Friday, July 5, 2019

Raised by Relatives: Hazel Worth Penn

A marriage record clarified that Hazel Worth was the same person as Hazel Leonora Penn. This is an example of someone raised by relatives without a formal adoption.

In the 1910 federal census in Lacey, Ocean County, New Jersey, Hazel Worth, age 3, was residing in the household of her paternal grandparents, Isaac Worth and Maria Imley. Also in this household was Hazel's newly-widowed father, Ira Daniel Worth, age 30, and Hazel's older brothers, Edward Leon and Ira Melvin.

Hazel's maternal uncle, Sheridan Penn (1868-1942), was enumerated a few households later with his wife, Leonora Calverley (1872-1941), and their daughter, Frances, age 12. Hazel's maternal grandparents were also a few households away: Redin Penn (1838-1927) and Eliza Moore (1836-191x).

On March 10, 1907, May Worth [not Hazel] became the the third child born to Ira Worth and Mary Penn in Lacey.

Hazel's mother, Mary Penn, the wife of Ira Worth (1879-1963), died a few days before Hazel turned three.

Hazel Penn was in the 1920 and 1930 federal census enumerations in Dover, Ocean County, as a daughter of Sheridan Penn and Leonora (Calverley). In the 1910 census this couple did not have a three year old daughter.

A search for a birth record for Hazel Penn 1906-1908 produced no results. In 1897, Sheridan Penn and "Lena Calvery" had a daughter with no name given on the birth record. She used the name Frances, as seen in the census snapshots above, as well as Mary Frances.

Baby Girl Penn born June 17, 1897 in Lacey, Ocean County, New Jersey.
(Died as Mary Frances Wagner in 1991.)

The confusion of Hazel was solved upon finding a marriage record in 1933 for Alvin Mosely Hall (1905-1988) and Hazel Worth, "known as Hazel Leonora Penn." The bride's parents were given as Ira Worth and Mary Penn, thus clarifying that Hazel Worth, last seen at age 3 in the 1910 census, became Hazel Leonora Penn- the sudden daughter of Sheridan Penn and Leonora Calverley.

Hazel died in 1992. She and her husband are buried at Riverside Cemetery in Toms River, Ocean County, New Jersey.

Why was she named May at birth but called Hazel in other records? This question is unanswered.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Postcard of Washington Irving's Family Plot

This postcard arrived with an old book I purchased on eBay.

It is a picture of the grave of the author, Washington Irving (1783-1859), in the Irving family plot at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, Westchester County, New York.

A plot of recent generations of my family lies just beyond the view of this scene. It would have been great to see the stones as they appeared decades ago.

The postcard was addressed to Ethel Hauptman at 2 Eastern Avenue in Ossining, New York. (Sing Sing was the former name for this village.)

In the 1920 census in Ossining, Ethel was twenty years old and living with her parents, Eddy and Addie, at the address on the postcard. All were born in New York.

Lack of a stamp or postmark on the card could indicate that it was never mailed.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ultimate Mystery Solved

My mother wondered during her adult life.

I searched my entire adult life- up to now.

My mother's biological father has been revealed through DNA testing.

My mother's biological tree is filling in. She only knew half of it. I will know all of it.

I use "biological" because my mother had a loving father who raised her as his own. She did not uncover this family secret until she saw her birth certificate for the first time in 1972, when she applied for a marriage license.

This discovery was only possible through DNA. Eight years ago I tested at 23andMe. Last month, my hopes were realized when a very close family member of the mystery man tested. Results of this person's test were fantastic news for me, but shocking on the other side. They did not know that my mother existed.

Up to then, I was getting close, thanks to match in the second to third cousin range who appeared in January. He shared a set of ancestors with a probable third cousin match. Patrick Somers and Julia Reilly, born about 1820 in County Longford, Ireland, were my first set of identified ancestors.

All I had to do was trace all of the descendants of all of their children. It was not too bad. They were Catholic and in Jersey City and Brooklyn. Newspapers are online. Church and vital records are transcribed online to a degree, but a trip to the New Jersey State Archives was needed. I was concentrated on the Jersey City lines.

As I plowed through these generations, the closest of matches appeared and the loose pieces of my puzzle fell into place.

There are more mysteries to be solved with this family, naturally.