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 :). 

No comments:

Post a Comment