Family records and oral family history regarding the known generations of the Hamilton family reveals one generation prior to that of my maternal grandfather, Harry Loyd “Lee” Hamilton (LIVING), that of his parents Harry Carl Hamilton (1891-1960) and Goldia “Goldie” Mae Worthington (1912-2006). Recollections of my maternal grandfather’s mother, Goldie, stated that Harry Carl Hamilton had changed his surname from Heldman to Hamilton, and that two other generations were possibly known. According to this account, Harry was the son of William and Nellie Heldman, and William was the son of William and Elvine (or Elmina) Heldman.
Research into available historical records, moreover, confirms some of what is revealed by oral family history, corrects other parts, and reveals additional generations of the Hamilton family. Historical records reveal that the recollections of Goldie (Worthington) Hamilton were mistaken. Although Harry Carl Hamilton did indeed change his surname from Heldman to Hamilton, the identities of the two possible previous generations (William and Nellie and William and Elvine or Elmina) were not in Harry’s ancestry. Instead, it appears that Goldie was possibly recalling members in her own ancestry, as her maternal grandfather was named William and her paternal great grandmother was named Elmina.
Historical records for Harry reveal the identities of his parents. In addition to changing his surname from Heldman to Hamilton, Harry was born with a slightly different first name. Records such as his World War I Draft Card state that his name was “Carl Heldman” or “Carl H. Heldman.” Research into Ohio County Birth records show that Harry was born the son of “Burt Heldman” and “Jennie Lightcap.” Further research into historical records shows his parents to be Rufus Bert Heldman (1870-1944) and Jennie M. Lightcap (1872-1905). That he was indeed the son of Rufus Bert Heldman and Jennie M. Lightcap is confirmed further by Harry’s World War II Draft Card, on which he names “Mrs. Pluma Groves,” his sister, as “the person who will always know your address.” Rufus and Jennie Heldman had a daughter named Pluma who was married to a James Haslett Grove.
Additionally, historical records reveal an additional generation for the Hamilton (or rather Heldman) family, that of the identities of Rufus’s parents. According to his death certificate, Rufus’s father was “J. A. Heldman” and his mother was “Lucy Catline.” Further research into historical records reveal his parents’ identities to be that of Johann “John” Adam Heldman (ca. 1809-1883) and Lucretia “Lucy” Catlin (ca. 1829-1873).
Attempts, moreover, to trace the Hamilton (or Heldman) family further back than Johann “John” Adam Heldman have presently proven unsuccessful. Thus, oral family history, family records, and historical records reveal that there are four generations presently known for the Hamilton family, from the earliest known ancestor (Johann “John” Adam Heldman) to my maternal grandfather (Harry Loyd “Lee” Hamilton). The following chart summarizes the known generations of the Hamilton (Heldman) family (and their spouses) as revealed by these sources.
|1||Johann A. Heldman (ca. 1809-1883)||Lucretia Catlin (ca. 1829-1873)|
|2||Rufus Bert Heldman (1870-1944)||Jennie M. Lightcap (1872-1905)|
|3||Harry Carl Hamilton (1891-1960)||Goldia Mae Worthington (1912-2006)|
|4||Harry Loyd “Lee” Hamilton (LIVING)||Alberta Sebok (LIVING)|
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Published 07/04/2012. Last Updated 01/07/2018.