Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Looking for Lockwoods


Hattie W. Woodworth (1861-1948) was the daughter of Jacob and Ellen Bird Woodworth. In 1882, she married Henry Lockwood, a farmhand who worked for her family in McHenry County, Illinois. Hattie's grandmother (and my g-g-g-grandmother), Louisa Goddard Warren Bird, mentioned the marriage in a letter to her sons Byron and Henry in December of 1882:

"Hattie was married the 5th of Sept. to a Mr. Lockwood a poor young man we like him very much perhaps he may have 6,00 dollars laid by he is a farmer, worked for Eddie, a year before they were married, so they became well acquainted with him."


Henry and Hattie spent the first 30 years of their marriage in Illinois, and somehow ended up in California in the early 1900's. Henry died between the 1920 and 1930 censuses, probably in California. She died in Los Angeles in 1948.

Hattie was a cousin to my great-grandfather, Frederick Joel (FJ) Bird. In the 1940's, FJ Bird began corresponding with Hattie and several other cousins, collecting family history information. Between 1940 and 1947, she wrote more than a dozen letters to him. The letters are rich with details - a sister-in-law's passing; a granddaughter's husband gone off to war; commentary on the weather, grandchildren, and aging. Hattie's handwriting is distinctive, although not particularly easy to read. Each letter is a work of art with ruler-straight lines of carefully formed characters.

Some time after my g-grandfather's death, the correspondence files were passed on to his son (my grandfather) Marion Taylor Bird. Nearly 30 years went by, and then my grandfather retired and began his own effort to correspond with a variety of cousins and relations. Several years after my grandfather's death in 1980, my grandmother shared the files with me. I'm not retired yet, but I did end up waiting nearly 20 years before I began to study the letters carefully. (Something about small children and historic documents - not a good combination!)

Hattie and Henry had only one child, a daughter Bertha. At the time the letters were written, Bertha had three grandchildren. My guess is that there are living descendants somewhere who would enjoy reading these letters, too. Maybe they've never seen a picture of their g-g-g-grandparents, or maybe they have albums full that I'd love to see. Maybe one of those descendants has the other half of the seven year "conversation" my g-grandfather had with Hattie, since I only have her replies (not his letters to her).

So I'm off to find descendants of Henry and Hattie!
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Tags : Warrenville Historical Society , Frederick Joel Bird , Jacob Woodworth , Ellen Bird , Hattie Woodworth , Henry Lockwood , Bertha Lockwood , genealogy , family history

2 comments:

Heather O. said...

You took down the link, huh?

The rest of it looks great!

Janine Cate said...

Looks great!