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Family Photo of the Week: Harry Howell Hastings & His Brother Otho

10 Jul

This is my great-great grandfather Harry Howell Hastings, son of Z.S. Hastings standing with his brother Otho Ono Hastings. Harry looks so much like Dad and Grandpa in this photo. I love it!

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The Bearded Man

8 Apr

So the first thing you’re probably wondering is who are those crazy cats at the top of this page, and what is UP with that beard. Am I right?

I discovered this picture over a year ago when I first began my attempt at researching our family. My efforts were rather scattered at the time. I was engrossed for most of my search with the Bush branch of my Grandpa Norris’ family; they were a fascinating bunch. I had a really great streak of beginners luck when I found online archives for the newspaper in the town where they lived (Smethport, Pennsylvania if you’re wondering), which made them that much more fascinating. Their story will come soon, and I’m sure you’ll be just as excited as me to see some of the newspaper articles I found. This photo, however, is not of the Bush family, so I digress…

After spending far-too-long with the Bush’s, I decided I should start tracing the other side of my family a bit. I wanted to know where my last name originated. Afterall, it IS my last name. I had a few generations of Hastings filled into my tree, and started looking for each family member with a good old google search. This is probably not the best way to begin your own genealogical research, however, based on my own findings I wouldn’t discourage it as one course of research.

My grandpa’s dad’s name was Tarpley Taylor Hastings, and his dad’s name was Harry H. Hastings. That was all we knew for sure. Isn’t Tarpley a great name? What do you all think? I really love it, but Mom disagrees wholeheartedly. Once again, however, I digress…

In googling Harry H. Hastings (I believe), I stumbled upon Wikipedia entries for both a Milo Hastings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo_Hastings) and a Paul P. Hasting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_P._Hastings) . Were they related to the Harry H. Hastings on my tree? Paul P’s Wikipedia page proved unhelpful initially as it listed his father, mother, brother Milo, and grandfather, but not Harry H. Milo’s page, however, contained THE photograph. Not only was it captioned with the names of each member of the family, there was something VERY familiar about that bearded man listed as Milo’s father. From the moment I saw the picture, I knew I’d seen him before in an old photo album that had been handed to my dad years ago. I was certain that these Wikipedia Hastings were in fact family.

From left to right the photo is captioned as follows: father Z.S (1838-1925), Otho Ono (1874-1948), Milo Milton (1884-1957), mother Rosetta (Butler) (1844-1934), Edith Elizabeth (1881-1902), Clara Charlotte (1877-1902), Harry Howell (1871-1968). Wiley Warren (1876-1877) and Paul Pardee (1872-1947) are absent.

According to the Wikipedia post, “Milo Milton Hastings was the youngest of the seven children of Z. S. and Rosetta (Butler) Hastings. Each of the children had double initials. ‘This happened so with the two first, with the others it was purposed so.’ His father was a preacher and farmer in Kansas where the family was raised. Only four of the boys survived to adulthood. Brother Paul P. Hastings became the VP of traffic for the Santa Fe Railroad.”

 The double initials were fascinating, and… funny. How did my potential great-great grandpa get so lucky as to get three H’s?  The Wikipedia entry claims the quote about the double initial names came from the Autobiography of Z. S. Hastings (privately published). WHAT???

So, not only did this Z.S. look familiar, but he’d written an autobiography? This, I had to find. But what did Z.S. stand for? Where would I find his autobiography? And most importantly, where was the photograph of him I’d known I’d seen before? Or was it some other bearded man I was remembering? Remember, at this point my theory that these were indeed my family members was still just speculation. Sure the Harry Howell Hastings on the Wikipedia site and my Harry H. Hastings were a little too similar to be coincidence, and I could even see some resemblance between him and my Grandpa, but I still needed proof. I needed that photograph for starters…

To Be Continued…

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