Who was Hattie Wendell?

Some ancestors defy identification.  Hattie Wendell falls into that group.  Why? All but one of her children are deceased, though many grandchildren survive, few stories were passed down. Hattie suffered a stroke while young and was deprived of much vitality and mental awareness. Her illness required that she receive a great amount of personal care and medical attention from her family.  Her husband Edward died young (from lack of medical attention by all accounts) and Hattie never remarried.  Her youngest children came of age, married, and quickly moved on with their lives about the time Edward died in 1937.  In 1940, Hattie was placed in the Mennonite Old People’s Home with dementia while still in her 50’s.

Last but not least, the 1900 U.S. Census has her living with the Fisher family as an “adopted” child. Leaving us to ask, who was Hattie Wendell?

Sometimes to find about the life of someone, we need to start with the record of their passing.  In this case, The Gospel Harold Obituaries – March 1943 reported the death of Young – Hattie Florence (Wendell).  

Hattie Florence Wendell Young
Hattie Florence Wendell Young

[B]orn at Louisville, Ohio, Nov. 14, 1884; died March 8, 1943; aged 58 y. 3 m. 24 d. Oct. 23,. 1900 she was married to Edward Young at Woodsfield, Ohio. To this union were born seven children … April 30, 1940, she was admitted as an inmate to the Mennonite Old People’s Home, near Rittman, Ohio. About six weeks prior to this she accepted Christ as her savior, was baptized, and received into membership in the Mennonite Church at Midland, Mich. She appreciated her Savior and enjoyed her Christian life. Her cheerful disposition and ready helpfulness will be missed by all in the Home. Gospel Herald – Vol. XXXV, No . 52 – March 25, 1943 (Archives of the Mennonite Church)  

Hattie Wendell
Hattie Wendell. Marriage photo.

Almost immediately we run into problems.  The obituary was created from institutional records and conflicting data arises.  The Ohio Death Certificate says Hattie was born in Frazeysburg, Ohio, not Louisville, Ohio.  She certainly lived and married in Monroe County near Lewisville, OH but no record suggests she moved from Louisville of Stark County, OH.

Interestingly, Hattie and Edward Young moved to Frazeysburg, Ohio after they were married, the children, including Edna Carol Young, went to school there in the 1920’s.  Was Hattie returning to her birthplace or was the Death Certificate inaccurate about her life’s events?

The Death Certificate states, her parents were “unknown,” her husband’s name was “unknown.” What was known, she died of cerebral hemorrhage (right) consistent with her stroke history. She was a housekeeper.

Her obituary reported marriage would have been at age 15.  See attached wedding photo.  Other records suggest she was married in 1902 at age 18.  In June 1900, the U.S. Census had Edward Henry Young (17 yrs. old, student) living with his father Henry Young and step-mother Anna (Weber) Young in Summit Township near Lewisville, OH.  In 1900, the U.S. Census had Hattie Wendell living with the Fisher family as an “adopted” child.

Seventy years later only one of her children remains with memories of Hattie. Unfortunately, her health does not allow her to share them.   Who was Hattie Wendell?  A mother with many happy healthy children and grandchildren.  But we might ask, more for our lineage search, where did Hattie Wendell come from?

LINEAGE NOTE:  Hattie Florence Wendell (1884-1943) married Edward Henry Young (1883-1937.)  Edward was born in Summit, Monroe Co, OH.  Edward’s mother Barbara Keylor/Koehlor (1862-1894) of Monroe Co. died when Edward was about 11 years old.   He had no siblings.  His father Henry Young later remarried, Anna Weber.

Their children as reported in 1943:  Alice (Mrs. Lee Wright) of Croton, OH; Homer of Newark, OH; Lawrence of St. Louis, MI; Floyd Lemoin (deceased), Wilma Ruby (Mrs. Ward Chaney) Trimway, OH; Edna Carol (Mrs. Harold Nixon) Sterling, MI; and Winona Maxine (Mrs. Roy Cross) of Wheeler, MI.

Wendel(l) is a German/Dutch name.  A variation on Vandel, name of an old Germanic tribe.

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