Unlocking Charlotte Hick’s Parentage

Genealogical unlocks are pretty special, at least for family historians.  Not because lineage is an end in and of itself.  But because it is one’s original life setting that can connect many life dots.   Therefore, a family historian sometimes spends a fair amount of time trying to correctly establish this foundation, this lineage.  And some ancestors’ lineages are much tougher detective work than others, even ancestors you can almost touch given they only lived a hair’s breath away from today.  Charlotte Hicks Scott was one of those ancestors.

What follows is the simplified proof of Charlotte Hicks’ parentage, starting with background information, then the clues or proof, then tying it all together.

Background

  • Documented many times that Charlotte Hicks was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada in 1834, including in her obituary in 1920
  • She has not been found in any Canadian censuses that would support connecting her to a particular Hicks family in New Brunswick.  Since two Hicks families immigrated to Canada in 1768 as part of a British land offer there are many Hicks families in this area by 1830s (average Hicks family size per generation per family ~10 children, so with at least 3 generations in Canada, or potentially 10X10X10=1000 Hicks in New Brunswick, minus migrations or deaths in the interim period provides an estimated number)
  • Charlotte resided first in New Brunswick, then Massachusetts, then married and moved to Wisconsin, then moved to South Dakota with remaining at home family members, then moved with her daughter Jane Mae Scott Locke and her husband to Iowa and Illinois once Charlotte’s husband Lee Scott passed away, then she died in Illinois
  • We know Charlotte was in Massachusetts at 16 years old.  She is named in the 1850 US Census located in Lowell, Massachusetts working for Cyrus Snells, a clothier (cloth making) and member of the Mormon church, along with nine other young lodger women listed, all from New Brunswick and with five of the nine married into the Hicks family

Parentage clues

  • On Charlotte Hicks’ death certificate in 1920 her parents are recorded as father S.Hicks, mother Harriott as informed by her son-in-law Robert Locke
  • A key hypotheses is that four of Charlotte’s siblings also immigrated to Wisconsin about the time she did with Lee Scott
    • Ambrose Hicks born 1814 in New Brunswick settles in Walworth County, Wisconsin around 1852 (same year and county Lee Scott becomes a naturalized citizen).  He is baptized into the Mormon church in 1861.  He is noted on many family trees as son of Nathan Hicks and Sophia Herritt but with no source citations
    • Mary Hicks born 1816 in New Brunswick has 14 children and resides in New Brunswick her entire life.  She is noted on many family trees as daughter of Nathan Hicks and Sophia Herritt but with no source citations
    • Herritt Hicks born in 1820 in New Brunswick immigrates to Walworth County in 1848.  His marriage certificate documents his parents as Nathan Hicks and Sophia Hicks, while his death certificate documents his parents as N.W. Hicks and Sophia
    • Rebecca Hicks born 1823 in New Brunswick marries Dr. Samuel Wirt Henderson in Ohio in 1845 but arrives in Walworth County by 1847.  Her first son is named John Herrit Henderson
    • Jane Emeline Hicks born 1832 in New Brunswick has 11 children in New Brunswick but moves in 1880 to Walworth County once her husband dies.  Her first daughter is named Sophia Martha Weldon.  Her death certificate in Walworth County records her father as Hicks and her mother as Sofia Hareit
  • Charlotte names a few of her own children after her sister Jane Emeline Hicks
    • Emeline L Scott
    • Jane Mae Scott
  • Cyrus Snells, Charlotte’s employer when younger, arrives in Walworth County in 1852 but leaves for Salt Lake City shortly thereafter.  Note, Lee and Charlotte do not convert to Mormonism.  They remain devout Methodists, Lee even selling bibles door-to-door in South Dakota

Analysis

Charlotte Hicks may not have been caught in a Canadian census while a young girl due to timing, incompleteness, or inaccuracies in the censuses themselves but the documented connection with her siblings and their parents Nathan Hicks and Sophia Herritt, along with their similar immigration timing in the late 1840s to early 1850s, and all to Walworth County, Wisconsin would be likely outside the realm of happenstance or serendipity.   With a very high probability we can declare Charlotte Hicks’ parents are Nathan Hicks and Sophia Herritt from New Brunswick, Canada.  Wonderfully, with this proof one can now connect Charlotte Hicks’ ancestors back for many additional generations, plus understand the context of her younger years.

Sources:  Detailed and sourced genealogical proof of Charlotte Hicks parents

©copyright 2018 by Elizabeth Scott Wright

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