Barbara Ellen HAAS, my great grandmother, was born in August 1854, in Pennsylvania, probably in Philadelphia. Her family, consisting of her parents and six older siblings had emigrated from Sulzbach, Freudenstadt, Württemberg, Germany in 1851. Her brother Henry was born on the River Rhine on the voyage from Germany. Her youngest sibling was born in Indiana for a total of eight.
Barbara married a “very strange man,” Isaac Andrew WILSON. Isaac was the son of Henry Bascom and Amanda Melvina (KING) WILSON. It was my first cousin once removed who, in the late-1980s or early-1990s, told me a bit about Isaac, including the “very strange man” part. Someday I’ll dig those letters out and perhaps write about him in more detail.
I think Barbara was beautiful. This is my favorite photo of her.
Barbara was the mother of eight children:
- Lestina Alice “Tiny” WILSON, 1876–1951. Tiny married Jesse Franklin KENNEDY.
- Lucian Perry WILSON, 1878–1937. He married Mary Louise CRISIMAN; on his death certificate, his wife is given as Hattie WILSON, but it is unclear if this is the same person as Louise.
- Nelle Olive WILSON, 1880–1963. Nelle was a Registered Nurse (R.N.). She was married to Paul Edward TREES, M.D.
- Ernest Dalton WILSON, 1883–1952. Ernest married Harriet CONSTANCE.
- Emmo Theresa WILSON, 1886–1963. Emmo married Elmore Peter OLIVER.
- James William WILSON, 1888–1943 or 1945. Jim married June Irene ROBERTS.
- Anna Mabel WILSON, 1892–1984. Mabel married William A. HUTCHISON.
- Roy Ulmont WILSON, 1894–1939. Roy married Carol Vernice VAN DUYN. Roy and Carol were my maternal grandparents.
By the time Barbara Ellen HAAS was six years old, the family was living in Stony Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana. Her marriage to Isaac Andrew WILSON occurred on 1 November 1875 in Indiana when she was 21. Their first child, Tiny, was born 29 April 1876.
My grandfather, Roy, was born 1 October 1894. He was her youngest child. Below is a photograph of Barbara with Roy and Carol (VANDUYN) WILSON’s first born, Roy U. WILSON, her grandson, and my Uncle Roy, who passed away in March of this year at the age of 91.
The HAAS family was Lutheran and the WILSON family was Methodist. I do not know if Isaac Andrew and Barbara Ellen (HAAS) WILSON attended church, nor do I know where they would have gone if they did. I don’t know how Isaac and Barbara met.
Barbara (HAAS) WILSON is buried at Washington Park East Cemetery in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Her husband, Isaac Andrew WILSON, is buried next to her. She died 24 July 1933 at the age of 78 in Marion County, Indiana. My mother was the youngest child of Barbara’s youngest child, and she was two years old when her grandmother died.
As I write these posts on my ancestors, I realize how very little I really know. There are so many unanswered questions, and there is nobody around to ask. I can (usually) find records. But I yearn to piece together personalities – the humanity of my ancestors. It is for this that I wish I could go back in time.