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Was Hannah a Holmes?

29 Oct 2012

The Peter Holmes genealogy has a section about Peter’s ancestry and siblings, much of which is demonstrably wrong, so I prefer not to cite it as a source for anything if it’s not corroborated elsewhere. But some things are neither corroborated nor refuted in other sources I know of, and until I find other sources I have to just decide if I believe the genealogy or not.

For instance, it says Jabez Holmes was a brother of Peter. That’s certainly possible according to everything else I know, but nothing really establishes a connection between Jabez and Peter or any of Peter’s other siblings.

Then there’s the somewhat garbled statement that Henry Holmes had a daughter who married an Eggleston and another daughter, Hannah, who married a Smith. Both of these as far as I know are false. But Nathan (Henry’s father) certainly did have a daughter, Eunice, who married an Eggleston. So, I asked myself, could there simply be a generational mixup here? Were both of these purported daughters of Henry really daughters of Nathan? If so one might expect to find a Hannah Smith in Hamilton, with a birthdate consistent with being a daughter of Nathan and Grace. And we do: Hannah, wife of Edwin F. Smith, was born about 1815. Not only that but the Smiths lived a little west of Hamilton Center, pretty near where I think Hiram Holmes was living in 1840 and fairly near where Jabez was living in 1830. But there’s nothing documenting Hannah’s parents that I know of, so the idea that she was a Holmes has always been rather speculative.

But look at these:

 

 

These are from the wonderful online collection of upstate New York newspapers at http://fultonhistory.com/fulton.html, and are from various late 19th/early 20th century issues of the Brookfield Courier. Chauncey Holmes and Mrs. Melvin Tripp (née Harriet Holmes) were two of Jabez’s children, and that they and Jerome Holmes both were known to visit the same couple is the closest I’ve come to finding direct evidence of a connection between Jabez and the children of Nathan. Not that that’s very persuasive. But what’s great about these clippings is this: Mrs. Chester Curtis (née Rose Smith) was the daughter of Edwin and Hannah Smith! Given that the Curtises are the only people named as ones Chauncey saw on his visits from Chautauqua County, it seems likely one of the Curtises was a relative of Chauncey’s.

Well, that doesn’t seem at all implausible. Chauncey’s mother (and Harriet’s) was named Harriet Smith. I don’t know who Harriet Smith’s parents were, or Edwin’s, but Harriet was born in Hamilton in 1806 and Edwin was born about 1813 (where? Don’t yet know). Perhaps they were siblings.

But Jerome and Olivia Holmes weren’t related to the Smiths in any way I know of. They could have just been friends of the Curtises, of course. But I think we have evidence here, not conclusive but interesting, of relationships between Jerome Holmes and Rose Smith Curtis, and between Chauncey Holmes and Rose Smith Curtis. The idea that Hannah Smith was born Hannah Holmes has gotten stronger.

 

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One Comment
  1. Correction: The CURTISes were not the only people Chauncey is recorded as visiting in Hamilton, but are among a very few.

    Another hint of a connection: Jerome HOLMES’s 1883 diary entry for April 11: “Hattie Curtis married to-day Olive and I were invited but could not attend”. Hattie CURTIS daughter of Chester CURTIS and Rose SMITH married Jay Blakeman in 1883; he died in 1885 and she married Alton D. SMITH in 1890.

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