Friday, February 19, 2016

The Reubenites, part I

George Washington McNabb was born to Reuben and Mary (Ferguson) McNabb on 19 September 1855 in Jackson township, DeKalb county, Indiana. His father was a carpenter.

By 1860, George had a little brother, James M., born 2 June 1858, and a little sister, Eliza J. born 5 April 1860 (just a couple of months before the Census enumerator came around in June of that year). They were lucky in that their father did not go off to enlist in the War Between the States that broke out the following year; instead, another brother came along: William C., born 21 November 1861. During the War, in December 1863, John Goldsmith McNabb was born; he was the last of the McNabb children born in Indiana.

After the War, Reuben moved the family 100 miles due north from the Auburn area in DeKalb county to Chester township, Eaton county, Michigan, where he found work as an engineer in the saw mill there. Around 1866, he and Mary had another daughter, Ellen, and on 17 October 1867, their twins were born: Marcus Ebenezer and Martha Jane McNabb. A few years later, in February 1871, they had another daughter, Mary E., and on 19 April 1874, their youngest son, Oliver Otis McNabb was born.

George was 19 years old when his youngest brother was born, and may have already moved back to Indiana by that point. Records show a George McNabb marrying Alice Mapps (or Mopps) on 5 December 1874 in Vigo county, Indiana.

What I find odd is that I can't find any of these folks in the 1880 Census; I don't see George and Alice in either Indiana or Michigan (or anywhere else, for that matter), and I don't see Reuben with any combination of these children. There was one odd anomaly one of the records for Oliver Otis: his mother's name was listed as "Rebecca" and not Mary. Since I couldn't find any records for a Rebecca McNabb that fit with this family, either, and since that was an index record (which means I didn't see a scan of the original) I will have to leave that mystery for later.

Gaps in the records leave only outlines of stories for most of these McNabb children. While there are records supporting the facts in the rest of this post, please understand that in some cases I don't have a 100% certainty that the records I found are a match for the person in question.

George, for example, seems to vanish for nearly twenty years after the two Indiana Marriage Index records for his marriage to Alice; and that is assuming that the "Geo W McNabb" shown in those records is the same person as our George W. McNabb. (The Callin Family History only names him as "Washington" and gives no other identifying information.) It is apparent from the U.S. City Directories from the 1890s that Reuben and his other sons remained in Grand Rapids, but George is not there. It may be that George and Alice settled in Indiana and had a family; it is equally possible that they had no children.

I do see a 1901 record in the Indiana Marriage Index of a George W. McNabb in DeKalb county marrying "Phoobe Snaghy Knox" - and I assume this is a corruption of the name "Phoebe" - then another record from showing a George W. McNabb marrying Nancy A. Simmons in Daviess county on 24 August 1907. That George shows up in the 1910 Census in Spice Valley, Lawrence, Indiana, living with Nancy and her mother, Jane Simmons; in 1920, Nancy has died and George and Jane Simmons live in Halbert, Martin county.

James M. McNabb was a bit easier to study. He married Hattie E Sider (1864–1930) on 4 January 1887 in Grandville, Kent, Michigan. They lived in Grand Rapids, where James made a living over the years working as a teamster or a pipe fitter. In 1900, the couple lived with Hattie's parents, Johnas and Mary (Buxton) Sider.

We have a pretty good record of where James and his family lived in Grand Rapids from 1889 on from the U.S. City Directories. We also know that they took in their teen aged nieces, Dorothy and Dolores, as the girls were both listed in the household in 1920; Dorothy was still in the household in 1930. James and Hattie were living on Buffalo Avenue NE in 1930 when Hattie died, and James was still living there when he died in 1938.

James and Hattie had two daughters:

     i. Amy E McNabb (1888–aft 1954) married Roy William Pierce (1887–aft 1954) on 12 March 1913. I have not been able to establish when they died, though there are Social Security Life Claim applications for both. They appear in Grand Rapids U.S. City Directories as recently as 1954. They had one daughter, Louise M Pierce (1915–1963) who married Lawrence Everett Barcroft (1918–1989); I have not found any evidence that they had children.

     ii. Mary Mable Mcnabb (1895–1963) was 18 when her sister married and left home, and Mabel stayed with her parents, working as a clerk and later as a dressmaker. She married Clarence Henry Hyde (1879–1968) when she was 28; he was a 44-year-old bachelor farmer. They lived in her parents' home, and kept that house after James's death in 1938. They had two sons (now deceased) and a daughter (still living).

     a. James Richard Hyde (1925–2005) joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and later earned a Masters in Business Administration from Ohio State University. He began his military career as a flight navigator on B-29 bombers in World War II, flying missions over Japan, Singapore, Burma and China.He flew 225 Vietnam Missions as commander of AC-47 Dragonship squadrons out of BienHoa and Nha Trang, and served as Chief of the Manpower and Organization Division at the Air Force Systems Command's Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Colonel Hyde retired from the Air Force to live in San Antonio with his beloved wife, Celeste Harding Hyde, in 1975. After her death in 1987 he dedicated himself to serving his community. He is survived by his son and his sister.

     b. Clarence David Hyde (1936–2003) passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, 18 February 2003. He had lived his whole life in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was buried in Fairplains Cemetery next to his mother and father.

We'll pick up with brothers William C. and John Goldsmith McNabb, the twins, Marcus and Martha, and Mary and Oliver next week in Part II...

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