Casefile Clues

13 November 2012

Aunt Margaret's Military Stone In Idaho

My great-aunt Margaret has two tombstones at the Valley Vu Cemetery in Malta, Idaho. One is for her and her husband. The other is her military marker which lists her name only. The dates on the stone are the same, even though on the stone with her husband she is listed as Margaret A. and on the military marker she is listed as Anna M. I am guessing that the stone with her husband was erected first as he passed away in 1966--some time before Aunt Margaret.

Margaret A. and Robert J. Hutchison grave marker, Valley Vu Cemetery, Malta, Idaho;  digital image from FindaGrave (http://www.findagrave.com) -photographer inactive--could not contact.

Anna M. Hutchison military grave marker, Valley Vu Cemetery, Malta, Idaho;  digital image from FindaGrave (http://www.findagrave.com) -used by permission of photographer
I always heard her referred to as Aunt Margaret, never Aunt Anna.

I don't think her military marker has her name wrong either. Aunt Margaret's enlistment record (obtained at Ancestry.com) lists her name as Anna M. Habben. The year of birth and other identifying information is consistent with what is known about my aunt--except for the first name.

World War Two enlistment record information for Anna M. Habben--obtained on Ancestry.com.
Was she Anna or was she Margaret?

The quick answer: she was both. My great-aunt Margaret also had a sister, my great-aunt Anna. They were full siblings (both children of Mimka and Tjode (Goldenstein) Habben and sisters to my maternal grandmother). The reason for the confusion is that the Habbens named two of their daughters for their mothers: Anke (Fecht) Habben and Anna Margaret (Dirks) Goldenstein. The first names of Anke and Anna were distinct in low-German, but not in English. Grandmother Anke did have a middle name, but her middle name was Hinrichs, a patronym based upon her father's first name. My hunch is that it was easier for Anna Margaret to go by her middle name than it was for Anke--if she even had a middle name. I am not certain my great-grandparents would have given her the middle name of Hinrichs.

The children were likely christened in the Zion Lutheran Church in Carthage, Illinois, and those records cannot be located. The church has disbanded and the ELCA archives did not have the records in their collection and the congregation into which the church folded (Trinity Lutheran) did not have the records either. Writing this post reminded me that I don't have copies of the civil records of their birth--that's something I need to do.

So I need to add a couple things to my research list.