The family stories from Marie D. Barrett (née Hurst) indicated that Hiram Hurst married Sarah Mock/Mack. Joseph A. Barrett passed the story of Sarah being either expelled/excommunicated from her church after a visit to her cousin’s home where she wore their clothes. The family believed Sarah may have been Amish or Mennonite, possibly from the Lancaster area or King of Prussia in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The cousin’s were believed to be in Philadelphia, which is where Sarah likely married Hiram Hurst eventually settled in the Mt. Airy area of Philadelphia. A final family story was that Sarah’s father may have fought in the Civil War but there was never any indication of his name.
Hiram Hurst and Sarah were living in Philadelphia according to the 1880 U.S. Census on Allen Lane in Germantown.1 Sarah was 26 years of age and the census indicated they had two children, Theodore, 3, and William, 1 month. Sarah’s father is reported to be born in Pennsylvania and it appears her mother was born in Germany. By 1900, the Hurst family is living on Springer Street in Philadelphia. Sarah is 46, listing her birth as October 1853. The census indicates they had been married 24 years, which would indicate a marriage date of about 1876. Sarah reported having 7 children, 5 were living.2 The household as of 1900 was as follows:
|Name||Relationship||Birth (Month and Year)||Age|
|Hiram Hurst||Head||July 1853||46|
|Wm Verner||Son||May 1880||20|
|Benjamin R||Son||Oct 1884||15|
|Bella M||Daugter||Feb 1888||12|
The death certificate for Theodore indicates he died 17 Nov 1883 in Philadelphia.3 Similarly, a death certificate for Eugene Orville Hurst was discovered indicating that he died 9 July 1890 in Philadelphia.4 Eugene’s was born 4 Feb 1890,5 and he was baptized on 29 Jun 1890.6 No maiden name for Sarah was provided in either record. In addition, the marriage record for Hiram Hurst and Sarah has not been located from various searches.
Sarah died 16 Apr 1938 in Philadelphia. Her death certificate listed Wm. Mac Verner as her father and her mother is unknown. The informant is listed as Verner Hurst, which is her son, William Verner Hurst. The record appears to confuse Sarah's family with that of Hiram's based on the potential name of Mac and the name Verner. Prior research on Hiram Hurst identified his parents as Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner. Rebecca Verner is thought to be the daughter of William Verner. A potential theory is that William Verner Hurst confused the names of his grandparents between the Mack/Mac/Mock name and Verner surname.
A search was performed in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates on Ancestry.com for the death certificates of Sarah's children, which may provide additional information regarding her maiden name. The certificates for William Verner Hurst7 and Susan May Elder (née Hurst)8 were located while the New Jersey death certificate for Benjamin Russell Hurst9 was obtained from the New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics. The three records identify both parents’ as follows:
|Child||Date of Death||Father||Mother|
|William Verner||2 Nov 1963||Hiram Hurst||Sarah E. Mack|
|Benjamin Russell||31 May 1947||Hiram Hurst||Sarah Mock|
|Susan May||21 Nov 1957||Hiram Hurst||Sarah E. Mac|
The SS-5 application of Benjamin Russell Hurst listed his mother as Sarah Mock10 providing further evidence that Sarah was a Mock/Mack/Mac. However, the marriage record application for Andrew Entz Hurst presented conflicting information. Andrew indicated his mother as Sarah Entz11 while his WWI service record indicated his mother as Sarah Walsh Hurst.12
Marriage license application of Andrew Entz Hurst
Andrew E. Hurst’s marriage license application reported Sarah’s birthplace as Norristown, PA. Norristown is about 4 miles from King of Prussia, both in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The application information seems to align more to the family stories indicating King of Prussia as Sarah’s birthplace rather than Lancaster county.
It is difficult to conclude if Sarah is a Mac/Mack/Mock or an Entz. Her son, Benjamin Russell indicated in his application for social security that his mother was Sarah Mock. Her other son, Andrew, whose middle name is Entz, identifies his mother as Sarah Entz in his marriage application. The death certificates for three of her children indicate she was Sarah Mac/Mack/Mock, with Sarah’s grandchildren as the source of that information. Examining the names of Sarah and Hiram’s children provide additional clues.
Naming patterns are common throughout genealogy, and with little else to refer to the names of Hiram and Sarah’s children were explored relative to what was known. Hiram Hurst’s mother was Rebecca Verner. Rebecca’s father was William Verner. Thus, William Verner Hurst, Hiram and Sarah’s second son, may have named their second child after Hiram’s maternal grandfather, William Verner. None of the other children were named for any known Hurst family members. The question is who, if anyone, might Theodore, Benjamin Russell, Susan, Bella, Eugene and Andrew Entz be named after?