thegenealogygirl


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Rosey’s Girls – A Crazy Trip Down the Rabbit Hole

marrying mess

There’s that chart again – edited to include Rosey’s marriages and children.

There are some family puzzles that take years to solve.  You gather bits here and there that don’t always make sense.  Slowly, you learn more, but the core questions remain.  Then more records become available and you add those to the bits you already have and suddenly you are able to tie things together in a way you couldn’t before.  That is exactly the meandering path that Aunt Rosey has sent me on.  And what a journey it has been!

Almost two years ago I wrote about all of the matrimonial connections in this part of my tree.  Then, nearly a month ago now, I wrote about the Robert Hyde – Rosey Hyde marriage and child.  The questions that post brought up led me to spend time on a serious review of my sources and follow up on every single lead I had.  That process led me to find a tiny little hint of Norma.

 

Finding Norma meant that I discovered Rose Elvera Hyde wasn’t new to me.  I had just forgotten about her.

In fairness though, I had first known her as Elvira Kingham.

Let’s take a little journey down the rabbit hole together, shall we?

 

Many moons ago, the first record I found about Rosey Hyde – that I knew FOR SURE was about Rosey – was this marriage record to Harry Grant Kingham in 1914.

 

Rose Hyde & Harry Kingham, 1914 marriage record

“British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932; 1937-1938,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JDZN-H68 : 21 January 2016), Harry Kingham and Rosey Hyde, 19 Apr 1914; citing Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia Archives film number B11378, Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria; FHL microfilm 1,983,706.

 

Rosey is listed as a spinster, which I had no reason to question.  I figured the record was accurate and thought I had found her first marriage.  The natural next step was to try to learn everything I could about Harry Grant Kingham.  I didn’t find much.  But I did find this US Consular Record.

 

KINGHAM, Harry Grant, 1915 US Consular Record

Ancestry.com. U.S., Consular Registration Certificates, 1907-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. http://ancstry.me/2oJg9ew

I hadn’t yet become savvy about how complicated this family was when I first found this document.  It lists two daughters for Harry that were born prior to his marriage to Rosey.  I tried to research them and just couldn’t find anything about a Grace Kingham or an Elvira Kingham.  I made the natural assumption that they were his daughters prior to his marriage to Rosey.  I tried to find a first wife for him – even though he was listed as a bachelor on his marriage record to Rosey – no luck.

So what did I do?

I added two daughters to Harry Grant Kingham with an unknown mother.  The girls were not attached to Rosey in my tree.

Now, fast forward to a few weeks ago…

When I found Rosey’s death record and discovered she had a daughter named Rose Elvera Hyde Williamson, I had forgotten all about Elvira Kingham.

Thank goodness for that pesky little travel record that was generated when Rose Elvera Hyde Williamson went to visit her sister Mrs. Norma ?rance in 1945.  That record led me to revisit every source attached to every person connected to Rosey Hyde.

So there I was, suddenly staring at two different Elveras in my tree – Elvira Kingham and Rose Elvera Hyde Williamson.  But they were really the same person.  So I merged them.

I quit taking any parent child relationships for granted at this point and used every combo of names for each girl.  I also quit considering Rosey’s husbands as minor character actors in her life.  The girls used Harry’s last name so I needed to know everything about Harry that I could find.

The next notable stop down the rabbit hole was Harry’s WWI Canadian Expeditionary Forces Personnel File.  There were plenty of facts about Harry but there were two pages that were especially enlightening about Rosey’s girls.

 

HYDE, Muriel Grace, record

Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; CEF Personnel Files; Reference: RG 150; Volume: Box 5181 – 42; http://ancstry.me/2qc1mci

 

This particular image was page 38 of Harry’s file and it told me that Grace was actually named Muriel Grace.

 

KINGHAM, Norma Robertine, record

Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; CEF Personnel Files; Reference: RG 150; Volume: Box 5181 – 42; http://ancstry.me/2qc1mci

 

This image was page 50 of Harry’s file and is the second mention of Norma – Norma Robertine Kingham – to be exact.

Suddenly, Rosey’s three girls began to make more sense to me.  I updated Grace in my tree with the name Muriel Grace Hyde, added Norma, and away I went.

Ancestry.com very quickly added a few hints to Muriel, including this Washington State Application for License to Wed.

 

HYDE, Muriel Grace and Walter E Groome, 1924 application for license to wed

Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Marriage Affidavits; http://ancstry.me/2q2GMMs

 

It certainly matched the few details I had about Muriel Grace.  The fact that the witness was a Robert Hyde was intriguing, but even more interesting to me was this line in the application: “…I further swear that there is no legal impediment to their marriage…and [they] are not nearer of kin to each other than second cousins.”

Hmmmmm… if that Muriel Grace was my Muriel Grace, and if that Robert Hyde was my Robert Hyde, did he feel sheepish signing that form and remembering that Muriel’s parentage was himself and his niece Rosey?

That is some genealogical irony right there.

Next, I pulled up the actual marriage certificate.

 

HYDE, Muriel G and Walter E Groome, 1924 Marriage Record

Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Marriage Certificates; http://ancstry.me/2otrp2x

 

Muriel listed her parents as Robert Hyde, born in Sheffield, Eng and Alice Whiteley, born in Sheffield, Eng.  Robert and Alice are the two witnesses to this union.

What?!

 

Quick recap – Alice Whiteley Hyde is the aunt turned step-mom of Rosey Hyde.  At the time of Muriel Grace Hyde’s birth, Alice Whiteley Hyde was married to Henry Hyde – her first marriage and his second.  If she was ever married to Robert Hyde is was after she was widowed first by Henry, then by his brother Arthur.  She was the informant on Robert’s death record and listed him as the divorced spouse of Rosey, not as her husband.

So, was Muriel the daughter of Alice or Rosey?

If it was Alice, then Alice had a child with her husband Henry’s brother while she was still married to Henry, then after Henry’s death proceeded to marry a different brother – Arthur, before finally settling down to live with the third brother Robert when she was once again widowed.

That seems too crazy, even for this family.

Did Muriel list Alice as her mother – because Alice was there, conveniently had the last name of Hyde as if she was married to Robert, and had a different maiden name – in an effort to avoid an uncomfortable conversation about why her mother’s maiden name matched her father’s name?  Especially when the license required that bride and groom not be more closely related than second cousins?  Was that little question putting Muriel on the spot mentally?  Was it highlighting her uncomfortable past?  Was Muriel lying to save face?  Was she lying because she was embarrassed?

And, why was Robert at the wedding but not Rosey?  In 1924 Rosey was a widowed single mom with two girls at home.  Maybe she couldn’t afford to travel from Vancouver, BC to Vancouver, Washington?

I hoped that Muriel’s death record might reveal something, anything, but unfortunately it is an index only record on both the BC Archives and FamilySearch.  FamilySearch does hold the microfilm on which the record exists, but it is stored in the Granite Mountain Vault.  {I will probably take a little trip up to Salt Lake to view the film, I just have to remember how to request a film from the vault… That is, if that film is allowed to be viewed…}

But I digress, the index to Muriel’s death lists this:

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.55.32 PM

“British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FLLT-LM9 : 13 April 2017), Muriel Grace Groome, 1936.

 

Muriel is listed as having a father named Robert Hyde.  I find no record of any children born to Muriel and Walter during their 12 years of marriage.

At this point I reviewed a few old family notes and letters.  Now be careful not to get lost here.  I found a letter written by Vera, daughter of Alice Hyde Duval who is the sister of Rosey Hyde.  Yes that’s right, both sisters named a daughter Elvera.  This letter written by Vera to my Grandma, mentions an old scrapbook that Vera kept.  She asked my Grandma if she wanted to have it.

I had a lightbulb moment and remembered that my mom’s cousin Heather had emailed me a few scans of an old scrapbook she had.  I dug through my emails and found those scans.  Among them was this page.

 

valmore 4

 

When Heather sent this to me all those years ago, I had NO EARTHLY IDEA who Mr. and Mrs. Peter Williamson were.  I did some basic searching but came up empty.  I figured they were important to someone in my family so I went ahead and added them to FamilySearch and uploaded the announcement.  But now?  The minute that image opened, I knew exactly who they were – this was a marriage invitation for the daughter of Rose Elvera Hyde and Peter Williamson.

Rosey was a Grandma!

This union of Carole Rose Williamson and Gordon David Zilke produced at least four children.  Of those four children, at least one has died.  But the other three may be living.  I did a little Facebook digging and found a small cluster of living descendants.  Because this whole thing started from the position of thinking that Rosey was a gay barber who had no children, I was completely shocked to discover that Rosey has living descendants.  I was not expecting that at all.  I wonder if any of them know anything about Rosey?  I wonder if any of them have pictures of Rosey?

Because I think I do.

Duval - mystery marriage

I think this photo is of Rosey Hyde & Harry Grant Kingham at the time of their marriage in 1914.

I’m getting sidetracked again…

At the time of Rose Elvera Hyde’s Marriage to Peter Williamson, she listed her parents as Robert Hyde, born in England, and Rose Hyde, born in Golden, BC.

 

HYDE, Rose Elvera and Peter Williamson, 1927 Marriage Record

“British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932; 1937-1938,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JD8Y-NXZ : 21 January 2016), Peter Williamson and Rose Elvera Hyde, 04 Jul 1927; citing Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia Archives film number B13753, Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria; FHL microfilm 2,074,506.

 

At the time of Rose Elvera Hyde’s death, her parents are listed as Robert Hyde, born in Sheffield, England, and Rose Whitely, born in Golden, BC.

 

 

The records for both Muriel Grace and Rose Elvera Hyde are inconsistent in identifying their parentage.  But they are clearly describing the same grouping of people.  Were these inaccuracies intentional or accidental?  Were they hiding something?  It seems like it.

This leaves one more daughter – Norma.  The daughter that is definitely not a child of Robert Hyde.  Norma, the daughter of Rosey Hyde, and Harry Grant Kingham.  Norma, who led me deep into the rabbit hole.  Norma, who changed her name to Barbara.  Norma, who deserves her own post.

So here I am stuck in this mental loop where I just can’t seem to reconcile everything.  Part of me wants to believe that Rosey’s birth is the key.  That Rosey isn’t really the daughter of Henry Hyde and Ann Whiteley.  That maybe, just maybe, Rosey is the child of another couple, but that Ann and Henry took her in for some reason.  That reason wouldn’t be hard to come up with.  They were living in the extreme west in a very tiny little speck of a town.  So maybe Rosey is my adopted 2nd great grand aunt.  And just when I think I have myself good and convinced that this might be the case, I talk myself back out of it because there is no baby girl born in Golden, BC on the date that Rosey claims as her birthdate.  No baby girl of ANY name born in the entire year of 1883 in Golden, BC.

Where does this all leave me?

I’m not sure.

There is a story here – that is for certain.  It’s not a traditional story.  But man is it intriguing.  I have a few more records I am trying to scrounge up that I hope will shed some light on the core question – were Rosey Hyde and Robert Hyde both husband and wife AND uncle and niece?

  • I have reached out to the appropriate agency to try to get a copy of Robert and Rosey’s divorce decree – if it exists.
  • I have requested a copy of Alice Whiteley Hyde’s probate record.
  • I have ordered the Homestead File for Alice Whiteley Hyde and Henry Hyde’s homestead in Alaska.
  • I have requested any records about this whole lot from the church in Alaska that Alice Hyde Duval’s oldest son was baptized in – maybe there will be another event for that family in that church.
  • I need to get my hands on the image of Muriel Grace Hyde Groome’s death record if I can.
  • And lastly, I am currently building a spreadsheet with everyone’s entries in the City Directories to help me understand the timeline even better.  It is very enlightening.

 

And that, my friends, is where I am at.  Still undecided.  Still searching.  My core question is most likely unanswerable.  But I am so glad that I asked the question because I have learned so much more about this part of my family.  I have learned so much more about Rosey.

Rosey has become a very different person to me.  The picture of her life in my heart is very delicate and intricate.  There are details that come from the nuances of the records that lead me to believe that Harry was the great love of her life, that Neil was a loving old age companion, and that Robert, well, Robert seems to be the villain.  I don’t know if that’s fair, but that is who he is becoming in my mind.

Thank you for journeying down the rabbit hole with me.  Don’t get lost, it can be scary down here.  Head back up to light if you can.  😉

 

Happy Wednesday, I hope you make a fascinating genealogy discovery today!

 

 

ps – Despite all of the records that I included, there are so many that I did not include.  Among those are a few international travel records for Robert, Rosey, and the two older girls.  Hmmmm…  

 

pps – If you happen to be one of Rosey’s living descendants, email me – amberlysfamilyhistory {at} yahoo {dot} com.  Let’s put our tid-bits together and make this picture as clear as we can.  That is, if you can forgive me.

 

 


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Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?

gg - george eliot quote

Francis Cyprien Duval & Alice Hyde are my 2nd great grandparents.  They are pictured above with four of their five children who survived birth and infancy.  Their oldest son, Francis Henry (back left), is my great grandfather.

I have known about 5 of their children for years.  Slowly I have been finding little tid-bits that indicate there were additional children.

These are the five children who are well known to me:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 1899-1979
  • Francis Henry Duval, 1901-1996
  • Leon Howard Duval, 1907-1941
  • Dolores Lenore Duval, 1909-2005
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 1916-1997

Notice the gaps?  Six years between Frank and Leon, and seven years between Dolores and Valmore.  Those are pretty big gaps for a Roman Catholic like Francis Cyprien Duval.

For a few years now I have known of two other children.  The first is a baby boy who was not named.  He was born and died on 15 February 1915 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The second child is referenced in the 1910 census for the family while they are living in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Alice is listed as the mother of 5, with 4 living.  That means that there is a child who was born and died prior to 10 February 1910.

So my revised list of children looks like this:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 1899-1979
  • Francis Henry Duval, 1901-1996
  • Unknown Duval, born and died prior to February 10, 1910
  • Leon Howard Duval, 1907-1941
  • Dolores Lenore Duval, 1909-2005
  • Baby Boy Duval, 1915-1915
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 1916-1997

It seems likely that the child I learned of from the 1910 census belongs between Frank and Leon in that 6 year gap, but that is just speculation.

It now appears there may be an additional child.

 

A baby girl named Dorothy.

The Western Call, a BC newspaper, has a death and funeral announcement found in their 14 October 1910 issue that reads:

DUVAL

The death took place Wednesday morning of Dorothy, the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Duval, corner of Twenty-sixth avenue and Martha street.  The funeral was held Thursday morning at 9.30 o’clock from the residence, Rev. G. A. Wilson Officiating.

Could this Mr. and Mrs. Frank Duval be my Frank & Alice Duval?

Most likely.

 

I know from an interview of their son Frank in the late 1970s/early 1980s that Frank and Alice left Alaska sometime after Alice’s father Henry died in 1907.  They were still in Fairbanks when the 1910 census was taken in February of that year.  I know that after they left Fairbanks they lived in Vancouver for a short time before moving to Lynn Valley, BC where they all lived until sometime after Francis Cyprien Duval’s death in 1919.

So once again, I revise my list of children for Frank and Alice:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 1899-1979
  • Francis Henry Duval, 1901-1996
  • Unknown Duval, born and died prior to February 10, 1910
  • Leon Howard Duval, 1907-1941
  • Dolores Lenore Duval, 1909-2005
  • Dorothy Duval, died 12 (or 11th) October 1910
  • Baby Boy Duval, 1915-1915
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 1916-1997

Does baby Dorothy belong in my tree?

 

I think so.  I need more records to be sure.

But now I am wondering… how many other children are missing?

 

 

Note:  THANK YOU to Teresa from writing my past for suggesting I check out this BC newspaper site where I found the obit for baby Dorothy.  Of course that led me to additional searching including this site for BC City Directories.  I love the genealogy blogging community.  Our collective knowledge and sharing make genealogy SO MUCH better.  Thank you Teresa!

 

 


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Arthur & Mary Hyde

HYDE, Arthur, 1910, Fairbanks - edited by me

Arthur Hyde, according to his grand niece Vera Duval.

Last year, I wrote about some complicated inter-marriages in the Hyde & Whiteley branches of my tree.  Among other things I wrote, “And for just a dash of extra spice, Arthur was married in England with four children prior to his arrival in Alaska.  I don’t know what happened to his wife, but his children are alive and well and living with neighbors after he leaves England.  I have a theory about this.  But that is also a story for another day.”

Well, today is that day.

Arthur Hyde is my 3rd great granduncle.  He was born in about 1870 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England to Henry Douglas McLenberg Hyde & Sarah Marsden.  I first learned of Arthur from family notes.

Currently I have found Arthur on the 1871 & 1881 census living at home with his parents and siblings in Yorkshire.

On 17 July 1889, Arthur married Mary Bell, daughter of Joseph Bell.  After their marriage they continued to live in Yorkshire for a time.  They can be found on the 1891 Census in Sheffield living with Arthur’s parents and their first child.  In 1901, they are living in Heeley with their children.

Together they had at least four children:

  • Ann Elizabeth Hyde, born 13 April 1890 in Sheffield.
  • Martha M Hyde, born about 1895 in Sheffield.
  • Rose Hyde, born about 1897 in Sheffield.
  • John Arthur Hyde, born about 1900 in Sheffield.

In 1910 Arthur appears on the US Census living in Fairbanks, Alaska with his widowed sister-in-law Alice Whiteley Hyde, both listed as single.  According to family notes, the two supposedly married in 1909 in Fairbanks.

Between 1909 and 1913, there are several newspaper articles about Arthur running races including marathons.

Arthur died 13 February 1919 in Colfax, Placer, California.

None of this explains what happened to Mary Bell and the four children.  Did Arthur and Mary divorce?  Did Mary die?  Why did Arthur move across the world and leave his children behind in England?

I have a big imagination.  In my imagining possible scenarios I have come up with this one:

When Henry returned to England to marry Alice Whiteley, what if Henry dazzled his brother Arthur with tales of Western Canada and Alaska.  The Hyde family were poor laborers.  Maybe Arthur and his wife Mary Bell, followed Henry to Alaska with plans to start a homestead or mine for gold.  Maybe they left the children in England until they could make their start.  And then something may have happened to Mary and Arthur remained in Alaska and never retrieved his children.  Part of the reason I dreamt up this theory is because of this photograph.

HYDE family, in Alaska

The woman in the center back is my 2nd great grandmother Alice Hyde.  The woman on the bottom right is her aunt/step-mother Alice Whiteley Hyde.  This photo is not labeled so I can’t be certain who the other three individuals are.  But I think that the man on the right is Alice Hyde’s father Henry Hyde, husband of Alice Whiteley Hyde.  Makes sense, right?  What if the man on the left is Arthur Hyde and that the woman on the bottom left is his wife Mary Bell Hyde?

But then my imaginary theory develops some holes.  First of all, I think this photo looks like it was taken prior to Alice Hyde’s marriage in 1897.  If I’m correct then Mary should be in England having babies with Arthur.  I suppose it’s possible they took a little journey to Alaska to visit Henry between their babies but that doesn’t seem likely.

So the photo may not support my imaginary explanation for Arthur seemingly abandoning his family but I haven’t yet turned over every stone.  Alice Whiteley Hyde completed the Fairbanks homestead that she and Henry started together.  But she completed it after Henry’s death, presumably with the help of Arthur.  In order to complete a homestead there is a whole lot of paperwork generated.  I intend to order the homestead paperwork and hope that I will find some more clues about Arthur in there.  I really hope he didn’t just abandon his little family.


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A Marrying Mess

Whiteley - Hyde

I’ve been failing at my goal to post each week.  I think it’s been about a month since my last post so I thought I’d try to make up for that with a bit of genealogical entertainment straight from my tree.  Welcome to the Whiteley and Hyde families Marrying Mess, complete with hand drawn flow chart – a good use of coloring time with my 3 year old.

Henry Hyde and Ann Whiteley are my 3rd great grandparents.  They married in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England in 1873 and moved to Canada.  Eleven years later, Ann died leaving Henry with two (possibly three) young girls to care for.  Ann died in November and Henry returned to England and married Ann’s sister Alice Whiteley in January.  He left his infant daughter Rosey with his parents and took his daughter Alice, his new bride Alice, and moved to Alaska.

Henry and Alice spent 22 years together before his death in 1907 in Alaska.  About two years after his demise, Alice married Henry’s brother Arthur.  Alice and Arthur spent about 10 years together before his death in 1919.

All of this I knew.  And I had known it for sometime.  But just last week I made some new discoveries that make this story even more interesting – and matrimonially messy.

After Arthur died, Alice lived with his brother Robert.  I’m not sure how long they lived together or what the nature of their relationship was, but in the 1920 census they are living together in Brush Prarie, Clark, Washington.

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.

Meanwhile back in England, Ann and Alice’s mother Eliza died leaving their father George Whiteley a widower.  George married Martha Marsden, his sons-in-law’s mother’s sister – his second marriage, her third.

And for just a dash of extra spice, Arthur was married in England with four children prior to his arrival in Alaska.  I don’t know what happened to his wife, but his children are alive and well and living with neighbors after he leaves England.  I have a theory about this.  But that is also a story for another day.

And there you have it – the Whiteley and Hyde families Marrying Mess – and what a beautiful mess it is!

Do you have any families in your tree that had multiple matrimonial connections?


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Alaska – My Fascination

In case you don’t already know, I am completely fascinated by my Alaskan roots.

Here’s a quick rundown.  My 3rd great grandfather Henry Hyde settled in Alaska sometime between 1885 and 1895.  He started a homestead but died before he could complete it.  His second wife, my 3rd great grandaunt (he married his first wife’s sister after wife number one died), Alice completed that homestead in 1918 – ten years after Henry’s death.  Henry’s daughter Alice was raised in Alaska.  She met her future husband, Frank Duval, when he got to know her father in Fairbanks.  She went to Dawson with Frank before the gold rush had started.  She was about fifteen, he was about thirty-two.  (?!)  They married in Dawson after the gold rush had mostly finished in November of 1897.  They started their own homestead in Fairbanks and lived there for many years, wintering in California.  They gave up their homestead before it was complete and moved to Vancouver between 1910 and 1911.

My great grandfather, Frank and Alice’s son, was raised in Alaska until he was about ten years old.  I recently listened to an interview my mom conducted with him in the early 80s.  Listening to this great grandfather that I knew and loved recount his Alaskan homestead stories made this branch of my family really come to life.

But then.

 

This summer I discovered the Discovery Channel show Alaska: The Last Frontier.  I watched the free season on Netflix.  I am in LOVE with this show!  I thought that hearing my great grandpa tell his stories made this branch of my tree come to life, but watching this show kicked it up a notch for sure.  Suddenly, I was thinking more of the everyday tasks, skills, hard work, and challenges that three generations of my family faced for several years.  As always, I have more questions.  Like how did Henry’s widow Alice complete that homestead?  Homestead work in Alaska is hard, like really hard.  I am so excited to order the homestead documents.   Hopefully they will give me more insight into their work and life in Alaska.

I love it when I find a book, film or other media item that helps me make a deeper connection with my ancestors.  Something that helps me understand their life just a little bit more.

How about you?  Have media items ever helped you understand your ancestors better?

 


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Still Here!

Carter & Harrison, bear lake, 2014

My little fellas, Bear Lake, 28 June 2014

I’ve been itching to get back to my blog – there are so many things I have to say, and so little time!  Here are a few of the big genealogy things that have been on my mind:

  • I created a fabulous mini book for our family reunion to help the great grandchildren learn more about our family.  It was awesome!  And even better, the kids loved it and worked on it.
  • Facebook groups for genealogy – which are your favorites?  They can be great and well, not so great.
  • FamilySearch indexing day was amazing.  I’m so impressed with their final numbers!  My two teenagers participated.  Can I just say I was completely surprised?  It turns out my 13 year old is pretty excellent at deciphering old handwriting.  Now I just need to figure out how to get him actually interested…  Did you join the fun?
  • Today is Pioneer Day.  I have lots of Mormon Pioneers in my tree.  Today is a tender day for me as I consider the many hardships they endured.  Last night my 13 year old offered our family prayer.  Among other things he said, “Please help us to remember the real meaning of Pioneer Day.”  Such a sweet moment for my mother heart.  I love this quote – “Can we somehow muster the courage and steadfastness of purpose that characterized the pioneers of a former generation?  Can you and I, in actual fact, be pioneers [today]?”  – Thomas S. Monson.  Do you have any Mormon Pioneers in your tree?
  • I have one more LARGE family reunion this summer.  I am one of the three people in charge.  I need to come up with some sort of activity, some family history type activity.  I have a few ideas brewing…
  • Who Do You Think You Are? started back up!  My favorite show.  Do you watch?
  • My family and I have discovered a new {to us} show on Netflix – Alaska The Last Frontier.  I am in love with this show because I have three generations in my family that were involved with homesteads in Alaska.  There were two homesteads, one was completed, one was not.  The one that was completed was started by my 3rd great grandfather Henry Hyde.  He died before it was completed so his wife Alice Whiteley Hyde completed it without him.  Watching this show has really opened my eyes to how difficult life is in Alaska.  I am gaining new respect and admiration for this part of my family with every episode I watch.

I’m still here, soaking up every bit of genealogy goodness I can find in the world.  See you in a few weeks!


14 Comments

Ancestor Story – Alice Hyde – 52 Ancestors

Francis Cyprien, Francis Henry, Elvera & Alice Hyde Duval, 1903 Oakland California

Duval Family, about 1903 in Oakland, California. Francis Cyprien, Francis Henry, Annie Marie Elvera & Alice Hyde Duval.

On Monday I posted a photo of Grandfather Hyde and asked for opinions on my assessment of which Grandfather Hyde was in the photo.  This spurred a whole lot of conversation between myself and Alex of Root to Tip.  She dug up a few records for me and then my curiosity completely changed my research plans for the week in an exciting way.  Since I have the Hyde family dominating my thoughts I decided to write about my most recent direct-line Hyde ancestor, Alice Hyde, my 2nd great grandmother.

Alice was born 29 July 1880 in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada to William Henry Hyde and Ann Whiteley.  Alice was born 7 years and 5 months after her parents were married but as far as I can tell, she is their first child.

When Alice was just four years old, her mother Ann died as the result of childbirth while the family was living in Golden, British Columbia, Canada.  Henry was away for work at the time of this tragedy.  I imagine it was quite a shock to return home to his small, motherless family.  Just shy of two months later, he marries Ann’s younger sister Alice in York, York, England and leaves his daughter Rosey to live with his parents in Sheffield, York, England.  He kept Alice with him.  Rosey may or may not be the child born just prior to Ann’s death.  I wrote more about that here.

Alice is now the step daughter of her aunt who is also named Alice.  So now there are two Alice Hydes in the family and they are only about 11 years apart in age.  I wonder what that was like for young Alice?

Alice Hyde and her step mother Alice Whiteley Hyde.

Alice Hyde and her step mother Alice Whiteley Hyde.

Alice and her family eventually settled in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Henry was known for having the first successful working farm in Fairbanks.  During the year 1896 Henry became acquainted with a man by the name of Francis Cyprien Duval.  Henry tried to convince Frank to claim a piece of land near his farm and try his hand at homesteading.  Frank wasn’t interested.  He had left Quebec to get away from farming.  He was bound for Dawson.

At the age of 16 Alice left her father’s home with Frank and together they traversed the famous Chilkoot Pass.  They beat the Gold Rush by an entire year.  Frank was able to do well mining in Dawson.  He and Alice were married 12 November 1897 in Dawson, Alaska.

At least seven children were born to this union:

  • Annie Marie Elvera Duval, 2 December 1899, in Oakland, California
  • Francis Henry Duval, 10 May 1901, in Oakland, California
  • Leon Howard Duval, 5 September 1907, in Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Delores Lenore Duval, 27 April 1909, in Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Male Duval, died 15 February 1915, age 0, in Lynn Creek, British Columbia
  • Alexander Valmore Duval, 26 August 1916, in Lynn Valley, British Columbia
  • One additional child was born and died prior to 1910, details currently unknown.

Frank and Alice began their marriage in the wild Gold Rush town of Dawson, Alaska.  After a short time they claimed land near Alice’s father’s farm on the Chena Slough 6 miles outside of Fairbanks.  They spent the summers in Alaska and the winters in California.  Frank built them a cabin in Alaska and they purchased a home in Oakland.  My great grandfather, Francis Henry Duval, shared some lovely memories of the homestead in Alaska during an interview with my mom in the 70s.  I recently re-listened to this recording and was excited to find answers to several of the questions I had.  Among the many details, he talked about their garden.  They kept a greenhouse in Alaska and had stoves in there to keep everything warm.  They planted their vegetables in the greenhouse much earlier than anyone else.  They would begin harvesting their lettuces, tomatoes and the like in the spring.  They loaded their bounty into a canoe and took them into Fairbanks and sold them to restaurants.  He shared many other interesting details that make it pretty clear that Frank and Alice were very industrious.

After the big San Fransisco earthquake in 1906, a real estate man wrote to Frank and Alice to let them know that their house had been completely destroyed.  He offered to sell the land for them.  The Duvals decided to stay in Alaska and sell the land.

Alice’s children were getting older.  In order to attend school they had to walk along the railroad tracks for about 3 miles to arrive at the schoolhouse.  Alice would send Vera and if the weather was good she would also send young Frank.  She wanted her children to be able to attend school more easily and she wanted them to have a better education.  In 1908 her father Henry died in Fairbanks.  I’m sure this strengthened her resolve to leave.  She was eventually able to persuade Frank to leave the homestead in Alaska and settle in Vancouver, British Columbia sometime between 1910 and 1911.  They are in Fairbanks in the 1910 US Census and Vancouver in the 1911 Canadian Census.

They only lived in Vancouver a short time before Frank tired of being in the city.  He found a piece of land in Lynn Valley and built a two story home with a basement.  The school was one block from their new home.  My great grandfather recalls being in class one day when one of his schoolmates pointed out the window and exclaimed, “The Duval house is on fire!”.  Everyone rushed out of class and ran toward the home.  There was quite a gathering of townspeople on the lawn in front of the home.  Young Delores had been left at home alone but was rescued when someone heard her cries from the basement.  Shortly after young Frank arrived, Alice returned from her errand to find her home aflame.  She started yelling for people to help save the furniture and whatever they could.  Only young Frank was brave enough to help his mother and together they pulled as many items from the burning house as they could.

Frank determined he would not rebuild his home himself and he hired someone to build on the same spot.

Duval family home in Lynn Valley, British Columbia.

Duval family home in Lynn Valley, British Columbia.

In the spring of 1919, Frank was in a buggy accident while at work.  He was a Forest Ranger and had rented a horse and buckboard to go out and take care of some of his work.  His horse was spooked and he was thrown off the seat of the buckboard landing on his feet.  His leg broke just above the ankle from the impact and the broken bone tore through the flesh landing in the dirt.  The exposed flesh and bone were filthy.  Frank was away from town, all alone.  He took off his shirt, bound his leg and crawled along until he was able to find two sticks large enough to use as makeshift crutches.  He slowly and painfully made his way toward town.  It was a seven mile journey.  The scared horses returned to their home without Frank and so men went out searching for him.  He was rescued after he had traveled about a mile and a half and was taken to the hospital in Vancouver.  From the time his leg was broken until he made it to the hospital 17 hours had passed.  During that time he developed blood poisoning.  He was in the hospital about 7-12 days.  At first the doctors said he was doing well.  Alice was bringing the children to the hospital to visit their father.  Toward the end of his hospital stay he took a turn for the worse and the family was called back.  The doctors told Alice that the only way to save his life was to amputate the leg at the knee.  Frank refused.  He worsened and lost consciousness, Alice consented to the amputation.  The day after the amputation Frank died leaving Alice widowed with 5 children ranging in ages from 18 to 3 years old.

Shortly after Frank’s death, Alice determined to leave Canada and returned to California.  They went to Oakland to see the site of their former home to find it exactly as they had left it in the early spring of 1906.

The family moved around a lot.  Young Frank had the difficult responsibility of providing for his mother and siblings for many years.  Young Frank married in 1930.  For several months after he married, he continued to send money home to his mother.  Eventually he passed the responsibility of her care to his younger brother.

Her later years included additional struggles.  She suffered from poor health and eventually lost another home.  This time it seems she lost her home to the bank near the end of the depression.

In December of 1940 she was arrested on the charge of Grand Larceny in Whatcom, Washington.  She pled guilty and was imprisoned for a few weeks shy of 1 year.  She died 8 1/2 years after her release, 24 June 1950 in Red Bluff, Tehama, California.  There was not contact between Alice and her son Frank after her release.  The circumstances of the last few years of her life are unknown to me.

My grandmother does not have fond memories of Alice.  She says she was a mean, nasty woman.  I imagine Alice’s many losses were very difficult.  I would like to think that she might have been kinder in her younger years.  Maybe not gentle, I imagine she had to be pretty tough to survive in Alaska during that time period.  But hopefully kind.  She must have been brave and strong to endure all that she did.  I hope her last few years of life brought some peace and stability.  I hope she was able to enjoy her time in California before her death.

Do you have any tough frontierswomen in your tree?  What were they like?