That’s a terrible title isn’t it? But man, I don’t know what else to call it. I’m really hoping that the records aren’t telling me what I think they are telling me. Please, be the judge. Find my mistakes, point them out. Help me disprove my own position.
So here goes.
In May of 2015 I shared that diagram up there and wrote, among other things, “Sometime between the 1920 census and Robert’s death in 1928, it appears he may have married his niece Rosey Hyde – his first known marriage and her second of three. Hmmmmm. That is a story worthy of its own post.”
At the time that I wrote that, I was operating under one rather large assumption – that Rosey was gay. Why did I think that? Well, my Grandma knew Rosey. She describes her as a gay barber. I know that isn’t definitive, but relying on that piece of information allowed me to consider a better conclusion than incest.
So what was the conclusion I was considering when I wrote the post mentioning their possible marriage? Because he had never married previously and she was, in my Grandma’s estimation, gay, I wondered if they legally married so that he could more easily leave his property to her. They were both living in a country other than the ones in which they were born. No one knew their family. Could Uncle have married Niece for the simple purpose of keeping property in the family?
In the intervening months I have learned more about each of them. But let’s start at the beginning. This handwritten note is just one section of an outline created by Vera Duval in the 1960s. Vera is my great grandaunt. She is the daughter of Alice Hyde Duval. She personally knew all of the people at the center of this post. In the first section she names her aunt, Rosey as having 3 last names – Hyde, Kingham, Carlson. In the third section she writes:
“Robert Hyde the II [Vera is only indicating that he is the second known Robert Hyde in the family, she does this often. Robert’s parents are Henry and Sarah] – 1st husband of Rose Hyde – Born – England – Died – Vancouver, Wash. – about yr 1926 – 75 years of age – old age. Henry – Arthur – Robert – Brothers – orig – 5 bros – Eng – Louie & John – 1 sister Letitia died at 16 – Eng…”
In the entirety of this document I have so far only proven things to be correct, or very nearly correct, as I have looked for sources. There are plenty of things that seem suspect, like the millionaire bachelor that owned diamond mines, but the things I have researched from this document have been mostly accurate with just slight variations from what Vera wrote. When I first read the section about Robert Hyde being married to his niece Rosey I thought that I was definitely misunderstanding, that couldn’t be what Vera meant. Here are the records I have found.
Robert Hyde was born 18 July 1861 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England to Henry Hyde and Sarah Marsden.
In 1871 Robert is found living with his parents Henry & Sarah and his siblings Ann, John, and Arthur. His oldest brother Henry, the father of Rosey, is already out of the home.
This birth record is for a daughter born to Henry Hyde and Ann Whiteley on 7 November 1884 in Golden, BC. Vera listed Rosey’s birthdate as 14 October 1883 in Golden, BC. I can’t find a birth record that matches the date Vera gave. Ann died 3 days after this child was born. Henry was gone for work and came home to find his wife had given birth to a daughter and then died. He packed up his two (possibly three) girls and went back to England. He married his deceased wife Ann’s younger sister Alice in January of 1885. [This union makes everything more confusing because his older daughter is also named Alice.] He leaves Rosey with his parents in England and then Henry, Alice, and Alice head back to Canada and eventually settle in Alaska.
In 1891 Rosey can be found living with her grandparents, Henry & Sarah, in Sheffield. Also in the household are Rosey’s Uncle Arthur and his 1st wife Mary with their daughter Ann, and Rosey’s Uncle Louis.
What follows next is a quiet period. I know that Rosey leaves England, possibly with her Uncle Arthur as they are both found near Henry & Alice in later years. Robert also heads west but I have not yet found any travel or immigration records for Robert, Rosey, or Arthur. There is a 1900 Census record in Nome, Alaska for a ‘Miss Hyde’ that could be Rosey. Unfortunately, the record only lists her name, no age or birthplace.
Rose Elvera Hyde is born 6 April 1908 to Robert Hyde & Rose Hind in Clark, Washington. As later records will prove, Rose Hind is Rosey Hyde. No marriage record for Robert & Rosey has been found.
On 19 April 1914, Rosey Hyde married Harry Kingham. She is listed as a spinster which doesn’t jive with the note written by Vera stating that Robert was Rosey’s 1st husband.
In 1920, Robert Hyde is found living in Bush Prairie, Clark, Washington with his sister-in-law Alice Whiteley Hyde. At this point Alice has already been married to Henry & Arthur, Robert’s brothers. On this census they are both listed as married but she is listed as his sister, not his wife. Alice was most recently married to Arthur who died in 1919. No marriage records have been found for Robert.
On 4 July 1927, Rose Elvera Hyde married Peter Williamson in Vancouver, BC. Importantly, she lists her parents as Robert Hyde born in England, and Rose Hyde born in Golden, BC.
On 8 July 1928, Robert Hyde died in Orchards, Clark, Washington. His parents are listed as Henry Hyde & Sarah. His birth date is listed as 7 July 1858 – which does not match our Robert. He is listed as divorced with his former spouse being Rose (Kingham) Hyde. The informant on the death record is Robert’s sister-in-law Alice Whiteley Hyde (Rosey’s aunt) who was living in his home in 1920.
The birth date difference gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe the Robert who married Rosey and lived with Alice was not their Uncle and brother-in-law. I scoured FindMyPast, Ancestry, and FamilySearch looking for a Robert Hyde with the birthdate found on this death record. But alas, the only Robert Hyde near this birth year who could match the man in this death record is the Robert Hyde born to Henry Hyde & Sarah Marsden.
On 27 March 1937, Rose Kingham married Neil Carlson in Whatcom, Washington.
On 9 August 1945, Rose Elvera Hyde Williamson entered the US to visit her sister Norma ?rance who was living in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Rose Elvera lists her birthplace as Washougall, Wash and her birthdate as April ? 1908. Washougal is in Clark County, and her birthdate is 6 April 1908, so this is a match to her birth record. But who is Norma? Are they full sisters or half-sisters? I haven’t found any other mention of Norma so far.
On 1 March 1970, Rosey Carlson died in Delta, BC. The informant is her daughter Elvera Williamson. Rosey is listed as a widow. Her parents are listed as Henry Hyde & Ann Whitley, both born in England. Her birth is listed as 14 October 1883 in Golden, BC. This birthdate matches the handwritten note by her niece Vera Duval, but not the birth record I found in 1884. [Does this mean Henry & Ann had 3 girls, not 2? I’m still not sure.]
So, were the Robert Hyde & Rosey Hyde, who were the parents of Rose Elvera Hyde Williamson, uncle & niece?
I keep reviewing the records hoping to see a different explanation. I can’t find one.
I hope so.