January 2007

My Trip To Toledo

For several years the only names I carried on my database for descendants of Catharine Douglass Harrison, youngest of the nine Douglass siblings, were the names that Wilfred Douglass had listed in his “Canadian Genealogy” in 1926. He wrote: “The Harrisons…had five children, Thomas Douglass Harrison, Elizabeth Mary Ann, Sarah, Henry and Gilbert.”

Over the years I was able to determine that Elizabeth and Mary Ann were actually two individuals, and that their son, Henry, had died in childhood.

I searched in vain for the children after their father Henry Harrison died in 1869. Probate of his will indicated that there were four children living, Thomas Douglass, and his three sisters, Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Sarah. Information came to light slowly and in bits that did not leave clues for further investigation.

When I came across a listing on the internet for Thomas Douglass Harrison’s children – just a listing with birthdates, no location, that was the first chink in the wall. I kept pecking away at that chink and eventually information began to flow.

Recently I spent two days in the Toledo, Ohio area where I followed up on the information I reported in my October issue of the Douglass Digest. Sarah Harrison married Thomas Moore in Canada and they moved to Ottawa County, Ohio. They lived there for about thirty years and then moved to Gratiot County, Michigan. I stopped in Ottawa County at the Port Clinton library to verify birthdates for the children and found all but the youngest recorded. I checked for any family deaths in the county and found none. Then on to the library in Toledo, which had a good supply of microfilm and many Toledo directories.

I knew that the Hacksteddes, (Caroline Moore, the oldest daughter, married Henry Hackstedde) had nearly all lived in Toledo. I concentrated on searching for marriages and looking for obituaries in the local papers.

Remember my commenting that it was lucky that Noel Hackstedde was just barely old enough to have to register for the WWI draft because that gave me his father’s name? Well, I wondered at that time about him listing his father as Next of Kin on his draft registration. Usually the men listed their mothers or their wives. When Henry Hackstedde appeared in the 1930 census, listed as a widower, living with his second son, Harold, my suspicion that his wife had died before Noel registered deepened, but it was many hours later before I could confirm that.

Her death (February 1916, age 39) is probably the reason that, after exhaustive search of the 1920 census, I have been unable to find Henry or his daughters in that census. The family was broken up and living with others. I eventually found Noel, 20, boarding in Toledo, and Harold, 17, living with his paternal grandparents, William and Emma Hackstedde.

I had death records for Harold Hackstedde and his wife, Dorothy, before I went to Toledo, so I looked up their obituaries and found the names of their children. The obituary of their son, James, however, was a gold mine of information. He and his first wife had seven children. I had hoped to find a living descendant in Ohio, but it appears that nearly all of them had migrated to the west coast. I did however learn the married names of his sisters and that is always a very big find.

This line of the family tree has definitely not petered out. For a while I thought Noel might have died in the War as the draft registration was the last record I could find for him, but then I found him listed with his father in the Toledo Directory in 1948. I have found no indication that he ever married.

My trip to Toledo was successful, not that it answered all my questions, but it supplied me with much information for further investigation.

Check out the family tree for Catharine Douglass Harrison’s family and see how many members are now listed as her descendants and that does not include the current generations.

1 thought on “January 2007

  1. I noticed that you have done some research on the Hackstedde family of Toledo, Ohio. Emma and William Hackstedde are my great-grandparents on my father’s side. I don’t live too far from Toledo so I hope to make a trip in the next couple of weeks to try and find some information on both of them. If you have any information that you have researched and would be willing to share – I’d sincerely appreciate it.

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