Sunday, August 9, 2015

Impressive longevity in one family - Justis and Jane Ann Hogmire Williams

Now that I'm up and running after my latest fiasco I decided that I'd go off on another trail of descendants on my Hogmire family line.  I have already blogged several times about my 4th great grandfather Samuel Hogmire.  I've done so much work on the Hogmire family on this line that I've been pondering taking it a step further.  A few days ago I decided to start working on descendants of his brother Conrad Hogmire and stumbled into a folder of information I received many years ago from one of his descendants. 

The focus of this blog is Conrad's daughter Jane Ann Hogmire who married Justis Williams and the number of nonagenarian and centenarians produced in this family. 

Justis was quite a bit older than Jane Ann which usually results in a long widowhood but he did Jane right by living to the ripe old age of 98.  Not to be outdone Jane made it to 102.  There were several lengthy articles written about her in the local papers celebrating her birthdays.  The descendant I'd mentioned the "folder of information" from had mentioned how one of Jane's daughters and then HER daughter all lived to be 100 and they all wrote and kept up a journal.  I've often wondered what's in that journal as it encompasses life from the 1820s to the 1980s!  Upon working on Jane's descendants I kept finding more and more people living to 90+ so I thought I'd document it.

Justis and Jane had 4 children, 17 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and  44 great great grandchildren that I can document.  I'm not even sure if this is an anomaly statistically but this is what I found:

Parents lived to be 98 and 102 respectively.
  • Daughter Eliza Williams Chase lives to be 101 and has 6 children.
    • Her daughter Pauline Chase Ritchie makes it to 90.
    • Her other 4 that I can find death records for 46, 61, 31 and 67.
  • Son Francis Williams only lives to be 79 and has 8 children.  
    • His son Herman Williams makes it to 98.
    • His daughter Laura Williams Reese 102, just 2 months shy of 103
    • His daughter Bessie Williams Smith only makes 90 but.......
      • Her son George Smith makes 97
      • I can't find a death record for her daughter Vivian, who may very well be closing in on her 102nd birthday this year.
    • Her daughter Jane Williams Pommerening only makes 77 but......
      • Her daughter Bernice Pommerening Herman makes 92 
    • The remaining children of Francis live to be 46, 80, 80 and 88.
  •   Daughter Hattie Williams Smith dies at 99, 2 weeks shy of 100 and has 3 children.
    • Her daughter Cora Smith Garrett made 101
    • Her daughter Lola Smith Shore made 93
    • Her son Err Lee Smith made 90
  • Daughter Louisa Williams Lenhart drew the short straw and died at 64.  I never find her in census records with her husband and have found online family trees listing 3 children that died young but can't prove any of that.  
So, 13 (with a possible 14th) of the 86 people I've documented in this family made it to 90 and 4 (almost 5 with Hattie) make it to 100+.  Seems like some good numbers.  How do you explain all the early death though?  Eliza makes 101 and Pauline makes 90 but Pauline's siblings average 51?

There are quite a few of Jane Ann's 3rd great grandchildren who have passed away or are still living but none of them that I find are threatening to join this group.  I truly believe that our average life expectancy here in America has peaked and I think as the years pass now the numbers are definitely going to go lower.  Jane Ann's death article lists that she died in her home along the river that she'd lived in for 80 years.  We have more centenarians now but I'm not sure that most of them do as well as they did in the old days if they made it that far.............

This ran in the Avon Herald-News July 3rd, 1985 (some ages are off)

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