Monday, December 8, 2014

Discovery of Hiram Hurst's Parents and Possible Extended FamilyAnAnalysis of Current Evidence

Discovery of Hiram Hurst's Parents and Possible Extended Family
An Analysis of Current Evidence





Hiram Hurst was an enigma to the family for many years. Very little was discussed about him, stories from his granddaughter, Marie Delores Barrett (nee Hurst) indicated he may have died from a fall from a horse, but no evidence suggests this occurred. The Hurst family did not have much information to shed any light on Hiram and thus the standard genealogical information for Hiram Hurst was gathered over the year including census and city directory information. A search for a death certificate to possibly shed light on parents was conducted based on Philadelphia city directory information which had a Hiram Hurst listed up to 1922 and nothing thereafter. Therefore a search from 1922-1932 was conducted with no results. Hiram and his parents presented a beginning genealogist with the proverbial “brick wall”.

It was many years before several clues were discovered on Ancestry.com that provided evidence linking our Hiram Hurst to a Hiram Hurst in Philadelphia with parents of Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner, from a baptismal record1. The record indicated Hiram Hurst was baptized on 21 Dec 1856 in St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. His parents were listed as Joseph Hurst and Rebecca (Verner) Hurst. According to multiple census records, Hiram Hurst was born on 13 Jul 1853 in Pennsylvania, USA2,3,4,5,6. This evidence created the first link that Hiram's parents appear to be Joseph Hurst and a Rebecca Verner.

Baptismal Record identifying Hiram Hurst's Parents
As previously mentioned, Hiram was located in multiple U.S. Census Records including, 18807, 19008, 19109 and 192010. A search in the 1876-1878 Philadelphia City Directories resulted in no record of Hiram Hurst. The 1879 City Directory however lists a Hiram Hurst as a laborer living at Creshein n. Mt. Pleasant GTN, this is presumably the Germantown area of Philadelphia. The 1880 U.S. Census indicated that a child, Theodore Hurst, was born about 1876 in Pennsylvania and therefore it is likely, that Hiram was in Pennsylvania and possibly Philadelphia as early as 1876.

According to the 1880 U.S. Census, Hiram was a laborer living in Philadelphia, PA. The Hurst family lived at 129 Allen Lane. They were listed in the 1900 Census as having 7 children with 5 living, the 1880 census shows one of the children who apparently passed away between the 1880 and 1900 census, his name was Theodore.

The 1900 City Directory for Hiram lists him as a laborer living at 114 Allen Ln. GTN (Germantown section of Philadelphia). According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Hiram was a steel moulder living in Philadelphia, PA. The Hurst family lived on Springer St. Hiram and Sarah were listed as being married for 24 years.

The 1910 City Directory indicates that Hiram was a foreman living at 66 Springer St. GTN. In 1919 Hiram is a steelworker still living on Springer St. The 1920 Census indicates that Hiram was still living with Sarah and the youngest son, Andrew on Springer St. in Philadelphia. He was employed as a machinist at Midvale Steel. Hiram's son, Andrew, was employed as an inspector at the Steel Sash (?).

Based on evidence that Hiram is listed in the the 1923 and 1924 Philadelphia City directories, living on 66 E. Springer, no death certificate was found searching even from 1925-1935. A search on newer databases led to the discovery of Hiram Hurst's death certificate11 indicating that he died 16 Feb 1920 almost immediately after the U.S. Census was taken. He was buried on 19 Feb 1920 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (Ivy Hill Cemetery). The death certificate identifies his father as a John Hurst and mother as Mrs. Verner (possibly McVerner). The informant was his wife, Sarah. Leading to circumstantial connection to Rebecca Verner, but Sarah misidentified Hiram's father as John rather than Joseph as confirmed above in the baptismal record.

Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner

A search was conducted for Rebecca Hurst and Joseph Hurst. Evidence shows a Rebecca Hurst died 30 Dec 185612,13 together with a still born son12. The death notice in the paper indicated Rebecca was the wife of Joseph Hurst14

Death Record for Rebecca Hurst, Philadelphia Public Ledger, 1857

This suggests Hiram's mother, Rebecca (nee Verner) Hurst passed away when he was about three years old, in 1856. A search of the 1850 U.S. Census Record led to the discovery of a Rebecca Verner, daughter of William and Eliza Verner and sister to a John Verner possibly identifying Hiram's grandparents. Rebecca S Verner (child of William Verner and Annie E Verner) was born on 10 Mar 1832 in Pennsylvania, USA15,16,17. Rebecca S died on 30 Dec 1856 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA15,16,18 No marriage information has been found to date on Rebecca Verner and Joseph Hurst.

The death notice led to the discovery of burial information of Rebecca at Odd Fellows Cemetery14 which has since closed with re-internment at Lawnview Cemetery. Records from Lawnview show the family in Lot# Susquehanna, Section 36, Grave #19 being moved in 1951. The records form Lawnview indicated the following names buried in the deed belonging to Joseph Hurst:



The presence of a Verner, John Jordan Verner, passed away at 4 weeks together with the prior census showing Rebecca had a brother named John, suggests that Rebecca Verner Hurst from above is the same married to Joseph Hurst which links to the Joseph Hurst who passed away in 1863.

Joseph Hurst according to the Census was born about 1814 in Ireland19. It is likely that he married Rebecca S Verner (possbile child of William Verner and Annie E Verner) in United States. He died on 31 Jan 1863 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA19, 20. Death notice information indicated Joseph's funeral was performed at “his sister's” on 4 Lister's place21


Joseph was originally buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery on Diamond Street, however when that cemetery was purchased by the city for a housing project, Joseph's remains were moved to Lawnview cemetery, as previously mentioned.

If this Joseph Hurst is Hiram's father and, since Joseph passed away in 1863, Hiram wouold have been about 10 years old and was then orphaned.  This could explain the confusion of a John/Joseph on his death certificate if he did not later discuss his parents with his wife (informant on the death certificate).

Moystin Connection

An additional name, Moystin, was discovered among those buried in the same plot. It might be possible that Moystin is the married name of Joseph's sister referred to in the death notice. A search of the City Directories identified a Rebecca Moystin (widow George) living in Philadelphia and one directory has them living at 4 Lister's Place in 187222. This might represent Joseph's sister.

An 1850 US Census record shows a Joseph Hurst with Rebecca Mustan who has 2 sons, Wm H and Joseph.  The 1870 US Census shows a Rebecca Moystin with a William H and his wife, while an 1860 US Census finds a Rebecca Marston with William H and Joseph. The multiple spellings may be misspellings as the children and area are consistent until the Rebecca and William Moystin move to Delaware and Joseph Hurst is listed on burial deed23.

Conclusion
Hiram Hurst was born in 1853, first appears in the 1880 U.S. Census and dies in 1920. It appears his parents were Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner as determined through the baptismal record.

Rebecca Verner, found in the 1850 census, is the daughter of William and Ann/Eliza Verner and sister to John Verner.  

Joseph Hurst's sister is likely Rebecca Moystin.

Hiram and Joseph Hurst have not been located in the 1860 Census. A Hiram Hurst appears as a farmhand in the 1870 U.S. Census in Gloucester, New Jersey and his age is listed as 17 with his birthplace listed as Pennsylvania, this maybe Hiram, but why or how did he end up in New Jersey is another question.

A search for probate or Orphans Court records in Philadelphia for Joseph Hurst might help explain what happened to Hiram upon the death of his father.



1Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Historical Society of Pennsylvania;  Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel:  1079.
2Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Historical Society of Pennsylvania;  Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel:  1079. http://search.ancestry.com/Browse/View.aspx?dbid=2451&path=Philadelphia.Philadelphia.Episcopal.St+Stephen%C2%B4s+Episcopal+Church.43.
3Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Record for Hiram Hurst.
4Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1395; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0421; Image: ; FHL microfilm: 1375408. Record for Hiram Hurst.
5Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_31077_4115208; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0500; FHL microfilm: 1241464. Record for Hiram Hurst.
6Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1181; Family History Film: 1255181; Page: 520C; Enumeration District: 457; Image: 0673. Record for Hiram Hurst.
7Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1181; Family History Film: 1255181; Page: 520C; Enumeration District: 457; Image: 0673. Record for Hiram Hurst.
8Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_31077_4115208; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0500; FHL microfilm: 1241464. Record for Hiram Hurst
9Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1395; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0421; Image: ; FHL microfilm: 1375408. Record for Hiram Hurst.
10Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1624; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 610; Image: 126. Record for Hiram Hurst.
11Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014).Certificate of Death, Pennsylvania State Archives, File No. 28782
12Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915
13Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1079.
14Public Ledger Philadelphia January 2, 1857
15Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011
16Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1079.
17Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), Year: 1850; Census Place: Philadelphia North Mulberry Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_815; Page: 380B; Image: 337.
18Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
19Ancestry.com, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011).
20Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
21hiladelphia Public Ledger and Daily Transcript, Philadelphia, Monday, Feb. 2 1863
22Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

23Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.

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