Sunday, June 22, 2014

My 3rd great grandfather William Hogmire

I wish I knew more about William and wasn't even sure when I was going to write about him but I just had an interesting contact with a woman trying to join the DAR who had links for everything she needed except the link for her ancestor David Hogmire, William's brother.  I provided the only documentation I could come up with and I think it's going to be enough for her to be able to join the DAR and that makes me happy.  The woman from the DAR that's helping her told me that the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) will accept a proved DAR application so now I'm considering doing that myself.  So, William is fresh on my mind.  This land record (starting on the bottom right corner and continuing for a couple of pages) clearly shows William and his minor siblings having a special guardian, who was acting on their behalf to sell land that belonged to their father Samuel, who had inherited it from his father Jonas Hogmire.  Given that William's marriage record and death certificate don't list who his parents were his is as close to documented proof as I'll ever get of the connection that I know is there.  Samuel Hogmire land record

When I interviewed my grandpa Hugmeyer he remembered his ancestry back to William and his wife Elizabeth "Libby" Langs but didn't know of their parentage.  Interestingly one of the ways I can prove William and David to be brothers is the double wedding they had, 12/5/1869 at Arlington, Van Buren Co MI.  They were married by their stepfather Aaron Russell and their mother Elizabeth and sister Caroline served as witnesses.
 William was born the 19th child of the previously blogged about Samuel Hogmire 10/15/1845 at Avon, Livingston Co NY.  According to his obituary the family moved to Van Buren Co MI when he was 10 years old.  I find the family in the 1855 Livingston Co NY census but by 1860 they are living in Arlington so they moved sometime between the two.  In the 1900 census he's living in Bear Lake, Manistee Co MI.  I'm unsure how or why they ended up in Bear Lake (Libby's family was in the Traverse City area and most of William's stayed in Van Buren and Kalamazoo Co) but I think his sons both got lumbering jobs up there and their parents may have joined them.

My grandpa remembered a man coming to play checkers at his grandparents house and that the man "looked like he was 100 years old" and he thought that was his great grandfather.  Once I started researching I found several online family trees that listed William passing away in 1945.  I was amazed that my grandpa had been right again until I found that William died at Bear Lake 1/30/1919, 10 months before my grandpa was born.  This was one of the first instances I had in genealogy that taught me to verify the work I find online.  He's buried in an unmarked grave at Fairview Cemetery in Bear Lake, in a plot owned by his son Cassius's wife's parents (odd, yes).  The old man ended up being his great grandfather Jacob Kraai, from his mother's side. 

Other than the information from his obituary and census records indicating he was a farmer and an all around nice guy I know nothing about him.  I did stumble on a couple photos of he and Libby when I called Barbara Hugmire Terry, the only granddaughter of their other son Frank.  I drove up to Howard City and met with her at a restaurant and she supplied me with these photos of him.  She passed away unexpectedly about 6 months after this visit so I thank my lucky stars that I called her when I did.  I think I could have learned more from her than I did but I wasn't very good at asking the right questions back then.  I'd have never found these pictures without that visit.  I called one of her sons after I discovered she'd passed away and he reassured me the photos would not be tossed.  There are a couple of other photos that I'll post to their related blogs when the time comes.       

William with his wife Libby on the right

William with Maude, wife of his grandson Harold Hugmeyer

Monday, June 9, 2014

Samuel Hogmire and his stories

Ok, for my last blog I put raw numbers out there, numbers I obtained via census records, obituaries, cemetery transcriptions and oral interviews with descendants.  I have corresponded with and met more Hogmire descendants than any other family line of mine.  One of my best genealogical connections came via a 2nd great granddaughter of Samuel's sons Andrew and Conrad (one of the previously mentioned 1st cousin unions named Betty Jane Hogmire Horton.  I had emailed the Bangor Michigan "town historian" who pointed me in Betty's direction.  We emailed back and forth very often and I visited her at her home several times.  We had lunch and traipsed through the local cemeteries and she shared so many photos, documents and stories that I can't write this blog without mentioning her and giving her the credit for much of what I've discovered or built off.  I also need to mention her cousin Carol Joyce Hogmire Ankney who was my very first Hogmire related email.  She passed away too soon to collaborate much with her but she and Betty spent a lot of time together doing this in the era before computers.  They went to courthouses in New York and Maryland and visited distant family there.  I wish I had someone to do that with now. 

I miss Betty dearly.  The first time I met with her I brought out my laptop and went to updating her family in my tree.  For some reason I had her in my file as Elizabeth and she was adamant that I understand that she was "no way, no how" Elizabeth.  It was the first of many good laughs I had with her.  When her daughter called to tell me she had passed away I was sitting in the parking ramp getting ready to come into work and it was literally a punch to my stomach.  I had just been emailing with her.  She sent my son a quilt she made for him and she wanted us to come down for a visit so she could meet him.  She absolutely adored children and talked about her great grandchildren more than I've ever witnessed anyone do before.  There was nothing she wouldn't have done for them.  Anyway, I digress.........

Samuel died 71 years before Betty's birth so these stories may or may not be historically accurate but they are fun to relate. 

For years Betty tried to get a burial location for Samuel.  She'd done extensive work on the Bangor area cemeteries and hadn't found him.  The sextant of Hoppin Cemetery said there was a male buried in an unmarked grave next to his oldest daughter (who's grave was marked) but her husband was buried on her other side and his grave was marked as well.  One day Betty had a friend that took her to a "medium" who told her she could communicate with someone from the past.  Betty said she didn't believe in this "hooey" but she said sure "I want to talk to my grandfather Sam Hogmire".  The medium asked what she wanted to know and Betty said "I want to know where he's buried".  The medium said "he says you stomped on his grave and said God **** it, I know he's buried here somewhere!" which of course the medium could not have known Betty actually did do while at Hoppin Cemetery.  This story gave me goosebumps and is the basis for my locating his burial there on findagrave.  She said when she asked more questions the medium said he said "I don't want to talk to you" and stopped talking.  She said she told the medium to tell him that his descendants love him and that was the end of that conversation. 
Samuel's son Jonathan who was always known to be quite dumb but quite wealthy (if you follow the findagrave links from Jonathan through his daughter Ada and to her husband Eli there is a write-up indicating they had a thousand acres and slaves and that Ada had a maid).  It is said that Jonathan's nieces and nephews would ask "uncle Jon't, how'd you get so rich?" and he'd answer "I'm not smart but I sure am crafty".  As of this writing Jonathan has one surviving granddaughter who is 95 years old.  I took Betty to meet her a couple of times and they were enjoyable trips. 

Samuel's daughter Rebecca's family was said to be quite wealthy too.  Betty took me past a large home down the street from Southard Cemetery which was said to be Rebecca's home.  Rebecca's descendants all, I mean all had servants or maids in every census record I could find.  I find it hard to believe with that much money that there are no photos of her - I just need to find who has them.

Samuel's daughter Eveline married William Slocum.  It is said that when the Civil War broke out he insisted on enlisting and joining the battle.  Eveline begged him not to go and then when he said he was leaving she told him she'd "make him regret it for the rest of his life".  It is said that while he was off to war she bore 2 children with one of the negro workers on the farm.  I'm not sure if he was hired help or a slave but her and William's youngest son Christopher who was born in 1864 was listed as either "black" or "mulatto" on all the census records and that carried on through his children.  It would appear that William raised Christopher as his own.  I never found record of a 2nd child.  

Sometimes Betty would speak of Samuel using the word "scoundrel".  She said his children didn't like him and pointed to the fact that he was buried in an unmarked grave and the fact that he left his son Daniel in charge of everything.  In his will he leaves Daniel and his stepmother Elizabeth as guardians of his minor children but doesn't really leave the impression that he abandoned his children in his will.  She also made mention that "something happened during the war of 1812 - he returned home early and nobody was sure why".  I haven't explored the possibility that he served in that war but his children wouldn't have been old enough to even know that happened so I'm not sure how that could have been related.   
I'm not sure where Betty got the will from but it would appear that it was at least signed by Samuel (the handwriting of the will is better handwriting than the actual signature so I think someone else wrote the will. 

I'm not sure that I believe in psychic mediums either but if I ever get the chance to experience it I may try to reach out to Samuel.  He and his family certainly have provided me with stories and mysteries that I'd love to get a chance to discuss :). 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

My prolific 4th great grandfather Samuel Hogmire

I've been working on the FamilySearch online tree for about 5 months now and got to focusing on Samuel and his descendants.  I finally finished updating all of the incorrect information and attaching sources and got the line as complete as I can with the resources at hand.  It got me asking just how many descendants of this man have I recorded?  That may seem like an odd question to ask given that he was only my 4th great grandfather BUT he had 20 children I can prove and 2 infants that allegedly died young.  Of the 20 that survived to adulthood, 18 had families and 17 still have living descendants out there!

Instead of typing it all out here is his findagrave memorial with all of his children linked:
Samuel Hogmire

Samuel's family tree sometimes reads more like a family bush.  It took me hours to compile these numbers because I couldn't keep some of the lines straight!  Here are the raw numbers (again, this is only what I've documented - it's actually probably closer to triple this):

2 wives
20 (probably 22) children
90 grandchildren
150 great grandchildren
251 2nd great grandchildren
332 3rd great grandchildren
304 4th great grandchildren
167 5th great grandchildren
17 6th great grandchildren

Grand total of 1333 documented descendants!

As you can see, the numbers go up as expected until the 2nd great grandchildren when they start not keeping pace.  I'm comfortable that I have all of his grandchildren and most of his great grandchildren documented.

The numbers are skewed because of the following:
  • Samuel's son Conrad had a son Mitchell who married his 1st cousin Jane, daughter of Samuel's son Andrew.  
  • Samuel's daughter Caroline's son Adelbert married his 1st cousin Cora, daughter of Samuel's son Edward.
  •  Samuel's son David married his half-sister Eveline's daughter Delaney (what relation is that?).
  • Samuel's grandson Edgar (via son Melvin) had a daughter that married William Strickfaden, son of Eliza Hogmire who was a daughter of Samuel's son Elizur.  This one is more complex but still........

In my next blog I'll share some of the stories I got about Samuel and his children.  If you're descended from Samuel (or know someone who is) I'd love to hear from you.  I've taken this family on as the family I've tried to make as complete as possible.