Sunday, January 26, 2014

Harrison H. Hanlin

Harrison Hutchman Hanlin, my grandfather, was born on this day, January 26, in 1880.  At least some records say that this is his birth date.  His World War I and World War II draft registration cards record his date of birth as January 26, 1880 and most likely that information was supplied by him.  Interestingly, his death certificate lists his date of birth as January 25, 1880.  His son, Donald, was the informant for the information on the death certificate.  I have not found other records that confirm the day.  They only verify the month and year.

I have wondered about the origins of his first and middle names.  His mother's brother was named Harrison, but I have not found Hutchman used as a last or first name in the family.

My grandfather grew up in Jenner, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and in the 1900 US Federal Census was listed as living with his father, mother, and two of his four siblings.  He was working as a farm laborer, presumably on his father's farm but perhaps on the farms of his uncle or brother who were neighbors.
By 1906 he had moved to Derry in Westmoreland County, was working for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a fireman, and had married my grandmother, Mary Myrtle Ferry.  Over time he became a train engineer, bought a house on 4th Avenue in Derry, and raised six children including my mother, Wanda.


I have memories of visiting him, sitting on the porch, playing in the yard, and family gatherings in Pennsylvania.  When he died in 1962 I was still a young child so I appreciate what I still remember of him.

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