Monday, January 03, 2011

The Life of Hazlette Brubaker :: Introduction

What will follow in this series of posts is the story of my Grandmother, Hazlette Aileen Brubaker Phend Dunn Ferguson, written in her own words. Words that were sometimes scribbled in pencil, scattered throughout several wire-bound notebooks and on loose pieces of paper. Since the stories were not written in any particular order they are arranged here in what seemed, to me at least, to be a logical sequence.

I have taken the liberty of adding hyperlinks to the blog posts that have been written about some of the people she mentions. For clarification, in a few instances, additional information has been added at the bottom of the posts as noted by numbers within square [ ] brackets. And, of course, I'm adding family photographs, some which have been used in previous posts.

Grandma was born 109 years ago (January 16, 1902). She grew up mostly in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana although she was born in Lorain, Ohio and lived for a time in Traverse City, Michigan. Her roots were in Whitley County. Twenty-six of her ancestors lived in Whitley County with several arriving as early as 1838. They came from Ohio: Champaign, Delaware, Holmes, Perry, Muskingum and Wayne counties. And before that from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

I remember sitting with her, going through her genealogy book, of which she was extremely protective and proud, and which held her pedigree charts, family group sheets and some photographs. But, like many researchers, my interest came along too late. It was not until after her death in 1984 that I became enthralled with the family history. By then it was too late to ask the questions that needed to be asked, questions that could have only been answered by her.

Although the information on her family group sheets was not documented in any way, it was invaluable to me in my early research. Basically all I had to do was locate the documents to “prove” her research, and almost all of her data has been found to be accurate. Grandma had a nearly-full five-generation pedigree chart - missing only one set of great-great-grandparents. She also had several lines back another generation or more. In a few cases I have been able to extend the ancestral lines back a little further, but most are still quite elusive.

Pedigree Chart #1 - Five Generations (almost)
Nancy Neal's parents are James and Rebecca (Franks) Neel. The parents of Benjamin Foster are William and Magdalena (Daniel) Foster. The maiden name of Margaret Foster was Meyers, and I've found her parents, John and Margaret. I think that the parents of Jacob Wise are Peter & Christina, but haven't found definitive proof yet.

Pedigree Chart #2 - Joslin/Goodrich
Both the Joslin and Goodrich lines have been extended back to the immigrant New England ancestors. However, the parents of Sally Church are not Ebenezer and Eunice Garnesy Church. And the parents of Abigail Price still elude me.

Pedigree Chart #3 – Stemm/Ciceley
The lineage of Indiana Sisley has been extended several generations, but the parents of Conrad Stemm are still unknown.

Pedigree Chart #4 – Jones/Helms
The parents of Conrad Helms have been found, and his wife's maiden name is Swigart but I've not gotten any further with her line. And the Jones line? You would not believe how many William Joneses there are in Muskingum County, Ohio in the 1840s!

Pedigree Chart #5 – Robison
I now know where Henry and Ann Robison came from and when he died, but nothing more.

Pedigree Chart #6 – Brubaker/Steinweg
Jacob Brubaker's parents and grandfather have been found, thanks to another cousin. And turns out that the Steinweg surname is really Stoneroad. But nothing more is known of them.

You would think that with the “head start” that Grandma gave me, I would have gotten further back on the pedigree in the last 25 years! But some of those ancestors don't seem to want to be found just yet...

A few years ago I became the custodian of most of Grandma's papers and some of her photographs. I think her story is interesting and I was always amazed that she did double-entry bookkeeping and ran her own restaurant with no more than a sixth grade education and the simple desire to do something.

On August 4, 1976 she wrote: “Well, I did get a little writing done. I do hope some one of you kids enjoy it. Maybe one of the grandchildren or great grandchildren will really get some good out of it.”

I'm not sure she would be pleased to have her story published on the world wide web for any and all to see, but I am sure she would be happy to know that at least one of her grandchildren has “gotten some good out of it” and has taken up where she left off in the search for her family's history.

I hope you enjoy Grandma's story. And, if you are connected to any of the families she mentions, I hope that you will contact me!

The Life of Hazlette Brubaker


Cheryl said...

Becky, it sounds like your grandma could have been like Laura Ingalls Wilder with writing down her life story and having you publish it on the Internet. I think she would be proud and how lucky you are to have such documents.

Debbie said...

This is wonderful and I can't wait to read all the stories!

Anonymous said...


Becky Wiseman said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'd love to correspond with you regarding Ralph Goodrich. If you would, please contact me via email at so that I can properly respond to your query!

Barbara Poole said...

Becky, I'm a little late in reading this, but on to part 2. I also have Goodrich out of Wethersfield, but they go back further than your line.. We also could correspond. Simply amazing that she did all those charts!