Children of Samuel M. Parmer and Hetty Eckman: Siblings, below, clockwise from top left: John Jacob Parmer, Luther James Parmer, Samuel Elwood Parmer, Aldus Arthur Parmer, Margaret Alice Parmer Rote, William Eckman Parmer. Siblings not pictured: Martha Parmer (died in childhood 1877), Annie E. Parmer, Harry Allen Parmer.
Aldus made his entry into this world on November 28, 1880. That was a Sunday and just 3 days after Thanksgiving day. He arrived into Samuel and Hetty’s home with 6 living siblings. One sister, Martha, had previously died in 1877 at 3 years of age. The oldest sibling, John Jacob was 13 years old. His mother, Hetty, must have been very busy because her two youngest children at the time were not very old–Annie was not quite three years old and Harry had recently turned one year old. Samuel was five, Margaret was nine, and William was eleven.
A new baby brings lots of joy, and, as every new mother knows, a lot of exhaustion and sleepless nights. I’m sure the children had chores and helped out. Still, cooking and cleaning were a whole lot different then. There were no refrigerators for home use yet–that wouldn’t be for about another 25 years–but the home may have had an icebox. The stove would likely have been a cast iron or steel stove that burned wood or coal (Source). And doing laundry? That was a lot of work. A pail of water, a plunger, and a washboard were the common implements, along with homemade lye soap, which was quite a process to make too (Source).
In 1918, according to the draft registration card, Aldus had black hair and gray eyes. The gray eyes is interesting. I was born with dark brown eyes and had dark brown eyes for many years. Somewhere along the line, my eyes have changed color and are now more hazel. I wonder when Aldus’ eyes became “grey.” He’s also shown as medium height and slender build at registration.
The WWII draft registration card is more specific. Aldus is included in the April 1942 “Old Man’s Registration.” This draft was the Fourth Registration and was for men ages 45-64 who were not already serving in the military. At that time, he was 61 years old, standing 5’5″ tall, weighing in at 190 pounds, and had gray hair and, still, gray eyes. He also has a scar on the end of the index finger on his left hand.
So it appears that Aldus grew up with black hair and gray eyes. Tragically, when he was 16 1/2 years old, his mother died. We don’t have any information regarding her death in 1897. If mothers were as central to their children’s lives then as they are now, I imagine that had a profound affect upon Aldus.
What was life like for Aldus after his mother died? We’ll take a looks at his life in the next few posts.
Samuel E. Parmer was born August 22, 1874. That’s what his death certificate says, as well as his headstone. Some records indicate he may have been born in 1875. It’s so hard to pinpoint birthdays for that time period! I’m going with 1874. His marriage certificate says he was born in Mount Sidney, East Lampeter.
Samuel E. is the fifth child of Samuel M. and Hetty Ann. His brother John Jacob was 7 years old while his sister Martha was just 10 months old. William would have been almost 5 and Margie almost 3 years old. Hetty was a busy mother!
Undoubtedly named after his father, Samuel M., Samuel E’s middle name is Elwood, as shown on his World War I draft registration card, which interestingly lists his birthday as 1873. In 1918 when the card was completed, he was medium height, medium build, with blue eyes and black hair.
More posts on Samuel E. are coming. Do you know anything about Samuel E. Parmer? If so, please share in the comments or the Contact page. We would really like to get to know him!
It’s fitting for my first post to be about Samuel and Hetty. As I began my quest to find living Parmer relatives in Lancaster, PA, my starting point was Samuel Parmer and Hetty Eckman. Nine children were born to them in Lancaster. Surely some descendants would still be living there.
The 1870 census excerpt below, from Ancestry.com, is the first census record showing Samuel and Hetty together. Their sons, John and William are also shown.
By 1880, John was living as a boarder down the street from the rest of the family. William still lived at home, along with Margie, Annie, Samuel and Harry, shown in the 1880 Census excerpt below, from Ancestry.com. Missing is Martha S., born in 1873, after the 1870 census. She died in 1877, before the 1880 census.
Samuel and Hetty had two more children, Aldus and Luther. Aldus was born in 1880 after the census was taken. Luther was born in 1885. They would have shown up on the 1890 census, but much of that census record was destroyed in a fire. Aldus married in 1899, before the 1900 census, so he again is not shown living with Samuel. But the 1900 census does show Luther living with Samuel, as seen in the excerpt below, taken from Ancestry.com.
With Samuel and Hetty’s children identified, I began my quest. Little did I know that finding living relatives is a bit more difficult than finding those who have already passed on.
She was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on October 21, 1873 to Samuel M. Parmer and Hetty Eckman. She died on January 26, 1877 at 3 years and 3 months old. She is buried in the Mellinger Mennonite Cemetery in Lancaster, PA.