Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Was LUTHER HUBER Who Died 1915 Nashville TN the Same Person as my Great Grandfather PHILLIP L HUBER who Disappeared 1882 Hardin Co Iowa?

2014 Update:  It has now been proven through DNA testing that PHILLIP L HUBER b Oct 31, 1844 Ohio and LUTHER HUBER who died Jan 5, 1915 Nashville, Tennessee were indeed that same person. Please contact me for more information.

A researcher contacted me recently with a very interesting but completely unproven theory.  Apparently she is doing research for a client or friend, who is a descendant of LUTHER HUBER born Oct 31, 1843 supposedly in Pickaway Co OH, who married IDA HALE in 1891 in Sumner TN.  He was 48 at time of marriage, and she was age 15.

According to this researcher,  LUTHER HUBER is the same person as my great grandfather PHILLIP L HUBER who was born 1844 OH, son of ELIJAH HUBER & CATHERINE SHRIVER.

My great grandfather PHILLIP L HUBER married CAROLINE AMELIA "CRAMELIA" FRAZIER Nov 24, 1869 in Boone Co IN.  They resided 1870 in Montgomery Co IN with his mother, CATHERINE SHRIVER HUBER, and in 1880 in Bangor, Marshall Co Iowa, near his wife's mother NANCY VAN ARSDALE FRAZIER.

According to family members, PHILLIP L HUBER disappeared without trace in 1882, while accompanying his twelve year old son ALONZO HUBER (my grandfather) to a fair in nearby Hardin Co, Iowa (some sources say Marshall Co Iowa fair). No one knows what became of him. I have been unable to find him in any census records after 1880, or any newspaper accounts indicating what happened, or whether his body was ever found. His wife CRAMELIA and children remained in Marshall Co, Iowa; she remarried in 1895 to PETER CLOW.

LUTHER HUBER, according to this researcher, first surfaced in Nashville, TN in 1885 (her source for this is what??). He was married in TN in 1891.  He and wife IDA are listed in the 1900 Davidson Co  TN census, Nashville Ward 1, he age 56 born 1843 OH, she age 24 born 1876 TN.  In 1910 Davidson Co TN census, he is listed as age 61 (born 1849), she as age 34, with their daughters ETTA HUBER born 1903 and DAISY HUBER born 1906. His occupation in both census records is listed as carpenter, building houses.

According to his death certificate, LUTHER HUBER died Jan 5, 1915 of Hodgkin's Disease in Nashville TN.  His birth date on the certificate is listed as Oct 31, 1833, OH.  His mother is listed as "KATIE SHRIVER", but on closer inspection, one sees that it also might also be 'KATIE SHRINER".

Based on that death certificate bearing the mother's name as "SHRIVER", the researcher is now thoroughly convinced that PHILLIP L HUBER and LUTHER HUBER are one and the same.  They might be,  but  I am not entirely convinced.

Here's why:

1) There were an extraordinary number of HUBERs & SHRIVERs in the United States during the time period in question, especially in Ohio. It's especially daunting when you consider all the spelling variations that can be found for both those surnames.  So, to say--with such thin evidence--that the two men are one & the same seems foolhardy without a lot more  intensive research.

2) Even if the name on the death certificate was "Katie Shriver" there is no proof that Katie was the same person as my gg grandmother CATHERINE SHRIVER HUBER--who was never referred to as "Katie" in any record or family correspondence that I have ever found.  Likewise, the name "LUTHER" was never used in my Huber, Shriver or Luckhart family.  It is more likely that my great grandfather's middle name was "LEWIS" or  "LUCKHART", both of which were used again and again as first and middle names.  He may in fact have been named for his grandmother's brother PHILLIP LUCKHART.

2) The researcher has given me no indication how she knows that LUTHER HUBER was born in Pickaway Co OH. While it is true that my great grandfather's parents ELIJAH HUBER & CATHERINE SHRIVER were living in Pickaway Co OH in 1840, according to census, there is no way of knowing if my great grandfather PHILLIP L HUBER was born there in 1844.  This was a family on the move in the 1840s, and according to a bio of ELIJAH's brother JACOB HUBER, they both moved in quick succession through OH to Fountain Co IN,  then to Montgomery Co IN, where they lived for decades. There were, however, other members of this HUBER family who did live in Pickaway Co OH, notably VALENTINE HUBER, who was ELIJAH HUBER's uncle.

3) The death certificate is inconclusive.  The birthdate is seemingly incorrect, according to census records, which show a birthdate of Oct 1843 and Oct 1849, respectively. The mother's name "Katie Shriver" could also be "Katie Shriner".  Also, there are no records that I have found showing that my great grandfather had a birthdate of Oct 31.

I suggested that the researcher have her client or friend obtain an autosomal DNA test from 23andMe so that we can compare DNA.  If we are both descendants of the same great grandfather, we should share a significant amount of DNA.

Already this researcher has added ELIJAH HUBER & CATHERINE SHRIVER as the parents of LUTHER HUBER in her client's family tree. I think that's a bit premature.

Personally, I think a lot more thorough research, documentation and/ or a DNA test are required before we can say for sure whether or not LUTHER HUBER is the same person as PHILLIP L HUBER.

Comments, anyone?

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011


Betty said...

After reading my blogpost, the researcher emailed me this information:

You did neglect to note what I consider to be the most significant piece of the puzzle, that Luther Huber indicated specifically that he was born in Circleville township, Pickaway County, and that the Elijah Huber family was the only family in Circleville in the 1840 Census. That that one Huber family in Circleville at the time of Luther’s birth included a mother with the name Luther identified as his mother’s is a compelling coincidence.

You also noted that you did not know whether Phillip was born in Circleville. We do know that both Mary (1841) and Mariah (1845) Huber were born in Circleville, and that the family relocated to Indiana thus between 1845 and 1848.
Source: History of Boone County, Indiana, by Hon. L.M. Crist, 1914.
Martin L. Clouser, who has for the past decade been the moving spirit in the Thorntown
Co-operative Telephone Company, was born in Montgomery county, Indiana, May 28,
1869. He is a son of Alfred F. and Maria (Huber) Clouser, both natives of Ohio, the latter
of Circleville, Pickaway county.

Also, you questioned how I knew that Luther was in Nashville in 1885. He was listed in the Nashville directory.

Julie said...

It is certainly an interesting hypothesis, but I agree with you, there isn't enough evidence (yet) to prove or disprove this theory. It seems the other genealogist is basing her conclusion on a few pieces of secondary information. This is not to say that it's wrong, but just because a history book says so doesn't make it true. And the name on the death certificate could be wrong or a coincidence. Ida (his wife) was the informant, and if these men were one in the same, then Ida was presumably his second wife, who likely never met his mother (not sure when Catherine died, but since the story is that he disappeared, never to be heard from again, this "second" wife probably never met her mother-in-law, regardless of when she died). For me, this makes her a flimsy source of this piece of information. One could argue that Ida was "told" the name by her husband, and yes, that could be true, but it's still secondary information. Again, not necessarily wrong, but for me given the situation, these few pieces are not enough for me to make come to the conclusion that Luther and Phillip were the same person. I wouldn't discount it, though...I just think more research needs to be done on both men.

Hope someday you find out what happened to Phillip.

Betty said...

Thanks very much for your comment Julie.

I checked the 1885, 1886, 1887 and 1888 Nashville City Directories (available on Ancestry.com), and there was no LUTHER HUBER listed--and I checked all possible spelling variations.

So the claim that LUTHER HUBER surfaced in Nashville TN in 1885 is completely bogus.

The first year LUTHER HUBER appeared was the 1889 Nashville City directory, showing that he worked at 1300 Church St.