in the early 1700s to about 1800, and I wanted to see the records for myself, the Historical Society it was to be.  I also hoped to find an old cemetery to wander.

The other location I decided I needed to explore was the Maine State Library and the Maine State Archives .  These are located in the same building in Augusta.  Based on the time we had available and the driving times, it seemed that Scarborough and then Augusta were about all we could do in this trip.  Plus there were things my sister wanted to see and do that weren’t genealogy-related.

I have to admit that I was not fully (or anywhere near fully) prepared for this trip in terms of knowing what specific records or information I wanted to look for.  So, for example, just before we left I found a Find A Grave entry that may be our ancestor Samuel Boothby in an old cemetery in Portland.  Did I know where it was or how to find the stone that is pictured on Find A Grave?  Did I know anything about where the records, if they exist, for this cemetery might be found?  No!  I also found a family tree for this Samuel on Ancestry.com, so I printed out the family group sheet to take along as possible hints about our family.

Here is what we did – from the genealogical perspective.  We drove up to Scarborough and found the Scarborough Historical Society.  Luckily our planning had allowed for a visit there on the one morning a week they are normally open (which is Tuesday for anyone who is interested).  It was easy to find, right on Route 1 next to and slightly behind the IMGP4257Dunstan Fire House as they describe on the website.  The building is a neat old place and there is stuff everywhere.  The Museum is connected (the white building to the left and also had lots of stuff.  I was so taken by the people and the resources in the Society, however, that I never really got a good look at the Museum.  I definitely need to return.   The collection of what the Society has is not really catalogued formally (i.e., there is no online catalog and I don’t think there is a paper one in the building) but the group of people who were there working that morning were all very knowledgeable and helpful.  A lovely woman named Sarah took us in hand and started providing folders of papers and books and pictures for us to explore.  They don’t have the original vital records there, but they do have microfilm and books of transcriptions from the microfilms that go back to the earliest days (some into the late 1600s and more from the early 1700s).  I was able to find the transcriptions of the baptisms of the children born to Samuel and Esther Boothby and the transcriptions showing my Josiah Boothby’s two marriages, first to Betty Beard and then to Sarah Stuart.  I did not find records of any of Josiah’s children, nor of the death of his first wife (presumed to have died).  I found the burial of Esther, wife of Samuel Boothby.  I did not find any record of Samuel and Esther’s marriage.

When the Society folks finally started closing up for the day, they directed us to the Saco public library and the museum next door to it.  IMGP4338The Dyer Library in Saco has a Maine History Room which is a repository for more historical and genealogical resources.  The Saco Museum in the York Institute building had a well-done exhibit on the Civil War from the perspective of a local man who served in it.  The Roy P. Fitzgerald Maine History Room is staffed by a group of volunteers who are both very knowledgeable about local history and families and also very helpful to researchers who wander in.  I was very excited to find books that collected deeds for York County, and found a couple involving a Henry Boothby and a Richard Boothby in Wells.  It is not clear at this point exactly who these Boothbys are.

In between repositories and lunch and walking and coffee with a niece we did find time to wander through the old Dunstan Cemetery in Scarborough and locate a number of Boothby stones.  None of these are our direct ancestors and I don’t yet know who they all are, but I got pictures and a listing of all the Boothbys from a work that had transcribed all the headstones.  There were also a number of Snows (another family line for us), so I took some pictures of some of them too.  I don’t know of any of our line of Snows who migrated to Maine so these may not be relatives.

Then we headed for Augusta.  Even though I was not as organized as usual about knowing exactly where we were going, we found our way with little trouble or backtracking.  IMGP4359My photo shows the front of the building both the Archives and the State Library are housed in, and the convenience of the parking lot.  I was impressed.  The Archives requires a Research Room Privileges card so we both filled out the short form and provided picture ID to establish our credentials.  I spent a couple of hours browsing through microfilm looking for our Boothbys in the Kittery vital records – hoping for the marriage of Samuel and Esther but not finding it.  I now wish I had spent some time with the Scarborough films since it was very easy to make printed copies of pages.  I did look quickly at a film of some Saco records as well, though didn’t find anything.  My sister, in the meantime, had gone up to the Library and was browsing the collections there.  (There may also have been a short nap involved.)  My two finds were the record of Thomas Boothby and Lydia Cane’s intention to marry, in 1725, and Thomas’s will in a book of Maine wills.  No will for Samuel.

2013-08-16 12.02.22Our last day in Maine was spent doing a leisurely drive over to the coast from Augusta to Boothbay Harbor and then a lovely morning of wandering in Boothbay and having lunch where we had a great view of the waterside.  We watched kayakers and paddle boarders go out and come in, and enjoyed the beautiful sunny summer day.

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