Not a Real McCoy nor a “Real” Hatfield either.


I finally had a chance to get back to my Hatfield Project. The question my friend asked was her Hatfield family related to the infamous Hatfields of West Virginia/Kentucky fame.

In previous work I had found that my friend’s great-grandfather was Arthur R. Hatfield (1868-1931) – See “Not everything is on the Internet – Arthur R Hatfield.” I had hit a small snag and asked my friend to order a copy of Arthur’s death certificate in hopes it would provide his parents names. She did and it answered the questions. Also, in some of her family documentation, she found a couple obituaries for Arthur which provide more detail about the family in 1931.
According to his death certificate, Arthur’s parents were Nathan Hatfield and “Delfa” Bird. Further research would indicate that Arthur’s mother name was actually Delphia Bird. 

Nathan Hatfield was born on 26 December 1831 in Wayne County, Indiana. He grew up in Wayne County (per 1840 & 1850 Censuses). He married Delphia in Wayne County. After his marriage to Delphia the family moved around Indiana several times and ended up in Mound City, MO before 1910 where he died in 1910. 

Nathan’s father was Jonas Hatfield. Jonas was born about 1798 in Kentucky. Jonas’ father was also Jonas Hatfield, however, that Jonas was born in 1764 in Yorkshire, England.

The Hatfield Clan of the Hatfield-McCoy-feud.
William Anderson Hatfield is second from left sitting with gun.
Photo: Public Domain via Wikimedia.Commons
William Anderson Hatfield (aka Devil Anse Hatfield) was the patriarch of the Hatfield family during the infamous feud. His pedigree is fairly well known and available on the internet. Apparently Devil Anse’s immigrant ancestor was Matthias Hatfield who was born in Prussia.

So, I let my friend know that her Hatfields came from England in the late 1700s and Devil Anse Hatfield’s ancestors came from Prussia in the mid-1600s. No apparent relationship on this side of the pond. Could she still be related? Sure, there is over 100 years of history for the Hatfields in Europe that can still be explored and connections found, but for now, her family’s oral tradition about being related to THE Hatfields does not appear to stand up to modest research. Sorry, my friend.

[Caveat: I did not do an in-depth study of each of the individuals in the family line. Such a study could reveal mistakes or errors in my thought processes or facts.]

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

  

Television in my family

Television in my family

Old Philips television set We did not have a television while I was growing up. I remember listening to the radio a lot when I was young. When I was in the second grade (1957), we lived in upstairs of a bakery in downtown Anoka, Minnesota. Next-door was a bar (beer joint) that had a television. Actually, they had one of the earliest color televisions. I remember my grandmother, Donna, taking me there to watch special events. I specifically remember watching the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl in color there. It was amazing.

We did not have our own television until I was in the fifth grade (about 1960) and were living in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota. It was a black and white TV. I remember watching morning cartoons a lot and my favorite TV show at the time was “Have Gun Will Travel.” At the time, I thought Richard Boone and my grandfather, Dick, look a lot alike. I think they had the same kind of mustache.

In 1961, my mother married Budgar and in 1962 we moved to North Minneapolis (1502 Fremont Ave No.). While there, Budgar purchased a color television. “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” and “Route 66” were my favorite television programs then (although I still loved “Have Gun Will Travel” but it was only in black and white). It was the first television I recall having a remote. I could change channels by clicking my cap gun (with a Paladin holster) – I guess TV remote was ultrasonic and the clicks of my cap gun made the TV change channels.

RCA Indian Head test pattern
RCA Indian Head test pattern

About 1965, we, my mother, younger sister, and I, lived in Detroit for a short time. In Detroit, we had a weird television. Rather than the standard clicking channels, the TV had continuously tuning through the VHS band much like UHF channel selector did in those days. Between channels six and seven there were a multitude of things that could be received. FM radio stations were there along with amateur radio and some, as I recall, police/fire radio communications. It was a cool television and the only one I’ve ever seen with that type of tuner in the VHF band.

Television notes from other family members via Facebook:

My sister Glennis says: “We got our 1st TV when I was 7… an RCA Victor. For many years we only had one channel, our own local channel 4 (then an NBC affiliate.) a second channel came in a few years later when they built a repeater for the Eugene ABC affiliate. Our second TV was also Black and White. We got a Magnavox color TV when I was a senior in high school. By then, we had three channels.”

Aunt Barbara says: “I think we got our first black and white TV in about 1949/1950. It was a gift from my Uncle Bob. We loved it and him too.”

My nephew Luke says, “We had a TV already when I came along. My first memory of television was color, a little 12″ or so screen with green backlit pushbuttons down the side of the screen for channel selection and a roller wheel for volume control. It was undoubtedly a Sony. We had it in Roseburg Oregon and I remember only two channels. My mother (Glennis) had a black and white TV after the divorce, a yellow plastic housed unit with a tiny little knob on the bottom right for on/off and volume control. This was in Eugene, I remember at least three channels.”

Memories of Sharon Huffman

Sharon Huffman (c 2009)

[My first cousin, once removed, Sharon Marie (Larson) Huffman, recently passed away. Among her documents was one where she wrote of some of her memories regarding her grandparents, my great-grandparents Arthur Durwood and Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown. Many thanks to Tim and Julia for providing me a copy of Sharon’s memories and giving permission for me to present them here. I have done minimal editing of her writing.]

Grandpa Arthur and Grandma Mary Brown
My grandfather Arthur Brown was a young farmer in the hills of Sylvan Township, near Brainerd, Minnesota. He was born in 1868 and died in 1928. If I understand correctly, he was born in Lansing, Michigan. At the age of 21, he married Mary Elizabeth Manning. She was 14 years old. Together they had 12 children, two of which died in infancy.

Arthur Durrwood and
Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown

Grandpa died at the age of 60. Mom thinks that he had Cancer, but that they didn’t call it cancer in those days. She was only ten years old. We were never to know this grandfather.

Grandma Brown was born in Kentucky around 1876. Giving birth to 12 children back in those days left her with a lot of hard work. She was quite a woman. I have the most respect for her memory. I loved her so very much. This grandma became one of my very best friends.

My earliest memories of her are of her visiting us while we lived in Brainerd. But it was after we moved to Motley and I was a teenager that I truly came to appreciate her presence in my life.

Many times she would sit us down and tell us of her earlier years. She worked very hard to raise her family often. I don’t think it was easy. There were six boys, and four girls. She didn’t have modern conveniences and I’m sure there must have been tons of laundry, meals to cook, vegetables to raise, chickens to feed, and all kinds of other chores. Medical crisis were often handled by herself, as doctors were not as accessible as they are today. She told of her baby dying in her arms, scarlet fever among the children, and one son falling against the stove and injuring himself badly. Sons gone to war, coming home with Malaria, losing her wonderful husband at such a young age and her home to fire while she was with him as he was dying. She also told of bankers coming to try to foreclose on her land and people trying to take her children. She stood firm, shotgun in hand.

Grandma helped deliver babies back then and I think was present at the time of my birth in the house across the street from her own where my Aunt Nettie and Uncle Earl lived. This was in 1940.

Grandma had a little house of three rooms when I first remember going to her house. My Uncle Dick lived with her. He was still suffering the effects of Malaria and had a hard time getting around without a cane and sometimes two. She cared for him daily. She had a bedroom, kitchen, and living room. At one side of the living room was the bed and dresser for my uncle. They had no inside bathroom at that time and it was only a short time before I left Minnesota in 1973 that they had a toilet installed at one end of her bedroom. It was a crowded little house, and yet there was always room for company. It was also around that time that they changed the “pitcher” pump for a pressure pump. I don’t remember her ever having a hot water heater.

Grandma Brown & Uncle Dick Brown

Grandma and Uncle Dick raised a large vegetable garden every year. There wasn’t a weed in it. I’d see her out with the hand pushed cultivator cleaning the rows between the veggies. Most nights you could also hear the water being pumped through the garden hose to water the garden, after the pressure pump came into being. Then when harvest time would come she would can the vegetables, pickle most everything that could be pickled, and make jellies, relishes, chow chow, and also can fruits that they had picked and some they bought at the store. All of these things, plus potatoes, onions, squash, and melons, were stored in the little cellar under the kitchen. When he could, Uncle Dick would catch lots of fish, hunt deer, and raise chickens so they would have meat to add to their diet. My favorite Christmas gift from her would be a pint jar of wild plum butter.

Flowers were also a joy in her life. She would make little flowerbeds in the sand and coax many kinds of flowers into life. She took great pride in raising beautiful gladiolas, dahlias, pinks, pansies, and others. What a special day when you were presented with one of her prize flowers as a gift.

For many years, Grandma would bake her own bread. Her fingers were gnarled and sore from Arthritis, but she kneaded the bread dough anyway. I t was a great treat to have Grandma’s home made bread toasted with peanut butter on it. I t was only later in her life that I would encourage her to buy bread from the store so her hands wouldn’t hurt so badly.

Grandma always saw too it that we had something to eat if we went to her house. There were times when we came home from school at noon and there would be no lunch – No one home. We would go over to her house and she would fix us something and send us back to school. There were times when Mom would go to her for something to feed us kids. I regret the times when she would send something over in her canning jars, and we would not wash it but just put it out behind the house. Then she would have to come and get them and wash them up to save for next falls canning season.

Another thing my grandma did was make hand made quilts. She had a treadle sewing machine and did a lot of the stitching by hand. She made use of many old clothes. Instead of just throwing them away, she would put them in a quilt. I t was quite often that you would see a piece of your old dress in one of grandma’s quilts.

She would become upset when we would take them out in the yard and sun bathe. Not only because we were getting the quilts dirty, but that we were “half naked” in our bathing suits. How I wish I had one of them now. It would never be used outside on the grass. It is because of her being a Christian that I am today. She led us to Sunday school and taught us from the Bible. She not only talked being a Christian, but she lived what she talked. I have never met a person so trustworthy in my whole life. You could tell her something and it never went any further. She didn’t gossip at all. She would never take anything that didn’t belong to her either. When Mom lived in Mound, Minnesota, she would come to visit Grandma on the weekends. She would bring food to be used while there and occasionally there would be some left over. I t took a lot of talking for me to convince her that Mom wanted her to use up what was left over so it didn’t go to waste. She would say, “That belongs to your mother.”

The strength she had never ceased to amaze me. One time she had a headache and was laying on the couch. She took some liniment and was rubbing it on her forehead. Some ran down into her eye and started burning. Quietly she got up and went to the sink to wash it out. Never a peep out of her. We finally realized what had happened and helped her wash it out of her eye.

Not being able, as a young lady, to go to school she wasn’t well educated. She would send us to the store with her “shopping bag” and a “list” of things she needed. We would always chuckle as we tried to figure out what she needed. She wrote things as they sounded to her and that would sometimes be bred, mlk, egs, serel, and other staples. I n spite of not being educated she was a member of the Woman’s Relief Corp, the Assembly of God Church, and other organizations. She read her Bible as best she could, memorizing many verses and chapters.

Mary Brown

She truly loved each one of us kids. She became our source of comfort and security. She was always there for us. As I became older and would bring my own children to visit her, I acquired many memories. We would prepare a meal and then I would help her with the dishes. She would hold the dishpan in her lap and wash and I would dry and put away. The heat from the dishpan helped ease the pain in her legs and the hot water helped with her hands. After we would get everything put away, she and I would 
sit with a cup of tea and visit. How I loved those times of fellowship with her.

Grandma also loved my children very much. I t would tickle me when she would call my son Forrest so many different names trying to say it right. Sometimes he was Forrester, Foster, Foister, and then she might get it right. When he was just a baby, she thought he had fingers long enough to be a piano player some day. Tim, she called “the investigator.” She knew him quite well as he grew up loving to take things apart. Renee, her “pretty little girl” and Todd was the baby.

We never went to Grandma’s that she didn’t want us to spend the night. She said she would make a bed on the floor for
us. She didn’t want us to go home in the dark. That is one of the reasons that when my Uncle Dick said that we were coming too often, that it was too hard on grandma that it broke my heart. I don’t think she would have been happy knowing he had told me that. She loved having us come.

It was a sad day when we moved from Minnesota to Idaho and I had to say goodbye to my dear grandmother. I was visiting her and telling her how afraid I was to fly. I just knew that I would die in a plane crash. She reassured me, telling me I was going to be just fine She hugged me and told me she loved me, and that God did too and He would look out for me. I left her with a longing and sadness in my heart over leaving her behind. Years passed and we had moved to Alaska. She had moved from her little home to a nursing home. When I was able to come back to see her I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to see her again and feel her love. I t was not to be. My sister, Barbie, and I went to the nursing home and Barbie said to her, you remember Shari don’t you grandma? She said yes, and turned away from me, talking about Barbie picking a bouquet of flowers out of her Poinsettia plant. She was in another dimension. She didn’t know me anymore. It broke my heart.

I wasn’t able to come back for her funeral. She died on Mother’s Day in 1983. Gone to be with her heavenly father. The one she had served all of her life. Our loss was Heaven’s gain and I’m sure the angels welcomed her with open arms for she truly was one of them.

Mary Elizabeth and Arthur Durwood Brown

Children born to them were:


Clyde
Clarence
Richard
Arthur
Edward
Charles
Victoria
Cora
Delores
Nettie Mae

Bazsika & Kocun – Tragedy on Iron Ore Road

[Previously I posted a poem by Jenne M. that related her mother’s line through poetry. Here is the same story in prose.  I think it is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen that tells the same family history using two very different mechanism. After you read this version, go back and read (or reread) the poem.  You will gain new insight into her family’s story. Hopefully, you will also consider a new way to tell your own stories.  Poetry can be an incredibly  powerful tool.  – Don Taylor]

Bazsika and Kocun

by Jenne M. (guest blogger)

I first knew I had to embark upon ancestry work years ago – back in 2001, after my maternal grandmother died of colon cancer. “The house of your ancestors is falling into ruin,” the dreams whispered, showing me visions of a ramshackle Cape Cod, with the stars and space lurking behind the rotted floorboards.

Frank Bazsika and Marie Kocun on
their wedding day,
with Victoria Kocun at left.

With a broad face and a ready laugh, Marie Kocun Bazsika seemed to defy the circumstances life brought her. Born Mary but baptized as Marie, she had a twin brother, Stephen, who was a talented musician that died relatively early. A car accident, my grandmother told me once; illness due to a weakened constitution from drinking, my mother countered. He died at the age of 46, four years before my birth.

Marie, called Mae by her friends, was a small, merry woman, the daughter of Slovak immigrants. Swept up by the times, at the age of 16, she married a handsome Hungarian soldier: Frank Bazsika, one of many to bear that name in his family. Once, she told me that she and her husband were advised not to have children – ostensibly because Usher’s Syndrome, a form of deaf-blindness, ran in their lines. I haven’t been able to ascertain whether that was the truth, but half of her children ended up having the disorder.

But that was the least of Mae’s trials. Behind that long, handsome face of her tall, burly husband lurked the Fomhoire.

The beloved first son of his daughter-heavy family, Frank was heavily spoiled by his shopkeeper parents, who pampered him in every way, and looked aside when he beat his sisters with the fire poker. Violent and charming by turns, he dressed impeccably as a young man and, like so many of his generation, ended up drafted during World War II.

He served in Edinburgh in Scotland for at least some of the war, as a mechanic. At some point during his service, he fell in love with a Frenchwoman – named Marie, like my grandmother – whom he had to leave behind. Perhaps this ideal paramour made his own Marie seem so small and provincial, unwanted and vulgar. Perhaps this other Marie existed only in his mind, which danced on a narrow floor of sanity, dipping into periodic chasms of violence and despair.

When he returned, the darkness – the one that had always been with him, according to his sisters’ testimony – rose up and swallowed him, coloring his fantasies with rage. Gone were the smart suits and the smile, eradicated by a love of vulgarity and sadism. Continuing his work as a mechanic, he also dabbled in get-rich-quick schemes, running the gamut from gas stations to chicken farms, none of which he ever put his hands to; rather, his wife and children were the laborers. Parasites who didn’t earn their keep, he thought and had his wife shovel chicken shit the morning after giving birth. His family lived in squalor and fear, while he spent their meager earnings on himself and his pleasures: cars, sweets he wouldn’t share and, finally, the rifle that would prove his undoing.

He confessed to the priest and nuns that he had long smelled his flesh burning in the fires of hell, and gleefully shared fantasies of beating his wife and torturing his children – which he enacted daily, with creative flair.

Frank was, in short, a born psychopath.

Marie fled often, but to her husband’s family and not her beloved twin and parents, fearing that he would exact his vengeance on them. She left her children behind to fend for themselves. Following the advice of the nuns and priests, she always returned, until the cycle became unbearable once more. Frank and Marie existed in a strange dance of hatred and need, circling one another, lunging in for blows and pain.

Frank Andrew Bazsika
served in World War II

The blast of a shotgun ended the dance.

Frank’s eldest son and namesake took his father’s gun and waited with a sniper’s patience for his father to return home from work. A flash of light, a blast, and the red blossomed from his chest, mingling with the mud. Marie ran to him, frantic. My mother – then 16, a year younger than the namesake – watched. Her elder brother fled, but was caught later by police, tried and sentenced for homicide and spent many years in prison. In those days, no one cared about child abuse and its impact on the generations beyond.

Marie never remarried, and sold off the chicken farm piece by piece. Eventually, she left the house on Iron Ore Road, living on the hillside behind it – and then, Iron Ore Road entirely.

While abuse shaped her life, Marie was more than the blow she received. During World War II, she worked at General Cable, testing field wiring for Army telephone lines, and later worked at her husband’s tire store. After selling the business, she then worked as a waitress, the first on the New Jersey Turnpike. She converted to the Jehovah’s Witness faith, enjoying mission trips and camaraderie. She greeted death – and the union with her God – as a friend.

[Jenne M. is a Guest Blogger.  If you wish to contact her, please use the comments form below and I will forward your request to her. – Don Taylor]

Mom’s Memories

Sometimes talking with elderly family members can yield lots of information that is confusing and difficult to figure out.  There are nuggets of really interesting information that can make the family history interesting; but, places or times aren’t quite right.

I was talking with my mother some time ago and she mentioned that back in the early 50’s she worked at “Kreskee’s” at 5th and Marquette in Minneapolis. A little bit of searching and some memory work of my own,  and I figured out she worked at S. S. Kresge’s which was at 6th and Nicollet (2 blocks away).  Kresge’s was known for it’s “donut counter” which is where my mother worked. At the time I was an infant staying with my grandmother up at Little Rock Lake. My mother would hitch-hike to the city about 80 miles away. Work in the city during the week and then return on the weekends.

 

S.S. Kresge about 1958.  Office Depot resides in the same location today.
I can’t tell if it is the same building with a total facelift or if it is a new building.  I suspect it is the same building with a major facelift. I found it really interesting to learn that S.S. Kresge was the predecessor of K-Mart. Some of the Kresge stores became “Jupiter Discount Stores” and others converted to K-Mart. I guess I had thought Kresge had just vanished.     
She also worked at a Woolworth’s in St. Cloud (which apparently no longer exists). I need to do some more research on it.
She mentioned working at a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. She remembered that it was a long and deep restaurant next door on the right of movie theater. She said she couldn’t remember the name of either the theater or the restaurant.  In follow-up discussions with her, she recalled that the theater was on the left as you headed towards the river, was at about 4th and Hennepin.  A bit of research and I figured that it must have been the Palace Theater. I found a photo of the Palace Theater but can’t quite make out the name of the restaurant. It appears that the theater and the restaurant were torn down about 1953, “to make way for a parking lot.” 
The Palace Theater – About 1929 and Today
Surprisingly the Brass Rail is still there and the parking lot is there today.  
Beyond it you can see the “Gay 90’s.”  I mentioned it as potentially being the restaurant she worked at but she indicated that wasn’t it.  
She didn’t work at Kresge’s or that restaurant long but she did worked to earn money to support me, even if it meant being absent for a while. I am really proud of her and the efforts she took.