Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Exploratory Data Analysis: John Herman Pierce (1895-1959)

John Herman Pierce (1895-1959) was my maternal great-granduncle.  What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about him.

1. Vital Records

     1.1. Birth Certificate

          Herman was born July 31, 1895 in Madison County, Indiana8,9.  The State of Indiana did not require the state-wide registration of birth certificates until 1907.

          1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper

               If Herman's birth was mentioned in the local newspaper, it has been lost to history.  The Alexandria-Monroe Public Library has newspaper holdings from the early 1900s. The holdings of the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis do not indicate any newspapers of the time period.

          1.1.2. Bible Record

               I am not aware of any surviving Bible record of the Pierce family.  Will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes that one does exist.

          1.1.3. Baptismal Record

               I am not aware of any baptismal record for John.  The Pierce family were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

          1.1.4. Adoption Record

               There is no indication that Herman was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage License

           Herman married on December 24, 1918 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana1 to Charlotte Elva Hensley.  I have not yet obtained a copy of their marriage license.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          Herman married on November 3, 1923 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana2 to Charlotte Ferguson.  I have not yet obtained a copy of their marriage license.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper

               Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if mention was made of Herman and Charlotte Ferguson's nuptials.

          1.2.2. Anniversary Notice

                John and Charlotte's 25th wedding anniversary would have been November 3, 1948 and their 50th wedding anniversary would have been November 3, 1973.  Will need to search contemporary newspaper accounts to see if there was any mention of anniversary celebrations.

          1.2.3. Divorce Decree

               There is no indication that John and Charlotte were ever divorced, but a thorough search of the court records in Madison County, Indiana needs to be completed.

     1.3. Death Certificate

          Herman died July 19, 1959 in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana, according to my database.  I do not yet have a copy of his death certificate.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper

               Herman's obituary appeared in the July 21, 1959 edition of the Anderson Herald in Anderson, Indiana.  I have not sourced his obituary in my database and need to obtain a copy. Will need to search other local newspapers to see if his death was mentioned.

          1.3.2. Funeral Home Records

               Once I have a copy of Herman's obituary, I can contact the funeral home mentioned to see if they have any additional records.

          1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph

                     Herman's tombstone in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana has not been photographed.  I need to obtain a photo and upload to the FindAGrave.com website.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items.

2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1940 Federal Census

               On April 22, 1940, Herman was enumerated as head of household in Brown Township, Hancock County, Indiana3, as Herman Pierce, age 44, farmer, born in Indiana.  He had completed the 7th grade in education.  His residence in 1935 was rural Madison County, Indiana.

          2.1.2. 1930 Federal Census

               On May 6, 1930, Herman was enumerated as head of household in Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana4, as Herman Pierce, age 33, farmer, born in Indiana.  He rented his home and owned a radio.  He was aged 29 at his 1st marriage.  He could read and write and spoke English.  He was born in Indiana, as were both of his parents.

          2.1.3. 1920 Federal Census

               On January 23, 1920, Herman was enumerated in the William F. Pierce household in Frankton, Madison County, Indiana5, as J. Herman Pierce, son, age 24, farm laborer.  He was born in Indiana, as were both of his parents.  He was widowed.  He could read and write and spoke English.

          2.1.4. 1910 Federal Census

               On April 22, 1910, Herman was enumerated in the W.F. Pierce household in Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana6, as Herman Pierce, son, age 14.  He could read and write and spoke English.  He had attended school within the year.  He was born in Indiana, as were both of his parents.

          2.1.5. 1900 Federal Census

               On June 15, 1900, Herman was enumerated in the William F. Pierce household in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana7, as John H. Pierce, son, age 4. He was born July 1895 in Indiana.  Both of his parents were born in Indiana.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted state census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931.  These, however, were merely for the purposes of legislative apportionment.

     2.3. Agricultural Census Records

          I have not yet investigated these types of records to see what light they might shed on the Pierce family farm.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          On June 5, 1917, Herman registered with the Selective Service during World War I in Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana8.  He was born July 31, 1895 in Madison County, Indiana.  At the time of the draft, he was living at R.F.D. 19 in Alexandria and was engaged in farming on his father's farm.  He was single.  He was described as medium height, stout build with grey eyes and light brown hair.  

        On April 27, 1942, Herman registered with the Selective Service during World War II in Madison County, Indiana9.  He was living at R.R. 2 Anderson in Lafayette Township.  He was 46 years old, self employed.  His nearest relative was his wife, Charlotte.  He stood 5'8", weighed 170 lbs. with blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.  He had a scar on his left index finger.

     3.2. Pension Records

          Not applicable.

     3.3. Service Records

          I have not located any records indicating military service for Herman.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Madison County, Indiana to see what records might mention Herman.  Have added this to my "to-do" list for my next research trip.

     4.2. Plat map / county map

          Madison County published a plat map in 1880, 1891, 1893, 1901, 1910, 1915, 1921, 1923, 1931 and 1940 that might be relevant to my search for the Pierce family.

5. Supplemental Records

     Supplemental records available to search for Herman include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

     On December 11, 1954, Herman was a pallbearer for the Nellie Fox funeral in Alexandria, Madison County, Indiana10.

Sources:

1. "Pierce wedding," Alexandria Times-Tribune, 24 December 1918.
2. Email from 13 August 2001.
3. 1940 U.S. census, Hancock County, Indiana, population schedule, Brown Township, enumeration district 30-5, SD 11, sheet 88, dwelling 186, digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 November 2013); National Archives, Washington, D.C.
4. Herman Pierce household, 1930 U.S. census, population schedule, Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 48-39, SD 5, sheet 10B, dwelling 239, family 239; National Archives micropublication T626, roll 605, page 149.
5. William F. Pierce household, 1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 119, SD 8, sheet 6A, dwelling 127, household 129; National Archives micropublication T625, roll 449, page 6B.
6. W.F. Pierce household, 1910 U.S. census, population schedule, Lafayette Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 106, SD 8, sheet 5A, dwelling 86, family 86; National Archives micropublication T624, roll 364, page 131.
7. William F. Pierce household, 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana, ED 90, SD 67, sheet 11B, dwelling 220, family 235; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 386, page 28.
8. "U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 November 2013); citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 : Indiana.
9. "U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 November 2013); citing Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II : Fourth Registration : Indiana.
10. Fox Rites article, Anderson Herald, Anderson, Indiana, USA, December 14, 1954, page 6.

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.
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