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Welcome to Tenacious Genealogy! This year, I’m participating in a challenge called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. It is a challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow every year and I figured I’d get in on the fun.
This is the week 4 prompt (which you can already tell I’m lagging behind on) and it is: ‘I’d Like to Meet…’
So who would I like to meet? Well, it’s probably easier to tell you who I wouldn’t like to me – which when it comes to ancestors, I don’t know if there are any that I’ve found yet.
But for the sake of this post I’m focusing on one of my maternal great-great-grandmothers – Anna Marie Haut.
Anna Marie Haut
Why? Well it seems I am descended from a very unusual cadre of women – and the more I get to know about these women, the more I want to know. In the case of Anna Marie Haut, I knew a few things to begin with:
- She was your stereotypical German farmer’s housewife (at least that’s what the stories said)
- She had many children (15 in total between 1908 and 1934)
- In the one picture I have of her and her family (above), she looks like a fairly taciturn and unruffled individual.
But beyond that, I didn’t know much. Who was she really and what was her life like? Over the last few years, as I’ve done research about that line, I’ve come to realize a few things about her that I’d love to ask her now if I had the chance to talk to her.
Anna’s First Marriage
First off, I’m curious about the story of her and her first husband, Frank William Hayes. With both her first and second husbands, the only notice of marriage that I have is precisely that: a marriage notice from the local newspaper. The September 13, 1906 issue of The Advocate (for Door County, Wisconsin) notes that ‘Miss Anna Haut left on Monday [September 10th] for Menominee, Michigan where she was subsequently married to Frank Hayes…’ In August of 1908, her son Sydney/Sidney John Hayes was born and then her daughter Edna Hayes in December of 1909. However, by April 1910 when the census was taken, she (and the kids) were living with her sister Alvina and her family back in Wisconsin. Frank Hayes, on the other hand, was still in Menominee, now living with an ‘Ella Hayes’ who was noted as his wife and a child named Elmer who was noted as his son. There are also some discrepancies as to how many marriages Frank had at that point (Ella would have been #3), Elmer’s age (he’s noted as 3 years old, meaning he was born around 1907 – before either of Anna’s children, but after Frank and Anna were married), and how long Frank and Ella had been married in 1910 (census says 5 years, which would have been 1905 – which was when Frank’s first marriage was. Also there is a marriage record for Frank and Ella dated about 6/7 months after the 1910 census).
So what happened there?
Was Frank a rolling stone? (If Elmer was, indeed, his son, then was he fooling around while he and Anna were married?)
Was Anna a difficult person to live with? (I don’t know too much about her personality from family stories or records, but it’s quite possible that she had a stubborn streak.)
Was Frank a difficult person to live with? (He had 4 different marriages between 1905 and 1915, so…)
Did he and Anna define their relationship differently? (Interesting tidbit – I found official marriage records for his three other marriages, both before and after Anna, but I have yet to find one for his marriage to her.)
Anna’s Family of Origin
Another question I’d love to ask her is about her family of origin. Who were her siblings, how many of them were there and what was the family dynamic growing up? Currently, I have a Post-It note on my laptop listing out the known and possible children that her mother had prior to 1900. In the 1900 census, Wilhelmina Haut (Anna Marie’s mother) is noted as having had 12 children, but only 5 of whom were still alive that year. There are records of 10 named children and 1 unnamed child, but no record (yet) of any more children. However, there are also plenty of gaps in the records during the time in which Anna Marie and her siblings were born.
Long story short, Anna Marie Haut is a fascinating ancestor, and in some ways, very mysterious. Someone I’d definitely want to meet.
Questions or comments about this post? Are there any relatives you’d like to meet? Why? Curious about the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge? Let me know in the comments! And if you like what you’ve been seeing on Tenacious Genealogy – please subscribe to our email list. Not only will you stay up to date with the latest blog posts, but you’ll also get freebies such as ‘10 Tips For Starting your Genealogy’ and other fun ‘subscriber-only’ items.