Saturday, January 9, 2010

Surname Saturday: Harney (Part 1)

My great-great grandfather, Fredrick Harney has been a brickwall for me since I began doing my genealogy. His story has been a bit of a struggle for me to find because he is an Austrian immigrant and German/Austrian genealogy is not my strong point. To make matters more complicated, his wife has been married before, has kids from this former marriage, and rumor has it he married his daughter-in-law's sister. Are you confused yet?

I first came across the Harney family in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The family is living in Hobart, Lake County, Indiana. The household is as follows:

*Fredrick Harney - white, male, age 35, married, blacksmith, born Austria, parents born Austria/Austria
*Margaret Harney - white, female, age 38, wife, married, keeping house, has Neuralgia, born in Prussia, parents born Prussia/Prussia
*Mary Harney - white, female, age 14, daughter, single, school, born Austria, parents born Austria/Prussia
*Frank Harney - white, male, age 10, son, single, school, born Austria, parents born Austria/Prussia
*Edward Harney - white, male, age 2, son, single, born Indiana, parents born Austria/Prussia
*Frederick Harney - white, male, age 6/12, son, single, born Indiana, parents born Austria/Prussia
*George Becker - white, male, Grandfather, age 76, widowed or divorced, cannot read or write, born in Austria, parents born Austria/Austria

Based on the above information from the 1880 U.S. Census, here is what I can know:
  • Fredrick Harney was born about 1845 in Austria.
  • Both of Fredrick's parents were born in Austria.
  • Fredrick is a blacksmith by trade.
  • Margaret Harney was born about 1842 in Prussia.
  • Margaret is ill with a disorder called Neuralgia, which causes pain in nerves for no reason.
  • Both of Margaret's parents were born in Prussia.
  • The two oldest children, Mary and Frank, were born in Austria.
  • The two youngest children, Edward and Fredrick were born in Indiana.
  • Based on Edward's age and place of birth, the family has been living in Indiana for at least 2 years.
  • George Becker is probably Margaret's father.

Next, I found Fredrick Harney in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census in Hobart Township, Lake County, Indiana.

*Fr Harney - Dad, white, male, born Nov 1846, age 53, widowed, married 24 years, born in Germany, parents born Germany/Germany, immigrated in 1872, been in U.S. 28 years, naturalized, blacksmith
*Fred Harney - son, white, male, born Nov 1880, age 19, single, born in Indiana, parents born Germany/Germany, day laborer
*May Hemstreet - daughter, white, female, born Sep 1865, age 34, married 9 years, has 4 children, 4 children living, born in Austria, parents born Germany/Germany, immigrated in 1873, been in U.S. 27 years, naturalized
*William Hemstreet - grandson, white, male, June 1892, age 7, single, born in Illinois, parents born New York/Austria
*Frank A. Hemstreet - grandson, white, male, Apr 1894, age 6, single, born in Illinois, parents born New York/Austria
*Margaette R. Hemstreet - granddaughter, white, female, Sept 1897, age 2, single, born in Illinois, parents born New York/Austria
*Frederick E. Hemstreet - grandson, white, male, Feb 1899, age 1, single, born in Illinois, parents born New York/Austria
*M.T. Hemstreet - son in law, white, male, Apr 1864, Apr 1864, age 36, married 9 years, born in New York, parents born New York/New York, book keeper

So based on both the 1880 census and the 1900 census, here is what I can know so far:
  • Fredrick Harney was born in November 1846 in Austria or Germany.
  • Fredrick Harney is a blacksmith by trade.
  • Fredrick Harney probably married his wife, Margaret, around 1876.
  • Fredrick immigrated to the U.S. in 1872 and is naturalized.
  • Frederick Harney was born in November 1880 in Indiana.
  • Mary (Harney) Hemstreet was born in September 1865 in Austria.
  • Mary (Harney) Hemstreet immigrated to the U.S. in 1873 and is naturalized.
  • Mary (Harney) Hemstreet has four children, all of which are born in Illinois.
  • Mary Hemstreet is most likely married to M.T. Hemstreet, born April 1864 in New York. The couple was probably married about 1891, possibly in Illinois.
I then began to wonder when Fredrick died. A search on in the database, Indiana Deaths, 1882-1920 gave me this find:

*Frederich Harney, Sr. died on 11 Apr 1911 in Hobart at age 65.

But this still leaves me with so many other questions:
  • If Fredrick really is naturalized, then where is his record?
  • Where is Fredrick and Margaret's marriage record?
  • Where are Fredrick and Margaret buried?
  • Where are the passenger lists that list Fredrick, Margaret, and the kids?
  • Where is Fredrick on the 1910 census?
  • Are the rumors true that Margaret was previously married? If so, then to who?
  • Did Fredrick marry a second time after the death of Margaret?

Stay tuned until next week, when I will write part two of this series of posts.


Anonymous said...

Best of Luck!

TK said...

Elyse, I'm thinking George Becker might be Frederick's maternal grandfather, as he (George) was born in Austria. Margaret's father, who is said to have been born in Prussia, would probably have been listed as f-i-l (father-in-law), since the relationship given is supposed to reflect how the person is related to the head-of-household. Just something to consider!

ChicagoGenealogy said...

My husband saw your Surname Saturday post on Twitter and mentioned that you're searching for Frederich Harney in the 1910 census. I hope you won't mind a quick bit of help. I took a peek at HeritageQuest and I think he's indexed there as "Fred Horm." (I just looked for males, ages 61-70, in Lake County, Indiana in 1910 and then skimmed for something that looked tantalizingly close to the correct name.) 1910, INDIANA, LAKE, HOBART TWP, Series: T624 Roll: 362 Page: 93 Just wish I could solve my own census mystery!

Linda McCauley said...

I enjoy your blog and have awarded you the "Happy 101 Award". You can pick it up at

Anonymous said...

Elyse, Finding Our Ancestors is giving you the Happy 101 Award

Leslie Ann said...


I am passing along to you the Happy 101 award ==>

Unknown said...


Did my wife's (Cynthia's) Heritage Quest reference prove useful? Please let us know if we can be of further help...


Elyse said...

Dean - Cynthia's suggestion was incredibly helpful. I knew he was just hiding under an indexing error or just had his name butchered. I'm writing a follow-up post that will be released on look for that.
I really appreciate all of the help!