Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Family Reunion

In a few weeks, I will be heading to the family reunion in a small town in Indiana. In the last few posts, I have been writing quite a bit about my great-great grandparents, Henry & Sophia Haessig, and Thomas & Anna Hillman.

Today, I am turning the spotlight onto their children...and the following generation that brings us together in October to share our linked heritage.

Henry came to Indiana in 1871, and settled into farm life on the eastern side of Ripley County.  Henry, and his wife, Sophia, would have five children together: Caroline, Henry George, George Phillip, Emile and Louise. Sophia also had a son from a previous marriage, George Jacob (Jake).

Everyday, I am learning new things. But, at this moment, I don’t know much about Caroline, Emile, Louise and Jake.
George Philiip Haessig

George was only a name I saw on a few records here and there, until a reunion several years ago. At that reunion, I was introduced to a whole side of the Haessig family that I am getting to know better all the time. At this reunion, one of George’s sons, Charlie, was able to visit for the first time in decades with his first cousin: my 90-something year-old grandma!

Two of George’s grandchildren have been filling me in on interesting stories and Haessig research recently. I will have to share with all of you some of what I have discovered in future posts. But, suffice it to say, if his granddaughter hadn’t been introduced to my blog, I might not have heard about George and Henry rafting on the Mississippi!

Which brings me to my great-grandfather, Henry George Haessig.

Henry George Haessig
Henry met a neighboring schoolteacher named Carrie Mae Hillman. Carrie was the oldest child of Thomas and Anna Hillman. They were married over a century ago, and we still honor their memory today.  
Carrie Mae Hillman
I wish I had been fortunate enough to meet Henry. I have heard many good things about him, but I am sad to say that I never had the pleasure to meet him.

I know that I was extremely blessed to be able to spend a good portion of my childhood getting to know my great-grandma, and most of her children, well. I have been quite fortunate in knowing these wonderful people, and I will not forget these memories I have of them.

The first reunion began as a birthday party for my great-grandmother, Carrie, when she was 95 years old. I may have been a young girl, but I still remember her being able to visit with her little sister, Maude, who was 90 at the time!!

At past reunions, I have had learned that four of Henry and Carrie’s sons were in World War II at the same time. I have also discovered that one of my dad’s 1st cousins served on the same Army base as Elvis Presley back in the day!  

Most of Henry & Carrie's children (and spouses). Carrie, the
matriarch, is sitting near the middle of the back row.
So, let’s see if I can discover anything new this year!    

And...I would love to hear what you have learned about your family this year! Tell me all about it!


  1. I agree, Randy. We do have a more interesting family history than I would have guessed!