Saturday, February 2, 2019

Sepia Saturday: Hats Off to the Man in a Hat


Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.


This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features a series of photos of a man in a hat. I cannot replicate the effect of motion with a series of photos like the prompt, but I found one dandy photo of a man in a hat.
 
Richard Hosier (1816-1899 Nansemond County, VA)
photo courtesy Jake Dog on Find-a-grave
The man is my newly discovered 3X great-grandfather, Richard Hosier. The Hosier line surfaced when I discovered my great-grandmother Mary Morrison Slade accidently OR on purpose tricked me into thinking her family was from Tennessee. However, a death record for her sister revealed the connection to the Hosiers who had been in Nansemond County, Virginia at least since the mid-1700s, if not earlier. Nansemond County, now known as the city of Suffolk, is just minutes from my house.

In census records Richard Hosier was just your regular farmer. 

from the Norfolk Virginian (Virginian-Pilot)
24 Apr 1888
He married twice, had a large number of children, and buried both wives before succumbing to cancer. Upon his death in 1899, his remarkable life came into the light. His obituary even included subheadings!

from Virginian Pilot
26 Sep 1899
Newspapers.com
Town of Suffolk
The Checkered Career of An Octogenarian is Ended.

(Special to Virginian-Pilot)
Suffolk, Va, Sept 25 - Mr. Richard Hosier is dead, aged 84 years. The end came at 6 o’clock this morning in the home of a son, former Councilman J. Walter Hosier, Kilby and Wellons streets. The deceased had been in failing health twelve months, being first attacked by a cancer. He was semi-conscious about a week before the end. The funeral will take place at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning from the Christian Church, to which Mr. Hosier belonged.

Richard Hosier was the oldest person but one in Suffolk. The oldest is Mr. Sylvester Oliver, who is past 90 years. His two wives are buried. Six children survive - Mrs. M. E. Philhower, Magnolia; Mrs. H. C. Smith, Boston; S. S. and J. Walter Hosier, Suffolk; R. T. Hosier, West Norfolk; W. P. Hosier, Burlington, N.C.




WAS SENTENCED TO DIE

Mr. Hosier had a checkered career in the civil war. Being too old to enter the regular Confederate services, he and other aged men got shot guns and harassed the enemy by a sort of guerilla warfare. He was better acquainted with the Dismal Swamp than any contemporary and his knowledge was valuable. Mr. Hosier was three times made a prisoner of war. Once he was sentenced to die, which sentence was commuted to hard labor.
SWAM LAKE DRUMMOND
Mr. Hosier escaped the guards, and after many days of hardship and danger got back to Nansemond. In Captain Robert Arnold’s book telling of “Early Recollections of the Dismal Swamp,” Mr. Hosier is stated to have swam across Lake Drummond, where it was seven miles wide, while escaping the Federals. He is said to have been attacked by a serpent while on the lake and afterwards vanquished a bear when he landed. The bear skin was the only clothing he had in which to proceed to civilization.

Hosier’s story made the papers all over Virginia including those in Lexington and Arlington. The book mentioned in the obituary by Robert Arnold is actually entitled The Dismal Swamp and Lake Drummond: Early Recollections, published in 1888. It is available in full at HathiTrust Digital Library.

I won’t lie - Richard Hosier is my new favorite ancestor.

Grab your hat and walk, run, or even swim on over to Sepia Saturday.

Wendy
© 2019, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

26 comments:

  1. Oh the stories he could have told, and perhaps did. Truly the stuff from which Legends are made. I can see why he is your new favorite ancestor. And, what a great hat...fantastic photo, too.

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  2. Hi Wendy, thanks for the great story about the life of 3X great grandfather. What an interesting life he led, and I'm so glad that his stories were published at his death.

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    1. I can just imagine his children and grandchildren hearing those stories first-hand.

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  3. It always amazes me the details they put in the paper about someone's death. Talk about privacy issues!

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    1. At least his was not a grizzly death complete with details.

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  4. Oh my! What a guy! He not only swam 7 miles across the lake, but then killed a bear, skinned it, and wore the skin for clothing. He would be on my favorite ancestor list too.

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  5. Bravo for finding your 3x great-grandfather. He looks great in the hat.

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  6. Wow! Who knew genealogy could find such interesting ancestors! Now we know where your storytelling genes came from.

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    1. Everyone knows ancestors are interesting - finding their stories is the challenge.

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  7. My goodness - what a fellow and how fun to find out you are related to him! And with all those stories, it's no wonder he's currently your favorite relative! :)

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  8. What a life he led. To have gone through all that with the war, being a prisoner of war, being sentenced to death, serpent, bear, etc., and then to live to 84 years old! Love the picture of him with the hat. He's not my relative, but definitely a favorite that you shared here on your blog!

    betty

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    1. Yeah, my other ancestors certainly pale in comparison.

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  9. Wow ! Richard had a wild history .A facinating man & a great discovery for you.

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  10. This is the best story ever! I had to pass my ipad over to my husband so that he could read it.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I was amazed when I found that obituary.

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  11. Great story. Interesting. And can I say I love your blog layout. It has made me go in a tweek mine a bit. Where did you find the background? I don’t see it on the Blogger layouts.

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    1. Thanks. I have used this layout for several years, but just last month I changed the color. I'm sending you an email with the steps I followed.

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  12. That story just doesn't go with that hat. I took a look at him and thought he certainly was well to do and traveled by ship to Europe on vacations. I could see him smartly dressed walking up the gang plank. Now to find out he nearly "walked the plank" in the Civil War is unexpected.

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    1. You're right - he doesn't look quite like a bear fighter.

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