Whatever happened to baby Margaret and other tales of woe…

I have made sporatic attempts over the last few years to find out what happened to Fred and Emma Steinbach Fischer Hamm’s daughter Margaret Dorothy, with no luck. (Margaret was my grandmother Myrtle Hamm’s half sister.) And the fact that she is a she has made it harder. Recently I made another stab at solving the mystery by using the Minnesota Newspaper digital hub, where more and more Minnesota newspapers are being digitized. It was there that I learned something new about Fred and Emma, and, using that information, was able to, probably, solve the mystery of Margaret.

Apparently, when Fred married Emma in 1912, she brought two boys from her previous marriage into this new family: Herman and Martin Fischer.  This discovery was made when I found the attached article from a Minnesota newspaper.newspaper_hammfred_fatalshootingMN1913

The article tells the story of how Herman Fischer, age 11, was accidentally and fatally shot by his younger brother Martin, age 9.

While Fred had been a ner’do well in life, he also had his share of tragedy. He lost two siblings when he was young, a brother and a sister. His first child with Carrie Amundson, Amelia, died just over the age of 1. His youngest son, Clarence, was only 8 when he was killed in a car accident caused by his wife’s brother (this would be his third wife Emma Paugel Hamm Hamm*), and his eldest son Raymond died in Africa during WWII.

Herman wasn’t Fred’s son, but the loss of a child in the family, and in such a manner, would have been shocking, and devastating, none-the-less.

Sadly, the fate of Margaret Dorothy Hamm appears to be no better, as she seems to have died at the age of 18, in 1933.

Using clues from Ancestry.com regarding Emma, and now knowing about her two sons from her marriage to Fischer, I have been able to determine that Emma, after her divorce from Fred in 1918, was married to Charles Green for a while and then later Sam Dougherty. (She died in 1947 as Emma Dougherty.) In the 1920 census I found Emma living with Charles Green, along with her son Martin, and daughter Margaret. Both mistakenly listed with the surname Green. Margaret, however, appears to have kept the Green surname. Martin after that census stayed a Fischer. So it was with these new clues that I was able to find Margaret in FindaGrave, where she is buried with her mother and step-father.

Until I get her death registration, cause of death at this time is unknown.

Below is the only identified picture of Margaret in the family collection.

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*NOTE: Emma Paugel married George Hamm, Fred’s brother, and had several children with him. Then she ran away with Fred, and her children, and divorced George. She married Fred about 1930. So she is Emma Paugel Hamm Hamm. Not a typo.

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Would you like a little shave with your surgery?

 

Most of my ancestors had pretty traditional jobs like farmers and merchants, some were in specialized trades like doctor, blacksmith, or weavers. So I was quite intrigued when I came across a barber.

When we hear the word barber today we, of course, think shave and a haircut, maybe even a little tooth pulling, if jokingly recalling rumors of old.

Ellis Barron is one of those ancestors I ran across while trying to fill in some of the surname lines in my Fay tree. Frankly, there isn’t all that  much we do know about him. But, his probate includes an inventory taken of his estate when he died in 1676. In this inventory is found barber’s instruments:

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Of course the first thought that pops in my head is Sweeney Todd and his lady friend’s nasty meat pies. But that is the stage. However, in real life these barbers did engage in some pretty gross practices along with, yes, tooth extractions, there was: blood lettings, enemas, wound surgery, boil lancing, and digging out hangnails, ingrown hair or nails. Apparently they even preformed the service of castration.

The barber-surgeon was a profession that had been around for a very long time, lasting into the early 1800s. If you are interested in learning more, here are two links to a little history of the barber and the barber pole, and I am sure you could find more:

http://wordinfo.info/unit/3364/ip:17
https://io9.gizmodo.com/5965741/how-barbers-became-surgeons

Ellis also had in his inventory a slave by the name of Shippio. It is thought that he might have been an assistant of Ellis’ in the barber trade, but we don’t know for sure. Shippio was given to Ellis’ wife, Ann, when he died and she willed the barber items to Shippio when she died. Other’s have tried to find out what happened to him, but nothing has been found so far.

… also the Negro servt I leave to my wife, and desire her to have a care of him that he may suffer no wrong …

So the next time I go to the dentist or doctor, I will be very thankful that they have the awesome skills they do to do their job right, so my hairdresser can just focus on my hair.

 

No date [aft March 1944] William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1944_nodate_p01S.O.G.A.F.P.S.(P)
S.A.A.C.C.
San Antonio, Texas

Dear Mother and Dad:

Here I am again, in a barracks. All the fellows are swell. Its just as if I was a G.I. (dogface) again. We all live together, eat and march like O. C. S. Only it is easier. Not too easy. The meals are swell here. Best since Pendleton. Up at 5:15 and quit at 5:00 we also have plenty of calisthenics, running and sports.

Looks as if I would get through, at least I feel like it. Just saw “See Here Pvt. Hargrove” its a scream and the best army picture

 

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that I have seen. See you when you get the chance.

Tell Herman Ill write him soon. I hope to get some pictures of you all soon.

Well Ill close and give you a chance to write. Do. Give my regards to everyone

Love
Bill

A little side project…

I haven’t really been doing much genealogy lately. Which is also why I haven’t posted any thing other than letters on my blog for the last month or so. In the summer there is a tendancy to do less research, as I find I would rather enjoy the weather, way more than I want to sit inside and analyze data, and work on brick walls.

But I have started one project that has been on the back burner for a while, and that is scan in all the individual images from my ancestor’s photo albums. The whole pages are currently on my flickr site, but I wanted to scan the images separately. I have 4 of these albums and they are taking a tediously long time to scan, but each image will be at least 8x10ish in size and 600 dpi. I have also been uploading them to my flickr site in their own album as I go.

One and 1/2 albums are done. I will be working on this project over the next two weeks. Hopefully I can finish it, but as I said, it is taking a tediously long time.

So far this is my favorite picture:

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This is my grandmother Myrtle pouring tea for her friends at her outdoor tea party. Sometime in the 1910s. I think she looks adorable in this picture.

 

UPDATE: August 4th – ALL DONE! Well with those 4 albums anyway. I still have others to do. But one bite at a time.

April 29, 1944 William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1944_04_29_p01

2413 Elgin Ave
Muskogee, Okla.
29 april, 1944

Dear Mother and Dad:

Ill dash you off a letter and eat. I awoke late this morning and have written a ream of letters.

It is still cool here. The wind is always blowing. I wont know how to fly in calm weather when it comes, if it does.

The flying is coming along O.K. I have 5 hours 40 min. now. I will probably solo when I get about 10 hours. It is so strict now that Ill be lucky to get through. If I should happen to wash out, Ill call Lois and have her come down for a short visit, as I will

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probably go overseas right away. If I don’t, then you folks can come down and bring K W and Susie. Do you think that would be okay? If everything goes as planned, you all will be coming out about July 1st.

No news of any importance so I’ll close.
All my love
Bill

Early 1944 William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1944_nodate2_p01

Dear Mother and Dad:

Well the waiting is over and I have passed the tests. I start training Monday March 13, 1944. I should finish training in November or December. I will probably get test-pilot work, but if I dont, Ill get fighter aviation. Its what I want.

I miss you all. It was sure nice being home. Ill get another leave when I finish training. (I hope) Ill be in Texas until I finish. If you all can why dont you come down this summer? About a week

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or two before I graduate I want Lois to come down. We can talk about that later.

I dieted for five days when I came down. Then I just got in under the limits.

All my buddies passed the exams, but most the other fellows in the bunch washed out twelve out of twenty five failed. Only six out of twenty five made pilot. Bob Orr, Cleveland, Bill Stewart, Texas, Maness, S. Caroline, Pick-?, and Steve Butler, Youngstown made navigator.

We all buddy around together

Well folks, Ill sign off for a while

Love
Bill

~1943[?] William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardr_1943circa_003_p01

Hello Mother:

Here is that oft promised letter. About finished here. I think Ill go to Enid Okla. in about two weeks. I have 58 hours now. I will have my acobatic check ride soon. It will be easy as acrobatics are easy for me: I seem to fly better upside down. I always was crazy. Ill be glad to get to a larger ship. Lately Ive wanted some more power on the nose. The new trainer has about 500 H.P.

We have a 39 Oldsmobile coupe or did you know? It sure is a nice car. I bought it from a boy in the Rainbow Division here at Camp Gruber.

It is a club coupe so we have plenty of room.

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I wish I could go to Canada with you but it will wait.

Well Ill close for now.

Your Son
Bill

P.S. Send Carls address

December 24, 1943 William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_12_24_p01

470 Base Hq &A B Sq.
Pendleton AAF, Oregon
December 24, 1943

Dear Mother and Father,

I always like to like to get a letter from you. It brings me back home if only for a little while.

I guess that dad about worn out by now, working so hard. Here I am laying in bed two thirds the time. However I hope to be completely ready for duty in a few more weeks. To tell the truth I havent been feeling very good, but that is only natural.

The weather has been foggy for a month here. Today is one of the few clear days. I can see the snow– covered Rockies from here. This country

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is beautiful. It makes me so mad, when I think that you and Lois went home, then I came back to Pendleton. I almost tear my hair out. You cant make any plans at all in the army. Every time you think you have it straightened out it up and slaps you down. Suppose that my flight training will get screwed up somehow and Ill end up as a pencil pusher somewhere. As long as I can be busy I wont mind anything too much.

I hope that Louis can find a nice apartment there in Westerville. I dont want her to move away from there. It is handy, and you folks and Herman can give her some help if she needs it.

I expect to leave here in a

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_12_24_p03

month or so. If I get in good physical shape it cant be too soon.

I received a basket full of cards from everywhere. Letters from everyone too. While I was in the hospital I wrote a lot of people, now the answers are coming in. It looks as if I would have to keep up my correspondence now.

Dont worry about me, mother. If I get sick Ill let you know. There is a lot of men who would trade me places Ill bet. They are having their tails shot off while the surgeon just nipped off a tiny piece of mine.

Wishing you and dad a happy new year, I will be

Your son
Bill

Salt Lake City 2017

Well I did it again, I went to Salt Lake City and buried my head in microfilm and books for a week of genealogy research. Although I also took time out to enjoy the excellent Pride Parade (see my short video on the highlights) on June 4. Thankfully it was only 2 blocks from our hotel as the weather was a might bit warm (90s – but it was a dry heat).

I decided to chill on my trip this year. No mad rush to cram as many research hours in a day as I could. Even at a slower pace, I finished 99% of my two lists of things to do. And didn’t feel nearly as exhausted when I got home.

I had no expectation of finding anything extraordinary, and I didn’t. But I did grab up documents that I didn’t have and researched some known lines a little more. It looks like a majority of my research is starting to mean trips to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York and even Vermont. Yep retirement is going to mean a lot of traveling. Guess I better start saving!

Some tidbits of interest were found during my research last week on various lines: CLEGG, ANKROM, DUCKETT, JACOBS and WELLS, all surnames through Rachel GEORGE who married Ezra HAYS. We have much more history in Pennsylvania and Maryland than I ever thought we would. And our roots in Virginia/West Virginia go pretty far back too.

These tidbits indicate: we might have Dunkard ancestors; probably more Quakers; there’s a kidnapping by Indigenous folk with a ransomed rescue; another possible slaver relative (who dealt in runaway slaves and who even had a ‘breeding cabin’ ICK!!); and a land deal with a church in Tyler County, West Virginia.

I haven’t read through very much of the material I collected, so who knows what other stories will pop up.

December 13, 1943 William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_12_13_p01

470 Base Hq & A B Squadron
Pendleton AAF, Oregon
December 13, 1943

Dear Mother:

As I am in hospital I can’t send the deposit slip. If they wont to business pay the extra five and get a receipt. When I get out I’ll mail you the deposit slip. Wrap the present and then put it in a large box, then wrapped the large box. Give it to her as soon as you can and let her guess.

I’m getting along fine and may be out soon if I don’t need another operation. If I do it will be a very minor one. It is good to know the situation is corrected. It wasn’t so pleasant but the longer one lets it go the worse it gets. The surgeon says I may never be troubled again.

I’ve been in bed about 10 days now and I’m fed up with it. Sleep eat read & then repeat. I do have time to write now and I’ve written everyone imaginable including Jack Hays. If I had Ruth and Johns address I would have written them.

I’ll be back in work soon and my call for flight training will come in the near future. I’m glad that it didn’t

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come before now in a way because I would have had to have the operation at my flight training base and it would have put me behind in my work, so everything worked out O.K.

I never knew I had hemorrhoids until the flight surgeon examined me. He said as soon as I had the situation corrected I would be in perfect health and that would be no bar to my flying.

Well Pendleton is getting colder now. The leaves on the trees are falling and the mornings are getting crisp. Just like September in Ohio. It’s strange that the climate is so mild here.

Ill close mother and wish you all
Love.
Bill