Here is one of those family history stories we wish happened more regularly. A friend, knowing my abilities in family history, asked for some help. I said sure, not just as a friend, but also because he married a cousin of mine. He knew nothing of his Grandmother’s family except their names. Luckily, despite the commonality of the Webster name, I tracked down his Grandmother on the 1930 Census in Boise, Ada, Idaho. The family did know the maiden name of the Great Grandmother as Hattie Hawley. That confirmed some potentials and fortunately I was able to track down at least two or three generations on each of his Grandmother’s lines in about half a day worth of work.
In doing that work for my friend, I found that Hattie Hawley had a previous marriage to Earl Moxley. I did some searching for Earl Moxley and found a comment on a family history forum where a man had found a photo in an antique shop in Creswell, Lane, Oregon with “Mr. and Mrs. Earl and Hattie Moxley” written on the back. He had tracked down enough information on Earl and Hattie to know who they were, but could not find anyone who might be interested in the photo.
I sent this man an e-mail and his e-mail still worked (often a miracle with dated forum posts). I had asked for a scan of the photo and he was willing to give up the original. I gave him my address and he sent the photo to my address carefully packaged. I was happy to have a dinner appointment with Dustin and Maren McClellan and to present the photo to him so he could give it to his Grandmother. Small world with the internet. 20 years ago, this photo might have been trashed for the impossibility of finding a relative of those in the photo. But in our day and age, only a posting on a forum and a few years later provided a rightful owner.
Earl Bertie Moxley was born 26 August 1887 in Creswell and died 17 May 1925. I could not clearly find out where he died, but he was also buried in Creswell.
Hattie Blanche Hawley was born 4 April 1888 in Lane County, Oregon to Mary H Hillegas and Robert Divolson Hawley. She died 12 January 1979 in Paul, Minidoka, Idaho.
Hattied married Earl 16 June 1909 in Lane County, Oregon. I assume they were divorced but I did not easily find the divorce online and did not pursue the documentation. She married George Reece Webster 14 June 1916 in Boise, Idaho. George and Hattie are Dustin’s Great Grandparents through his paternal grandmother.
George Reece Webster was born 13 November 1880 in Lancaster, Schuyler, Missouri and died 6 December 1953 in Boise. Both George and Hattie were buried in the Morris Hill Cemetery of Boise.
I wish I could have a few more of these little miracles in my family history. Either way, I am happy to have been a part of this little miracle for Dustin’s family. I wonder what Dustin’s Grandmother’s reaction is/was. Had she ever seen this picture? Did she ever see a picture of her mother so young? I will give an update when I hear.