So July got away from me and it looks like August is going to be very busy too.  I’m finding that the format of my to-do list isn’t working for me anymore – doesn’t motivate me to get any specific thing done – and kind of bores me.  So I’m thinking about how to change it into something more useful.

In the meantime, this month I’m going to just briefly describe what I’m doing by weeks.  The first week I have to finish planning the big England trip with my sister, which includes either going to NH to meet with her or a focussed phone call.  It is one month to our trip!  Will end the week with a quick getaway to Portland with my husband, and a meet-up with youngest niece.  Tractor races!

The second week includes the TIARA conference here in Massachusetts that Judy and I are attending.  It looks like I may have a family branch (Boothby) that came from Ireland, maybe Ulster Scots, which in my understanding included people from northern England and Scotland who were sent by England to Ireland to manage lands etc.  I also have a collateral line that came from the Dublin area (the Daltons and Barrys who married into the Coffin family in Cincinnati).  Judy’s got Irish interests as well so this conference should be a blast.

The third week my husband and I are driving to Philadelphia via Connecticut (to  pick up his 90-year-old cousin) to visit more cousins.  There is one baby to meet and a new one on the way as well.  It takes a lot to move us out of the usual routine to go visiting like this, but sometimes you just have to do it!

And the fourth week will be given over to organizing my packing for England.  I’m communicating with my Denman cousin (we don’t have the exact relationship pinned down yet, but that is one of my big goals for the trip), who we will meet up with and spend a little time in her area of the world.  This part of the trip is really exciting to me, and I’m sure I’ll have lots to write about the whole trip when we return.

So, that’s how my August and first half of September are shaping up.  I hope all of the genealogists out there have equally fun plans for the rest of the summer.

 

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).

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  1. http://www.clooz.com

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