WHY did Loretta divorce her husband after 20 years of marriage and leave her two youngest girls mostly unsupervised while she took an extended trip to visit family in another state? WHY and where did James Joseph Murphy contract typhoid? And HOW did all ten Davis family members survive the Johnstown flood, floating on the roof, when their house was near Washington Street – the area that was hit the hardest?
I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a bit of a busy-body. Sometimes the most frustrating part about genealogy is not having a lot of context for certain relationships and events.
But when you have enough details on paper, you can fill in the blanks with your imagination. And that is one of the best parts of genealogy.
Here’s a good example.
Alexander Campbell Hutchinson (my 2nd great grandfather, Cametta Marie’s father) had three unmarried aunts that lived together for the better part of 85 years: Esther, Isabelle, and Margaret. They reached the marriage age 3-5 years before the Civil War, so that may have something to do with why they never got married.
I was doing some research at the Butler County Courthouse a couple years ago and came across Esther and Isabelle’s will.
Esther Hutchison b. 1938 d. 8 Sep 1900
“Sarah C Wackers son Henry Miller is not to git one dollar of my money as land whaver it may be those that is not scaefied with this my will can git nothing of myen”
Isabelle M Hutchison b. 20 July 1840 d. 27 May 1907
“i have not fixed my mind on who i will leve what money i have left to but if any thing should hapen to me before i have things fixed i wont some friend to see that i get a respectable burial and monument. friends that has wronged me is not to get any of my money Miller Hutchison is not to get one dollar”
Isabelle’s will was never filed at the courthouse, but was found months after her death stuffed in the chimney. The newspaper article says that Margaret found it “while ransacking thru the house.”
So, who is this Henry Miller Hutchison? And I definitely need to find Margaret’s will to see if she also mentions him.
(Margaret J Hutchison b. 22 July 1825 d. 2 February 1910 – if anyone in the Butler area wants to take a trip to the County Courthouse)
It turns out that Henry Miller Hutchison was their nephew. He was the oldest son of their brother Robert J Hutchison, who died at the young age of 35 in October 1865.
Did Henry Miller do something terrible to his aunts or were they just three crotchety old women?
I can only imagine!