Monday, February 22, 2010

Madness Monday - The wandering Hatter

When my husband and I got together, as any addicted genealogist would do, I started researching his family. When I started researching his mother, Martha Elizabeth Hatter Andrew, was still alive and she gave me as much information as she was able. Unfortunately, that wasn't much. When she was 8 years old her mother, Pallace/Pallis Martin Hatter, passed away. Her father not feeling like he could take care of 6 children by himself, gave all of the children to either family members or, I am assuming, good friends to allow them to be raised. So the amount of information that she knew was really limited to her parents and brothers. However, she did have one story that I find fascinating. Here goes:
Martha's father was James William Hatter, born Jan 13 1891 in Carroll County, Kentucky and died Aug 8, 1962 in Aurora, Indiana. Shortly after his birth, I believe she said within days, his mother Rhoda Harvey Hatter dies. At the time of the mother's death there were 3 children, James and two older sisters, Mary Francis, who later marries Jessie Riley, and Sarah J, who later marries Pleasant Riley. Sometime after James' birth and his wife's death the father, Samuel Wyatt Hatter, decides to leave to parts unknown. Years later Mary Riley, nee Hatter, has a visitor at her door. When she asked, "Who's there" the visitor claims to be her father. Well, needless to say, Mary doesn't believe him, having long thought him dead. So to convince her that he really is her long-lost father, the man takes off his shoes to show her his webbed toes! 
HA!HA!HA! I almost couldn't stay in my seat from laughing so hard when she told me this story. How funny is that!

So when it came time to do this side of the family, I was sort of at a loss as where to begin. I started looking for James William Hatter on the 1900 census, but could not find him in Carroll County or any of the surrounding counties. One day after trying ever combination of his first, middle and last name, it hit me to try Rhoda's maiden name. Bingo! There they were, Mary, Sarah and James enumerated with Rhoda's father, Isaac Harvey in Carroll County.

So, after much digging, I have been able to piece together a pretty complete picture of Samuel & Rhoda's family. However, I have yet to find Samuel Wyatt Hatter in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses. And to add more confusion to the mix is the information that is listed for him on the 1930 Gallatin County, Kentucky census.

After Samuel's "prodigal father return act" he is listed as White Hatter as a lodger with Jess & Mary Riley. The confusing part is that it also shows that he was in the Spanish and American War.

However, I haven't been able to find him on any military rolls because I have absolutely no idea where he would have enlisted. His death certificate from 1942 doesn't lend any information either.

So I guess I will continue to slowly peck away at the cloud of mystery that surrounds this part of my husband's family. But I thought the story was too good not to share! Thanks for stopping by and visiting. ;)

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