Thursday, June 18, 2015



Helen R. Hungerford was the oldest of six daughters of Asa and Mary Angelina Bond Hungerford.  It seems to me that it is usually the youngest daughter who cares for the "old folks" as they age, but in this case, one by one the daughters disappeared off the censuses, due either to death or marriage and Helen took over that obligation.  Because my own Bond direct ancestor is Charlotte, a sister of Mary Angelina, I really haven't tried very hard to research this "collateral" line.   But I do know a little bit - and I think it is quite interesting.

Looking at the censuses, I find that in each one, Helen is still living at home with her mom and dad in Perry township, Allen County, Ohio.  Everyone in that area are farmers, and her father is no different. Since most of the censuses ask what one's occupation is, Helen says "housekeeping" rather than the traditional "Keeping House" (which may or may not mean doing it in someone else's home) - or she doesn't indicate any occupation at all.

The three Hungerfords. Asa, Mary Angelina and Helen, gradually "age out" and by 1910 none appear on a census.  However, I know that Helen is still alive because I've gathered some information about her death in 1916

One of the death notices says that she died suddenly at 80 years of age at the home of her sister.  This notice also tells us that she lived on the farm adjoining her sister for over half a century, and that she was buried at Perry Chapel Cemetery.  Apparently she did not have a headstone, as the headstones have all been noted in various genealogy sites and no Helen Hungerford appears, although her sister and brother-in-law's do.

Another newspaper article indicates that her brother-in-law, A. J. Osmon was named administrator of her estate, and that the estate is valued at "$2,000 in personal property and a house in real estate."

Now the traditional Obituary reads as follows:

"Helen R. Hungerford, daughter of Asa and Mary Angelina Hungerford, was born in Independence, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, August 23, 1835; died at the home of her sister, Mrs. A. J. Osmon, April 5, 1916, aged 80 years, 7 months, 25 days.  She moved to Allen county with the family in 1842, and has lived here since then.  When a young girl, visiting her Grandfather and Grandmother Bond, she united with the Baptist church at Lima, and remained with them until after coming to this county to live, when she transferred her membership to the M.E. church at Perry Chapel, where she has been a constant member and worker in the church and a Sabbath school teacher.  She is survived by one sister, Amanda Osman, and uncle, John Bond; one aunt, Marinda Ihrie, nieces and nephews and a host of friends.  She was always so kind and good to everyone and oh, how she will be missed by the church, the neighbors, and all her friends."

Of course, being good inquisitive genealogists, we always wonder how death came to our old relatives.  Often, we have have nothing to explain it.  But in this case, somehow the Sandusky Daily Register printed this:  "REPORT FROM LIMA" - While dining, Mrs (sic) Helen Hungerford, 80, dropped dead."

So there.  Now we know.

Rest in Peace, Helen.

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