Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Obituary - Mary "Polly" Felton Walton Hanson

Ok, I know this may sound a little strange (well, probably not to fellow genealogists…), but this obituary gave me such joy when I found it as there is so much information in it and it helps put just a little “meat on the bones” as to what her life was like going beyond just dates found of birth, death and marriage records. (source of obit: Mrs Polly F (Walton) Hanson, Lynn Daily Evening Item, Lynn, MA, 27 March 1913, Page 10.)

Mary “Polly” Felton Walton was my 3rd great grandmother and was married Andrew Hanson – they were the parents of Edward Augustus Hanson mentioned in earlier posts. Polly lived on Severance St. in Lynn, MA in her later years. I was unsure what the “Venerable Wyoma Woman, Dead” caption under her photo meant, although a Google search yields that “Wyoma” used to be (and perhaps still is) a neighborhood in Lynn. Further Googling places Severance St within the Wyoma neighborhood ( According to the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds 38 Severance St still exists. I couldn’t locate a photo of the house from Google Earth, but did locate where Severance St is. I sense a future road trip…

From this obit I also learned that her grandfather Oliver Walton was a Revolutionary War Solider. I had suspected that from previous research, but this reference told me to keep searching for more info and I’ve since located a fair amount of information about Oliver. While there is more research to do on Oliver, it does appear that he was indeed a Revolutionary War private. More on that in another post after I’ve done more research…

The mention of General Hazen and Polly’s grandmother Mary Hazen Rugg (my 5th great grandmother) being his cousin is interesting. I assume they mean William Babcock Hazen, who was a famous Civil War Union general:

The obituary states that Mary Hazen Rugg attended George Washington’s funeral. Found this wonderful enactment video on C-span: I wonder if a list of funeral attendees exists? Perhaps Mary Hazen Rugg’s name might be on it? Looking forward to watching the entire video when I have an open block of three hours.

Lastly, the picture of Polly simply amazes me - I think I could look at it for hours. This is the first and only photo I've seen of her. When was it taken? What was the significance (if any) of it? Who took it? Do other photos of her exist?

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