Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Trip to the WI Vital Records Office

Today I got two hours to find as much information as I could. I found some pretty good stuff, and I am pretty happy about it.

I finally found Theresa Kaiser Hess's death record. She died in 1939. This provided me with her full birth date, which I didn't have before, as well as her death date (of course) and the name of her father- Bernard. Her mother's name wasn't listed for some reason.

I also tried to find Ruth Dimmys Tarbell Greeley's death record- couldn't find it.

Additionally, I got pretty lucky when looking for Sarah Elizabeth Mayville Beaulieu's death record--- it was in the first book I picked up. She died in Long Lake, WI, in 1925, about a week after her brother Collin died. She was the last to die of Ephraim's children with Hannah Nora Preston.

I also messed around with the Walter family. Lester Walter's father was Fred. I confirmed his parents' names, that he married Helen Stark, as well as got exact birth/death dates for him. Also found Helen Stark's birth and death dates, neither of which I had previously, as well as confirmed her father was Peter Stark.

Also, I looked up Fred's father Fred Sr. I found when he died and was able to find his birth date, too. I tried to find his wife, Elizabeth Hauch Walter but while searching I came across the death record of Fred's SISTER Elizabeth Walter, who died a few years after him as a result of slipping on ice. I was able to confirm this was his sister because both of their records listed father Simon Walter and Margaret Strasser. I hadn't known their parents' names previously.

The biggest thing I found, so far, is Katherine McConnell Reynolds's mother's name. Well, I also found Katherine's exact birth and death dates, but I found that her mother was Elizabeth Hake (her father was Alexander McConnell). For some reason I recognized the name Hake...

A few months ago I found out that Katherine was buried at Rock River Cemetery in Jefferson, WI., so I went to look at the stones for myself and found that the cemetery was full of people named Hake, and in particular Kate and her siblings and son were surrounded by Hakes. I thought it odd but of course didn't think too much of it.

So I looked up these Hakes on first, then looked a couple up on rootsweb. They are all intermingled. A guy named Bob Speckman had added pictures and info to some of the gravelistings on findagrave, and the site had his email address. I contacted him about the Hakes and asked him if he knew of an Elizabeth Hake. From what I found on Rootsweb, and then what he told me, it seems there was an Elizabeth Hake born in 1819 to John Phillip Hake (the man who donated the land for the cemetery), but Bob hadn't been able to track her down--- everyone but her, he knew more info about.

So it seems that I might have his missing Elizabeth, but we can't quite prove it yet... we just know that Elizabeth it related to the bunch somehow. A Reverend Emanuel Hake, also buried in that cemetery, and born around the same time as Elizabeth, married a Jane Elizabeth McConnell, who I can only assume is closely related to my Alex McConnell (if not his sister or something). I'm pretty excited about this discovery. the Hakes trace back pretty well... but the McConnell's are still a mystery.

I almost forgot--- Bob seems to be the leading Hake researcher, so it was lucky that I contacted him-- he knows a lot and has a lot of good resources. He had, offchance, in a pile of newspaper copies he got just recently from the Jefferson Historical Society, the obituary for Alex McConnell, which confirmed all of the moving I had found in the censuses, and also provided the date of his death, and the fact that he married Elizabeth Hake and they lived in the "Hake Neighborhood." This is also really exciting, because I had had no solid dates yet for Alex and still don't for Elizabeth-- unless we prove she's the daughter of John Phillp Hake.

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