by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 9, 2010
I ‘stumbled across’ this tombstone when I was taking photographs of stones at the Milan Cemetery, Sumner County, Milan, Kansas, on Highway 160, about 15 miles (give or take a bit) west of Wellington.
On the Stone:
Willshier S. Hawley
Oct 3, 1826
June 7, 1922
Co. A. 52nd Ind. Vol. Inf.
I just knew he had to be ‘family.’
Never mind the fact that it said that he was in the Indiana Volunteer Infantry, I was so excited, I just knew he had to be some of my Kentucky family.
After all, my Jones great-grandmother had been a Smith, and her mother had been a Hawley. Families often migrate together, and I just knew this man was going to be some of my Kentucky born and bred kinfolk. All I had to do was prove it.
So, I hopped on-line to do census research, and found that ‘my’ Willshier/Willshire had moved around some. And also that most likely, some of the Willshier’s that I found weren’t ‘mine.’
Before heading off to the census, I checked out the National Park Websites Civil War Soldier’s info. No surprise there, what was on the tombstone was the same as the National Park info.
Next I went to Ancestry.com to find Willshier on the census. Ancestry turned up a family tree, and after doing some checking, this is ‘my’ Willshier Hawley, and it checks out fairly good with the Census record.
Willshier Sanford Hawley
married Catherine Thornburg on 19 Apr 1849 in Wabash County, Indiana
Melissa C Hawley
Seraphina Mabel Hawley
Francis Marion Hawley
Mary L Hawley
Annie L Hawley
1860 Census, Place: Pleasant, Wabash, Indiana; Roll M653_304; Page 36; Image 36
W. S. Hawley age 33
Catharine Hawley age 26
Malisa C Hawley age 10
Rebecca Hawley age 4
Francis M Hawley age 1
1900 Census, Place: Clay, Hendricks, Indiana; Roll T623_376; Page: 17A
Willshier Hawley age 73
Mary L Hawley age 32
Bessie Hinkle age 8
1900 Census, Place: Parsons, Alfalfa, Oklahoma; Roll T624_1242; Page: 9B
Silas J. Rerick age 59
Mallisa C. Rarick age 60
Martha E. Rarick age 19
Willshier Hawley age 83
Mary L Hawley age 43
(When I wondered why Willshier was living with the Rericks, I referred back to the family tree, which said that Melissa/Mallisa had married Silas J. Rarick/Rerick. Aha moment.)
1915 Kansas State Census
E.V. Rerick age 38
Precilla Rerick age 34
Marie Rerick age 8
Sherman Rerick age 6
Ruth Terick age 2
M C Rerick age 64
Vergil Dumieg age 33
Now we’re getting to names that I recognize. Sherman Rerick, just a child in 1915, was a good friend and went horse-back riding with my Uncle Daryl Jones, Sr.
To do just a little more checking on Willshier’s family, I went to the online Milan Cemetery list of burials/tombstones, and found the following:
Silas J. Rerick died 8 Nov 1912
Malissie C Rerick died 20 Mar 1927
Ernest Vernon Rerick Died in 1949
And according to the website, Willshier Hawley’s lot owner is a Rerick.
There are several other Rericks, and most likely, they are related to Silas and Mallisa, perhaps even their children and grandchildren. ( A little before this point, I knew that Willshier wasn’t my family, so I’ve not pursued more census to learn what Silas and Malissa’s children’s names were.)
Is Willshier Sanford Hawley one of “my” Hawley’s?
No. I won’t be doing a “happy dance” today, because going back through my own Hawley tree info, and comparing it with the on-line tree, there aren’t any links to tie them together for well past my own great-grandmother.
Perhaps, several generations past my great-grandmother, there is a link, but at this point, I’m switching my focus elsewhere and concluding that Willshier didn’t follow my family members here, but rather his own children, particulary his daughter Mallisa and her husband.
Another ‘dead end’ but an interesting one. I’m going to put together the information that I’ve found the past couple of days, and donate it to the Sumner County Genealogy and History Center for the Hawley’s and the Rericks should they come searching!