Saturday, January 12, 2013

Family Heirloom: The Hatchet

One of the possessions handed down through the generations in my family is a hatchet.  The tape was added later in the tool's life.

The letters UHL are carved into the handle.

These letters could be the last name Uhl.  My great-great-great grandfather was David Uhl.  He was a toolmaker who lived in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey in the 1850s until his death from tuberculosis in 1884.

These letters could also possibly indicate initials of my great-great grandfather, Herman Lutter.  He was a wheelwright who lived in Newark in the 1880s through the 1920s.  Herman likely had other given names.  U could be the initial for one of these names that I have not discovered thus far in my research.

Thank you, Karin, for the inspiration for this post.


  1. Love it! So much more interesting than my boring ole' silver serving set!

  2. Jody, I love the hatchet! What a great idea to look at tools. Because tools were borrowed frequently, people were smart to imprint their names on them. Now I’m motivated to explore the garage full of tools that have been handed down in my family. Thanks for the tip and for referencing my post about the time piece.