Category Archives: Wednesday’s Child

Wednesday’s Child – the Other Paul Hoffmann

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If I had been a boy, it’s likely I would have been named Paul, Mom tells me. I would have been one in a long line of Pauls (and Paulas) on the maternal side of my family. A quick search of my genealogy database tells me tells me the name appears 609 times (though some of these are on the paternal side as well).

However, there are only two individuals in my database named Paul Hoffmann (with the “nn” spelling).  One, of course, was my great-grandfather, who emigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1883 at five years of age. The other was his first cousin, Paul Auguste Hoffmann, who would have been thirteen years his senior. This Paul was born 19 December 1864 in Marne, France, the eldest child of Jean Nicolas and Marie Louise Gérard Hoffmann.  Jean Nicolas was the next-eldest brother of Jacob Hoffmann, our Paul’s father. Some three years older than Jacob, he had first married Dorothée Sutter in 1855.  Our Paul had a tragic end but did live to adulthood; Jean Nicolas’s Paul did not. He died 9 March 1867 at two years of age.

Jean Nicolas and Marie Louise had three more children. Albert Athanase Hoffmann was born only a month after Paul’s death on 13 April 1867. A third son, Auguste Laurent, was born 7 August 1868 but died less than six weeks later. Finally, Auguste Ludgard Hoffmann was born 30 November 1871. It is to his grandson, Daniel, that I am indebted for all of this history.

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Wednesday’s Child – Little Ada Cory

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Ada Cory, fourth cousin three times removed, was the daughter of James Manning and Elizabeth (Braly) Cory. Ada’s 3G-grandparenst were my 6G-grandparents, Joseph Cory and Mary Meeker. Ada was her parents’ first child, born 6 December 1864. Less than two years later Ada died, on 1 May 1866.  Following her death, James and Elizabeth had four more children:  George H., Frank, Mabel Hyde, and Henry M. The entire family is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California. If it weren’t for this burial, not much else would be known about Ada, as she lived and died in between two censuses. This makes her tombstone all the more poignant, from the “Little Ada” inscription, to the carved verse below, from Psalm 127:3 –

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord.”

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Wednesday’s Child – Baby Meneley

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Josephine Corey Williams, my 5th cousin twice removed, was born in San Antonio, Texas, 3 December 1882. Her parents were Charlton Hines and Emma S. (Cory) Williams.  My 6G-grandparents and Josephine’s 4G-grandparents were Joseph and Mary (Meeker) Cory, of the Cory family from Westfield, New Jersey.

When she was not quite fifteen, Josephine married Sion William Meneley in Gonzales, Texas.  Sion was 24. A little over a year later, their first child, Mattie Emma Meneley, was born, to be followed by eleven more children. On Mattie’s 27th’s birthday, Sion and Josephine’s last child was born and died. The unnamed Meneley son was buried in the Gonzales City Cemetery in Gonzales, Texas. Josephine was then 45 but would outlive her son by only three months. Josephine died 6 June 1926 and is also buried in Gonzales. Josephine’s death certificate lists her cause of death as “polegra.”  This appears to be a misspelling of “pellagra,” a disease resulting from niacin deficiency. According to a medical paper written in 1917, there was a possible connection between pregnancy/childbirth and pellagra.

By 1930 Sion had remarried; he and his second wife Lena appear in that year’s census along with five of his children and one of hers. On 27 January 1952 Sion died; he was buried alongside his first wife.

Wednesday’s Child – Duane Farney

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Duane Farney, my first cousin twice removed, was born July 27, 1933.  He was the son of Orville Farney and Lucy Hoffmann. Lucy was the youngest child of Jacob Hoffmann, born when he was 57 years old.

The Farney family appears in Fountain Creek, Illinois, in the 1940 census. Less then ten years later, on January 26, 1950, sixteen-year-old Duane was driving his father’s 1949 sedan, with six other boys as his passengers: Paul Hickman and Don Pennick, both also sixteen; Duane’s brother James, fourteen; and three fifteen-year-olds: Tom Bell, John Hertel, and Ulyn Reece. At an unguarded railroad crossing north of Rossville, Illinois, Duane apparently drove his car into the side of a moving train.  The three sixteen-year-olds were killed; the four younger boys were taken to Lakeview Hospital but survived.

The Silver Lining, a newsletter of the Apostolic Christian Church, reports on this incident as well in the Cissna Park section of its February 1950 issue:

Tragedy struck our community January 26, when Duane Farney, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Orville Farney, was killed in a train-auto crash. Funeral services were held Monday, January 30. Joshua Broquard of Forrest, Illinois, held the services. Arthur Gudeman of La Crosse, Indiana, prayed at the cemetery. James, a brother of Duane, was also in the accident and is seriously injured.

Wednesday’s Child – Swing Children

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Today’s “Wednesday’s Children” were the offspring of my great-great-granduncle, Joseph Gilbert Swing and his third wife, my great-grandaunt, Lydia (Hoffmann) Swing. Born August 10, 1861 in Akron, Ohio, he was the youngest child of Karl and Saloma (Bollinger) Schwing. His older brother Albert Carl was my great-great-grandfather. About 1877 he moved with his parents to Livingston County, Illinois. As we have seen, he married Annie Schippee about 1885-1886 and had two children, Walter and Anna. Annie died June 19, 1888, and Joseph married Eugenie Hoffmann (sister of my great-great-grandmother Catherine) on February 23, 1890. Joseph and Eugenie had four children: Joseph John, Mary S., William J. and Jacob G. Eugenie died June 12, 1900 at age 35. Joseph then married Eugenie’s half-sister, Lydia (sister of my great-grandfather Paul) on September 1, 1901.

Joseph and Lydia had a total of eleven children: Eugenie C., Elizabeth S., Harvey A., Christine A., Phillip L., Gilbert L., Caroline L., Edna May, Marjory, Jessie Edward, and Ruth Evelyn. Around 1913-14 the family moved from Fairbury, Illinois, to Stillwell, Indiana. It is at Oak Grove Cemetery in La Crosse, Indiana, that three of the eleven children lie buried.

Joseph and Lydia lost two of their children within little more than two months; Edna May died first, on May 17, 1916, one day after her second birthday, and Phillip on July 24, 1916 at age 8. Five years later, on March 13, 1921, the youngest child, Ruth Evelyn, also died. Joseph himself died July 29, 1949 at age 87; Lydia lived another eight years, dying September 21, 1957.

Wednesday’s Child – Baby Bateman

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Here is another example of a bittersweet cemetery discovery. Infant Bateman was my first cousin twice removed but was unknown to me until a visit to the cemetery in Mansfield, Illinois last year. I don’t know much about this baby other that what I can glean from the tombstone – even the gender is not specified. Infant Bateman lived only three days  and was the fourth of five children of Joshua O. and Minnie (Walker) Bateman.

Minnie was born September 19, 1864 in Noble, Illinois; her older sister Laura Maud was my great-grandmother. Joshua O. Bateman was born June 13, 1861; he and Minnie were married February 4, 1885 in Richland County, Illinois. Other children born to Minnie and Joshua were Lora H., Roy Walker, Tessie, and Elsie Fern Bateman.

By the time of the family’s enumeration in the 1900 census, Infant Bateman had been resting in the Mansfield Cemetery for six years:

June 2 1900 Blue Ridge Twp., Piatt, Illinois
21 21 Bateman Joshua Head W M June 1861 38 M 15 Canada Eng Ireland Ireland 1866 34 Na Farmer
—Minnie Wife W F Sept 1864 35 M 15 5 4 Illinois Ohio Ohio
—Lora Daughter W F Sept 1887 12 S Illinois Canada E Illinois At School
—Roy W Son W M Mar 1889 11 S Illinois Canada E Illinois At School
—Tessa Daughter W F Apr 1891 9 S Illinois Canada E Illinois At School
—Elsie Daughter W F Apr 1896 4 S Illinois Canada E Illinois
Walker Orlando C B-in-law W M Feb 1875 25 S Illinois Ohio Ohio Farm Laborer
Henard Ashley [Asbury?] Servant W M Nov 1877 22 S Tennessee Tennessee Virginia Farm Laborer

Wednesday’s Child – Thesta Tuttle of Louisville

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As I’ve said before, I love names. Sometimes a name catches the imagination for no identifiable reason. Such is the case with today’s “Wednesday’s Child.”  Little Thesta Tuttle was born April 18, 1847 in Louisville, New York.  Her parents were Philo Judson Tuttle (another great name) and another Thesta: Thesta Taylor. Thesta Taylor‘s younger sister Lucy Bridges Taylor would marry Charles Wilson; they were my great-great-great-grandparents.

Back to the Thestas. Thesta Taylor could almost be a “Wednesday’s Child” herself.  Born March 1829 in Louisville to Loring and Caroline (Caryl) Taylor, she married Philo on September 6, 1846 and died less than two years later, on May 8, 1848, some three weeks after giving birth to baby Thesta. One suspects her death may have resulted from complications from the baby’s birth.

Baby Thesta would not outlive her mother by many years. She died February 21, 1850 in Lisbon, New York, and was buried by her mother in the Louisville Community Cemetery. For those who are unaware, the town name is pronounced “Lewisville.” I had carried on for years and years, fondly referring to “Loueyville,” but was quickly corrected when we visited in June 2010 and explored the museum and cemeteries.

I hope Thesta is pronounced “Thesta”….