MY GOAL: CAN I PROVE A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MY 2ND GREAT GRANDFATHER, HENRY HART & A REPORTED FIRST WIFE?
HE IS REPORTED TO HAVE MARRIED & HAD 4 CHILDREN WITH THIS WIFE, PRIOR TO MARRYING MY 2ND GREAT GRANDMOTHER.
I WILL SHARE WITH YOU, IN THIS POST AND UPCOMING POSTS, HOW I FOLLOW THE LEADS AND WHAT I FIND.
THIS IS AN ONGOING SERIES. PLEASE REFER TO PREVIOUS POSTS, IF NECESSARY.
Here are links to the first two posts:
HOW I FOLLOW A TRAIL OF RECORDS & ANALYZE WHAT I FIND - HENRY HART FAMILY - PART 1
HOW I FOLLOW A TRAIL OF RECORDS & ANALYZE WHAT I FIND - HENRY HART FAMILY - PART2
I HAVE RESTATED MY GOAL ABOVE AND WILL RE-STATE THAT GOAL AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH POST FOR THIS SERIES.
Let’s now go to the third child of Henry Hart & Sarah Sumner.
Benjamin Tyler Hart.
|BENJMAIN T. HART & HIS WIFE MARY CAMPBELL|
Here is the family group record that I received from Judy Haynes who descends from Henry Hart & Sarah Sumner
|YOU CAN SEE THAT THIS TYPED RECORD LISTS BENJAMIN HART AS A CHILD OF HENRY HART & SARA SUMNER AND HIS DATE OF BIRTH AS 28 JUL 1820|
WHAT RECORDS HAVE I ALREADY COLLECTED FOR BENJAMIN TYLER HART?
- The above family group record from a descendant, which gives his name & date of birth and states that he was a child of Henry Hart & Sarah Sumner.
- A marriage record from Westminster, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada from 20 Jun 1843 for Benjamin Tyler to Mary Campbell.
- An 1850 census record with Benjamin Hart & his wife, Mary & their two sons, William & Alonzo. NOTE: They are living next door to Hiram Hart (brother of Benjamin) and a young girl named Clarissa, who is the right age to be the daughter of Hiram. Where is Hiram’s wife, who is also named Clarissa? This is a question I will write down and come back to later.
- An 1870 census record with Benjamin Hart & his wife Mary and children, Isaac, Harriet, John & Charles. There are two other people in the household named Ellen William, age 59 and James Johnson, age 20. They are listed as a domestic servant and a laborer.
- A record of Benjamin’s death from Michigan, Death & Burials Index, 1867-1995
- A picture of Benjamin’s headstone from a FindAGrave memorial.
- An actual copy of his death record or certificate. I happen to know that familyseach.org now has images of the Michigan death records from 1867-1897. In fact I wrote a post about Michigan death records and how to find them. Here is a link to that post: Michigan Death Records - Where can you find them?
Male, white, married
Age 26 yrs. 10 mos. 14 days
Place of death – Clyde
Disease or cause of death – Bright’s disease
Birthplace – Canada
Occupation – Farmer
Parent’s names & residence – Henry & Sara Hart, Canada
Date of record – 29 Jun 1898
Here is the document recording his death. He is the last one on the page.
(Please click on any image to enlarge it)
Anyone see that item in red in the list above the document? His age is listed as 26 years. Our Benjamin was supposedly born in 1820. He was married in 1843.
What am I to think? Is this the wrong person? In my opinion, No.
First of all, if I calculate from the date of death 14 Jun 1897 and use the age 76 years and not 26 years, 10 mos. and 14 days, we have a birth date of 31 Jul 1820. Our information from cousin Judy, says 28 Jul 1920. Pretty close. If you look at all of the numbers written on the death record, the writer seems to always have a curl at the bottom of his or her 2’s.
It is my opinion that the number so easily mistaken as a 2 could easily be a 7.
HOWEVER, I would hope to find another piece of evidence that this is the correct Benjamin Hart.
Let’s look at the headstone for Benjamin and see what it says.
Don’t you just love it when headstones have more that just a name & year on them?
Look at this one! For both Benjamin T. Hart & his wife Mary C. Hart, we have exact dates of birth and death. I know the two children Laura & Nancy are their infant daughters.
This is pretty good evidence that the death record I found was the correct one. Can headstones be wrong? YES! Just like any other record we find, they too can have mistakes.
How about an obituary? Let’s go look on genealogybank.com and see if they have something. Darn, not a thing on that site.
One more piece of evidence that Benjamin died in 1897. His wife Mary is listed as a widow, living with her son Isaac & his family in the 1900 census.
I am satisfied that the death record is for the correct Benjamin.
WHAT DID WE START OUT LOOKING FOR? That’s right, proof that my 2nd great grandfather Henry Hart was, in fact, married to Sally “Sarah” Sumner prior to marrying my 2nd great grandmother, Olive Doten.
Doesn’t that death record for Benjamin T. Hart name his parents as Henry & Sara Hart? YES!
Have I accomplished my mission on this date. I would say so.
There is one more piece of evidence that lists Henry & Sara Hart as the parents of Benjamin Hart. It’s a Michigan, Deaths & Burials Index, 1867-1995. Again, we have a little discrepancy. His middle initial is listed as “J.” instead of "T". I can’t look at the original as there is only an index on Ancestry. This could easily be a transcription error. Given the other information on this index, I conclude that it is the correct Benjamin Hart.
Is this definitive proof about Henry & Sara’s marriage? I wouldn’t call it proof, but it’s a start. At least we have their names appearing together on two different documents. Although her maiden name is not listed.
TIP: Sometimes we have to come to conclusions in our research based on evidence we find that isn’t the proof we’d like. I would like to find a marriage record for Henry Hart & Sara Sumner. I would also like to find a death record for Sara Sumner Hart. I'm not sure if I will be able to find either, but I'll keep looking.
For now, I'll be satisfied with what I do find.
I’m going to stop for today, or I’ll have to publish this as a book and not a blog post.
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
Surprise! A birth record where it wasn't supposed to be
Cemetery Records - What can they tell you? How do you use them?
Copyright © 2014 Diane Gould Hall
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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.