Sun 27 Mar 2011
Hutcheson Case Study
After finding so much conflicting information, what is the answer?
Sun 27 Mar 2011
After finding so much conflicting information, what is the answer?
Fri 25 Feb 2011
As I have mentioned on this blog before, there are certain resources out there that are “iffy” because they contain no citation information. I ran across one of those on this case.
In Ancestral File at FamilySearch.org (if you haven’t looked recently, the site has had a makeover!) I have located the following family:
Family Group Sheet 1
Husband: Thomas Warren Hutcheson
Marriage: 23 Apr 1868 Place: Belvedere, Monona, Iowa
Wife: Catherine D. Hunter
Unfortunately, there is no information about submitter–or the sources that they used. This family is a match to Oly Hutcheson’s family on the 1880 Census. And since Oril O’s death certificate named his father as Thomas Hutcheson, this is likely the same family–even with all EIGHT possible DOBs associated with this guy.
Googling the name of the father leads to additional unsourced family trees on the internet. The Family Tree Maker’s Genealogy Site User Home Page of Martin Wayne Lowery disagrees on a few locations.2 He also notes that Maime didn’t have an “r” on her middle name.
On the same site, the Home Page of Elaine M. Hutcheson adds confirmation of some interesting additional names. Cyrus was known as “Peck,” Thomas was known as “Dick,” and Freeman was known as “Noun.”3 These three names don’t have much to do with the boy’s real names. Therefore, isn’t much of a stretch to get from Oly Oliver to Oril O. In fact, Oly is a nickname for Oliver, so it is possible that he was an Oliver Oril (or vice versa).
1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Ancestral File,” database, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 21 Feb 2011), Thomas Warren Hutcheson (5675-D2) and Catherine D. Hunter (5675-F7) family group record.
2. Martin Wayne Lowery, Family Tree Maker’s Genealogy Site, The Martin Wayne Lowery Sr. Family Home Page (http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/l/o/w/Martin-W-Lowery/index.html : accessed 25 Feb 2011), “Descendants of Ferdinandus Van Sickelen,” Generation No. 8.
3. Elaine M. Hutcheson, Family Tree Maker’s Genealogy Site, The Hohl Hutcheson Family Home Page (http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/h/u/t/Elaine-M-Hutcheson/index.html : accessed 25 Feb 2011), “Descendants of Ferdenandus Van Sickle,” Page 3-4 of 6.
Mon 31 Jan 2011
When checking out censuses at Ancestry, once Oril’s alternate name is located, Oley can be traced to the same origin and is again placed with his mother. When he was younger, his age was reported more consistently. Interestingly, the clear cut name change is made more obvious as these records are viewed. He changed the name he used on a daily basis when he arrived in Tucson.
In 1905, he was in Melrose, Stearns, Minnesota: Hutchenson O, Male, age 25, white, born Iowa, parents Iowa and MO, in the state for 7 years and in this enumeration district for 1 month, brakeman. 1
In 1895, he was in Rutland, Martin, Minnesota: Hutchison Oley, age 16, male, white, born in Iowa.2 Since he wasn’t over 21, he was exempt from answering additional questions.
The best thing about these state censuses is that they almost make up for missing the 1890 Federal Census!
In 1885, Oley Hutcheson, age 5, and born in Monona County, Iowa was living in the Bowman household with his mother Kate Hutcheson, age 32, born in MO.3 His siblings who were also in the home, all born in Monona County, were: Jay, age 15; Peck, age 13; Dick, age 11; Noan, age 9; Joseph, age 7; and Frank, age 3. It seems that Oley wasn’t the only one who “changed” his name over time! The ages here increase by 5 years from 1880, but Joseph and Oley are the only two who keep their names. Even mom trades Catherine for Kate!
What does this prove? NEVER figure that someone isn’t your guy just because of a difference in names!
1. 1905 state census, Stearns County, Minnesota, population schedule, Melrose Ward 2, p. 163, O Hutchenson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Jan 2011); citing Minnesota Historical Society, microfilm roll MNSC_158.
2. 1895 state census, Martin County, Minnesota, population schedule, Rutland, p. 13, family 89, Oley Hutchison; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Jan 2011); citing Minnesota Historical Society, microfilm roll V290_76.
3. 1885 state census, Monona County, Iowa, population schedule, Jordan, p. 179 (stamped), dwelling 11, family 13, line 11, Oley Hutcheson in the household of Jacob Bowman; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 Jan 2011); citing State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest, roll IA1885_235.
Sat 18 Dec 2010
Okay, if it isn’t bad enough that Oril didn’t know his date of birth, it appears that he also was a bit confused about his name! Luckily, the name thing is easier to deal with. As he had two names which began with O, it simply seems that at some point he began going by the other name or a nickname that he picked up along the way.
All the records in Tucson point to his name being Oril O. However, before 1916 — when he married — Oril doesn’t seem to exist. There is no Oril Hutcheson (or various other spellings of that last name) in the 1910 Census.
There is an Oral E. Hutcheson born 1877 in Iowa in Missouri in 1910 — but she is female. There are some O. C.s and some O. E.s scattered around who were born in Iowa within the date rage we are looking for. But there is no Oril O. And no possibilities who were born within the date range in Colorado.
However, there is an Ole O. Hatcheson/Hutchison/Hutcheson born in 1879 in Iowa who was in Hillyard, Spokane, Washington.1 He was living as a lodger with a large group of men who all worked on the railway. He was employed specifically as a conductor on a steam railway. Sounds about right for our Oril O!
For the 1900 Census, Ole Hutchinson was in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota.2 He was born Aug 1876, was age 23, and was one of three boarders in the home of Richard A. Jones. He was born in Iowa but the birthplaces of his parents are reported as unknown. No occupation is listed for him.
For the 1880 Census, Oly Hutcheson is living with his family in Jordon, Monona, Iowa. He is ten months old, born in August. His parents are Thomas and Catherine, both age 33. He was born in Ohio, she was born in Missouri. His siblings are: David, age 11; Syrus, age 9; Thomas, age 7; Freeman, age 5; Joshep, age 3; and Oly’s twin sister Olive.
Based on the fact that this Ole was born in August, and the fact that his date of birth falls within the range located earlier, this is Oril. He was an Ole Oril or an Oril Ole. Possibly he was even an Oliver. The 1880 Census appears to come closest to reporting the date of birth reported on his headstone, August 1879, and the name of his father reported on his death certificate, Thomas Hutcheson. In 1900, he had moved away from his family so he either added a few years to his age, or appeared quite mature. Since his parent’s places of birth weren’t listed, they likely talked to the man he was boarding with — who likely truly didn’t know that much about him. In 1910, he is back to reporting his true age.
The reports that gave his place of birth as Colorado seem to simply have been mistaken. It is possible that he lived in Colorado immediately before Arizona. One has to be careful when asking questions in order to fill in documents. If a census enumerator asks, “Where are you from?”, you may assume that he is asking about your last residence instead of your place of birth.
1. 1910 U.S. census, Spokane County, Washington population schedule, Hillyard, enumeration district (ED) 207, sheet 29A, p. 279, line 9, Ole O. Hutcheson, lodger; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Dec 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1669.
2. 1900 U.S. census, Martin County, Minnesota population schedule, Fairmont, enumeration district (ED) 165, sheet 11B, dwelling 229, family 232, Ole Hutchison, border in the home of Richard A. Jones; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Dec 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 775.
3. 1880 U.S. census, Monona County, Iowa population schedule, Jordon, enumeration district (ED) 156, p. 93A, dwelling 45, family 45, Household of Thomas Hutcheson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Dec 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 357.
Fri 17 Dec 2010
Here is another record which reports Oril’s date of birth which was within his lifetime — and theoretically present. However, it provides another possible date of birth for him.
The third registration for the draft for World War I called men of Oril’s age.1 The maximum required age was pushed back from age 31 to age 45. A man had to sign his registration card, attesting to the fact that the information was correct. Even with that attestation, there have been errors.
The card I am interested in states:
Oril O. Hutcheson2
320 E 12th St., Tucson, Pima, Ariz.
Age 44, Date of birth: August 23rd, 1874
White, Native born citizen
Ry Conductor for Southern Pacific
Nearest Relative: Mrs. Ettie May Hutcheson
Errors can creep in simply through human error — or they can be introduced if someone chooses not to tell the truth. If you think about it, Oril likely didn’t have a birth certificate (they just weren’t that common around 1880), so how is anyone going to prove that he lied?
In this case, two years before, he reported he was was 38 years old. Now he says he is 44. Why fudge? Self preservation. The draft cut-off was 45 so the likelihood that Oril would be called if he said he was 44 was slim. If he had reported that he was 40, and the war dragged on for another five years, he could have been drafted. (According to his death certificate and headstone, his correct age at this time was 41.)
1. Encyclopedia of Genealogy (http://www.eogen.com : accessed 17 Dec 2010), “U.S. World War I Draft Registrations”.
2. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http:\www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Dec 2010), Oril O. Hutcheson, serial no. 296, order no. A4755, Draft Board O, Pima County, Arizona; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
Thu 16 Dec 2010
Yet another possible date of birth for Oril was apparently reported when he married. This record is indexed in a book, so it is possibly an error itself and would need to be checked on the original if someone were to be spending money on this project.
Hutcheson, O. O., age 38*
Dalton, May, age 24
21 Aug 1916 book #6, p. 99
Married by O. E. Comstock, min
Witnesses: Mary Shibell Brown, Lillee Thomas
Based on this, Oril was born in the year before 21 Aug 1878. I suppose that on the bright side this date falls within the range indicated by the records already discussed.
It should be noted that getting the original certificate will confirm that the indexers read his age correctly but will not provide the names of his parents. In Arizona, it was never required that a marriage license ask for that information. I have been to the office and discussed this with the clerk. The only time parents names may have been included in court records in Arizona was if a party was underage and a parent had to give consent. Unfortunately, sometimes those consents are missing. And in this case it wouldn’t help because the parties were well over the age of majority.
* Floyd R. Negley and Clark Tinney, editors, Arizona Marriages: Pima County, Marriage Book 5-10, Feb 1912 through Dec 1926 (Tucson, Arizona: Arizona State Genealogical Society, 1997), 152, citing Pima County Marriage Records book #6, p. 99.
Thu 18 Nov 2010
To answer my own question — not really! I mean, think about it. You were present at your own birth but the only reason you know the date is because someone told you. Yes, your birth certificate should confirm that date, but there are instances where one or both could be wrong.
An error could be present on your certificate. My own grandfather is named Charles Eugene on his birth certificate but went by Eugene Charles because that way he could be EC Jr. Your certificate could have been edited. I have a friend who was adopted and the new family had his birth date changed — making finding his real mother almost impossible. In some areas, there was a fine for registering a birth with the government beyond a certain time. Parents would report a date within the correct time frame to avoid that fine.
The date a family celebrates a birthday may be fudged a bit. If a child is born too close to a wedding date, it is possible that close family members will agree to celebrate a birthday late. If mom goes to visit relatives and gives birth there, when she returns her close friends only have her report of the date (and a big baby) to go by.
As people got older, they also had reasons to fudge dates. If a man is dating a much younger woman, he may say he is younger. If a man wants to avoid the draft, he may say he is outside of the required age. If a man wants to enlist in the military or get a job, he may say he is older. If a woman is too young to marry, she may say she is a bit older to avoid needing parent permission.
So, with Oril — what was going on? Here is yet another instance where his birth is reported:
On this certificate for his son’s birth in 1928, Oril is listed as age 45.* Born in 1883 in Colorado. I suppose that this time his wife could have been the informant — and she might not have been thinking straight. Either that or he felt odd saying he was more than ten years older than his wife.
* Arizona Department of Health Services, birth certificate no. 482 (1928), Frank Finnis Hutcheson; digital image, Arizona Genealogy Birth Certificates (http://genealogy.az.gov : accessed 18 Nov 2010).
Wed 27 Oct 2010
So far, the information regarding Oril’s death is consistent. Now to try to trace back to discover the facts about his birth.
Remember that it is always best to work from the known to the unknown. Therefore, the 1930 census should be my first stop. Here is the information about Oril from the more recent censuses.
1930: Oril O. Hutcheson is the 47-year-old head of household at 337 S 4th Ave.1 His birth year can be calculated as 1883. He owns the home which is valued at $6500.00 but did not own a radio. He is married to 37-year-old Etta Mae Hutcheson. Oril was first married at age 31; Etta was first married at age 17, confirming the information that she was previously married. He could read and write. Oril and his parents were all reported to have been born in Iowa. Oril was a wage worker employed as a brakeman by the railroad. He was not a veteran. Also in the home were Esther Hutcheson, his adopted daughter; Frank F Hutcheson, his son; and John H. Williamson, a lodger who was also a brakeman for the railroad.
1920: During this census year, Oril O. Hutcheson is reported at the head of the household at 320 East 12th St, which he was renting.2 He was 45 and his wife, Mae E. was 27. This time, his birth date is calculated as 1875. He could read and write. His birthplace was reported as Colorado, his father’s as Ohio, and his mother’s as Iowa. He was a wage worker employed as a conductor on the railroad. Also in the home were Esther Hutcheson, his daughter; Frank B. Oliver, a lodger who is a brakeman; Georgia M. Oliver, a lodger who is likely Frank’s daughter; and John J. Kuykendall, a lodger who is a boilermaker.
So, now I have birth dates for Oril that vary from 1875-1883, and was he born in Iowa or Colorado?! Luckily, the census ages can be approached with caution. The enumerators weren’t always known for their accuracy. They took notes when they were visiting homes and later wrote up the official pages — occasionally fudging when they couldn’t read their own writing. The informants weren’t always accurate when they had questions sprung upon them — and sometimes they weren’t the residents of a home, they were the neighbors. Therefore, I can add the information gathered from the censuses to my data, but I will keep looking to see if I can eventually land on the correct information.
Speaking of continuing to look, I can tell you now that before 1920 “Oril O. Hutcheson” doesn’t exist! If he did, I’d have been able to add more censuses to this post.
1. 1930 U.S. census, Pima County, Arizona population schedule, Tucson, enumeration district (ED) 66, sheet 10B, p. 195 (stamped, reverse), dwelling 87, family 96, Oril O Hutcheson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Oct 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 61.
2. 1920 U.S. census, Pima County, Arizona population schedule, Tucson, enumeration district (ED) 105, sheet 3A, p. 264 (stamped), dwelling 46, family 47, Oril O Hutcheson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Oct 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 50.
Tue 12 Oct 2010
There are currently two places I can go online to get scans of the Tucson newspapers. GenealogyBank has older issues. And Newspaper Archive has issues from around the 50s. Several sources have text from the newer issues from this century.
So, Oril’s obituary is available at Newspaper Archive. And it implies an answer to one of the questions that I had when I first began this project. Why would he commit suicide?
Oril O. Hutcheson Services Planned
Arrangements will be announced by Bring’s funeral home for Oril O. Hutcheson, a longtime Southern Pacific employee who died of a self-inflicted bullet wound Friday. He was 69 years old.
Mr. Hutcheson, who had been in ill health since December, was found in a shed at the rear of his home, 337 S. Fourth ave. Unconscious, he was taken to the Pima county hospital where he died three hours later. He was found by a roomer, T. C. Fuller, who with Mrs. Hutcheson, heard the shot.
Surviving Mr. Hutcheson, who lived in Tucson 37 years, is his wife, Etta Mae, who is active in Pima county Democratic circles; a son, Frank; and a daughter, Mrs. Esther Herman, all of Tucson.1
Since the article mentions his bad health, it might be assumed that that was discussed as a contributing factor. Was it the only factor? Maybe, maybe not.
A funeral notice also ran two days later:
Oril O. Hutcheson Rites To Be Tuesday
Rites for Oril O. Hutcheson, who died Friday, are set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bring’s funeral home, with Rev. Wlllard A. Schurr of the First Methodist church officiating and Tucson lodge No.4 F&AM, officiating at graveside services in the Masonic plot in Evergreen cemetery.
Pallbearers are A. C Thayer, O. C. Boone, William Wisdom, A. W. League, John J. Ellis and Bert Menge.2
Additional details agree with the death certificate.
1. “Oril O. Hutcheson Services Planned,” Tucson Daily Citizen, 19 Feb 1949, p. 4, col. 6-8; digital images, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 12 Oct 2010).
2. “Oril O. Hutcheson Rites To Be Tuesday,” Tucson Daily Citizen, 21 Feb 1949, p. 8, col. 3; digital images, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 12 Oct 2010).
Sun 19 Sep 2010
As reported by several sources, Oril is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson, AZ. However, this finding confuses our data just a bit more.
Aug. 21, 1879
Feb. 18, 1949
Aug. 6, 1892
Feb. 19, 1991
Did anyone happen to catch Oril’s death of birth on the death certificate v. the one on the stone? And even more, did you check the age at death as reported on the death certificate and calculate his age?
The death certificate says: DOB 7 22 79 [22 Jul 1879].2
The certificate also says: AGE 69y 8m 22d. Therefore, his DOB should be 27 May 1879.
The headstone says: 21 Aug 1879.
In their defense: The informant at the death was not present at the time of Oril’s birth and could have misremembered the date. The death of a loved one is a stressful time. The person calculating his age could have carried an incorrect number. And because the headstone is a double stone and looks to have been carved all at one time, it was likely set in 1991 when Etta died.
The importance of the date of carving is notable because when one partner in a marriage dies, a stone for both persons may be erected. Depending on preference, anything from just a name to a name and DOB will be engraved for the person who will be buried in the future. Sometimes, one side will be left entirely blank. When the second person dies, their data is added to the stone. Many times, the engravers will bring equipment to the cemetery to add the date of death. And many times, you can tell which information was added later. It will look different. The depth will be different; the color will be different.
Other times, when the first person passes away, a stone will be erected just for that person. When the second dies, the family will have the original stone removed and have a second, larger, double stone set for the couple. The further in time one gets from an event, the more likely data could be incorrect.
So — when was Oril born?
1. Jim Tipton, Find A Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 Sep 2010), photograph, Oril O. Hutcheson (1879-1949) and Etta Mae Hutcheson (1899-1991) gravemarker, Evergreen Cemetery, Tucson, Pima, Arizona.
2. See post dated 29 Aug 2010.