I went in search of the church marriage record of my great grandparents, Sadie and Lemuel, charmed by the fact that they wed in the city where I have been living for many years. That journey was marked by a series of newbie-mistakes but, in the end, I did find the record in the Jackson Square Methodist Episcopal Church Records, held by Lovely Lane Museum & Archives. That’s not the story here. This is.
The volume of varied church records answered a question that hadn’t even formed in my mind. Sunday School records shed light on a friendship that gave rise to a ‘family’ name that persists today.The 1870s Sunday School class rosters list Sadie in the Tuesday evening class just below the name Mary Hucorn. Both were single and both resided at 136 N. Broadway. How wonderful (!) to have an exact address for a period of time not captured in the census — for two women not listed in the city directory.
Acording to both the 1870 and the 1880 census, Mary worked as a saleslady and lived with seemingly unrelated, and different, families. (1) Her age is less clear, but she was at least 16 years older than Sadie. (2)Orphaned at 14, Sadie lived first with close family friends, then on her own, at the same address as Mary. Sadie’s mother had died when she was a year old and her older sister, Susie, married in 1872 and was living in Montgomery County, Maryland. (3) As far as we know, Sadie had no other close female relatives. A second cousin recently sent me a copy of a poem of deep friendship that Sadie had written (or more likely transcribed) for Mollie E. Hucorn of Baltimore, and kept for the rest of her life. In it, Sadie used the term “mother.” Mary must have taken the younger Sadie under a protective wing. Sadie and Lemuel married in January of 1877, and she moved to Pennsylvania, where he had already established his medical practice. (4) The couple’s first child, a son, was born later that year and named James Hucorn. (5) The first name was a family name on both sides; Lemuel’s father and Sadie’s brother were named James. But there is no other explanation for Hucorn except as a tribute to a special friend left behind in Baltimore. Sadie died in December of 1900 at the age of 48. (6) Just a month before, there was an unclaimed letter for Mollie E. Hucorn at the Baltimore post office and one wonders if Sadie had lost touch with her. (6) Mary, on the other hand, lived for many more years. In 1920 at age 86, she was living in the M.E. Church Home for Aged at the corner of North Fulton and West Franklin Streets. (7)
By now, 134 years after the name was first bestowed, “James Hucorn” is on its fourth iteration. I think both Sadie and Mollie would be pleased that evidence of their friendship endures.
[NOTE: My blog-writing muscle is a little atrophied from lack of use, so I’m trying out this Church Records Sunday – GeneaBlogger Prompt created by Gena Philibert Ortega at Gena’s Genealogy,]
(1) 1870 U. S. Census, population schedule, Baltimore (Independent City) Maryland, 3rd Ward, p. 279, dwelling 1571, family 2105, Mary Hucorn (age30); digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 November 2011); citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 572. 1880 U. S. Census, population schedule, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland, 3rd Ward, enumeration district 31, p. 16A, Mary Hucorn (age 45) ; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 November 2011); citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 498.
One thought on “Church Record Sunday – Origin of a ‘Family’ Name”
Welcome back, Malissa! Great story-and a good reminder that sometimes the little details lead to the most interesting discoveries. I should look for Sunday School records for some of my people.