What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Let me take you on an adventure into trying to research
Robert Henry Hicks Sr's brother, Olley G. Hicks
Census from the Social Security Administration dated 15, June 1966
Addressed to Olley G Hicks to use in lieu of a birth certificate.
Showing results from the 1910 census of Oklahoma for an "Olie Hix" in the family of Larkin and Mary J Hix. This is one good reason to look for alternate spellings of the names you are looking for in the census. The census takers didn't always know how to spell the names correctly, or they didn't ask, or they asked a neighbor or someone who wasn't sure, or the people themselves didn't know how to spell it. In this case Larkin and Mary Jane Hicks are not that far from my generation, or my grandfather's in any case. So, I was surprised that just only 100 years ago (!) the name was different. Because of this document, I also know to look for "Hix" in the censuses when I can't find someone I'm looking for.
I decided to do a blog entry on Olley, because this census record showed a different spelling, but once I got to researching him I found so many different spellings, that he was hard to locate.
First let me show you a few pictures.
Labeled: Clarence, John, Ollie, and Henry 1969
Labeled: Henry, Clarence, Olie
Labeled: Left Olley; Right John
The only thing I could find in my internet search was in the Social Security Death Index which showed that Olley Hicks died in August 1981. I know it is the correct person because the social security number on the census form and the social on the death index matched. The death index shows a birth date of 29 September 1903. I had 1904 in my "Ancestry" family tree. I got that date from "The Hicks Family and Allied Family Lines" booklet that was compiled by Cathy L Harris in 1987. (Daugter-in-law to Willena Hicks Harris I believe. Willena would be the niece of Olley.) But wait! The book has a different name/spelling too.
On this Family Group Sheet near my thumb you can see that Cathy spelled it "Olif".
I decided to edit my "Ancestry" family tree to what the SS Death Index showed.
I tried to look up Olley on findagrave.com. By now you know, that is my passion! I love digging through that website and creating virtual cemeteries to compile all my ancestors in one place. I was having no luck finding him. I tried all the different spellings and I tried both birth dates of 1903 and 1904. I decided to go another route and find his wife Pearl Lee Hicks first. I thought that if I could find her, there might be a link to her husband, or at least I would know what cemetery to search in, because it would be likely that Pearl and Olley would be in the same place.
Labeled: Robert , Pearl, Ollie Hicks.
I believe I also see my grandmother, Marjorie Hicks on the far left there, though I have never seen her with her hair down, or long hair. We can see the back of the heads of two boys in the front. They are dressed identical, which leads me to believe it might be Lloyd and Floyd Harris, as twins are often forced to wear identical clothing by their mothers. The woman with the camera is Mildred Hicks. (wife of R. L Hicks son of Olley and Pearl, I believe.)
Back to the story: I look up Pearl Lee Hicks on findagrave.com and I look in LaGrange, as that is the address on the SSI form. I guessed they didn't move. I got a hit! I found Pearl Lee Hicks on the Restlawn Memory Gardens memorial page and there was a picture of her there! You can look at her memorial page if you put in this number in the "findagrave" link at the top left of this blog page. 97621282
I used a picture I have:
to compare to the picture I found on findagrave.com:
(photo provided by Sharon Frank Patrick who sent me a great email with helpful information in it. thanks)
Yep! The same person! But her husband was not linked to her site, so I just went to the Restlawn Memory Garden's search page and type in "Hicks". I found him! But guess how his name is spelled?
"Olecy G Hicks" ! There is no picture for me to compare, but the dates match. To see his memorial page type in this number on the findagrave link at the top of the page: 97621269
I added my own picture to the page though.
His name was corrected on the search index to
"Oleey G Hicks" as it is on his marker.
(another new spelling!)
I have sent a request to the volunteers at findagrave for photos of the headstones or markers. While on the findagrave site, I got in contact with a nice woman named Sharon Patrick. She told me this little tidbit about Pearl.
Pearl Lee Hicks
b: Jan 30 1904
d: Feb 1 1994
Pearl was in the hospital with pneumonia and though she was unaware, they decorated her room and had a party. She had wanted to live to be 90 years old, and did! She passed away the next day.
Sharon Patrick says that "Olley G" is what is listed in the 1972 LaGrange city directory. Who can tell me how to actually spell Olley's name? Do you have any documents with his signature?
Edit: Sharon was kind enough to go take photos of the markers for me.
I recently spent some time with the daughter of Oleey's sister, Bessie. She showed me her father's bible, which Bessie had used to write down all the family data. In addition to her husband's family, Bessie noted her brothers as well. She also spelled her brother's name as Oleey.
So do I use the spelling from the bible and grave marker in my family tree, or do I use the spelling from the Social Security Death Index?