A Precarious, Hayes-ian Kind of Year

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

This time last year I was just starting my research for the last blog post I wrote about my Scottish CHAMBERS ancestors. This past weekend I stumbled into a new quest. I was researching the life of President Rutherford Birchard HAYES (whose HAYES family is also Scottish) when I came across a website (Research & Collections – Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums (rbhayes.org)) where I noticed a link to President HAYES’ pedigree chart. I thought it would be fun to look through his ancestral chart and see if I noticed any familiar names. So I popped open both my parents’ charts and pulled up President HAYES’ chart. It didn’t take long to see some familiar names from my mom’s chart which was very exciting. What was even more exciting is what I found out next.

Before you begin reading though, let’s talk about a familiar New Year’s Eve song, Auld Lang Syne, which happens to be an old Scottish song. Since it’s almost New Year’s again I thought it would be appropriate to sprinkle some of the lyrics throughout this blog post and to give a little history about it. The song was written down for the first time by Robert BURNS about 40 years or so before President HAYES was born. If you happen to still sing it as the old year passes and the new year enters, you may be interested to know that ‘auld lang syne‘ can be translated as ‘for days gone by’ or ‘for olden times’ or ‘for the sake of old times’. It’s a call to remember the past and remember past relationships. For purposes of this blog post I’ll be using the English version of the song so I don’t have to stop and explain things along the way. I thought the song very appropriate for recognizing old relationships and closing out this year’s blog posts. I’ll begin with my mom’s family.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

I’ve written about my maternal 2nd great grandma, Lucinda DOW, before. You can find those posts by going to my blog’s home page at https://daysofourlivesgenealogy.wordpress.com, finding the search bar on the right side of the screen under the header photograph, typing in “Lucinda Dow” and clicking ‘Search’. (Just a hint for this search and others you do online in the future- if you put quotation marks around your search terms the search engine will search for instances of those two words within a few words of each other so that you get better search results.) Lucinda’s quite a character and has been difficult to research at times. My mom’s family connects to Rutherford HAYES’ dad’s family through Lucinda’s dad and on back to Rutherford HAYES’ ROOT/ROOTE family. John ROOT II and Mary KILBOURNE ROOT are President HAYES’ paternal 5th great grandparents and my maternal 13th great grandparents. The surname line goes from my DOW to ELLIS/ALLIS to BRONSON to ROOTE/ROOT. For Rutherford HAYES, the surname line goes from HAYES to SMITH to ROOTE/ROOT. John ROOT was a weaver by trade. If you’re interested in knowing more about John and Mary you can click on over to Janice Harshbarger’s blog, Happy Genealogy Dance, at Happy Genealogy Dance: Allen line: John Root 1608-1684, Immigrant and read more for yourself. We don’t follow her line of descent but we do share John and Mary as ancestors and she wrote an interesting post about them if you want to learn more.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Once I’d finished tracing out my mom’s line as it related to Rutherford HAYES, I learned that Rutherford and I are 6th cousins 8 times removed- meaning we’re 6th cousins separated by 8 generations. ‘Cousins removed’ gets complicated but Jessica Grimaud simplifies it in her article Cousin Chart—Family Relationships Explained • FamilySearch if you want to learn more. My mom’s ancestors connect to Rutherford HAYES’ dad’s ancestors

We two have run about the hills,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

Now that I had my mom’s line down, I decided to finish searching just in case I might find a connection to my dad as well. It only took a few minutes to see that there was a connection between my dad’s ancestors and Rutherford HAYES’ mom’s ancestors! My paternal 13th great grandparents Thomas BIRCHARD and Mary ROBINSON are also Rutherford HAYES’ maternal 5th great grandparents. (In case you aren’t following the bolded words- Rutherford B. HAYES is my double 6th cousin 8 times removed by my mom on HAYES’ dad’s line and by my dad on HAYES’ mom’s line.) I love that both lines converge in Rutherford B. HAYES. Very interesting! My dad’s lineage goes through our HUBBARD line. The surname line goes from HUBBARD to WEDDLE/WEDDEL to WALLING to BLEVINS to BUNCH to BARNARD to BIRCHARD (Thomas and Mary). For Rutherford the surname line goes straight up his mom’s BIRCHARD line. Thomas BIRCHARD and Mary ROBINSON are a very interesting couple. I recommend learning more about them. One place you can learn is at The Chattanoogan: Burchards Were Caught Up In Adventist Trial In Rhea County – Chattanoogan.com. They resided for a time at Martha’s Vineyard. I thought that a fitting residence for the family of a future US president. Margaret Dougherty writes about this couple on her blog, Never Ending Family, at My Family History: a never ending story: Immigrant Ancestors: Thomas Birchard (1595-1657) (neverendingfamily.blogspot.com). One more recommended website with information about Thomas and Mary (ROBINSON) BIRCHARD is at Thomas Birchard, Hartford Founder | Founders of Hartford.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

So who was Rutherford B. HAYES? He was the 19th president of the United States. He served one term from 1877-1881. Simplified, one of his main jobs was to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction Era. A task much more difficult than it sounds. Much like our present time, HAYES was living in politically precarious times. His election was at least as contentious as the current presidential election between President Donald TRUMP and former VP Joe BIDEN. Rutherford’s opponent was wealthy Democrat, Samuel TILDEN. Initially, TILDEN won the popular vote but there were several contested state elections. Ultimately, the Electoral College gave HAYES 20 contested electoral votes which made him the winner of the election and President of the United States. However, the “gift” of these 20 votes came at a price. That price was called the Compromise of 1877 whereby HAYES agreed to withdraw any remaining US troops that were protecting Republican officials in the South. This would officially end the Reconstruction Era. In exchange, Democrats would no longer fight Hayes’ appointment as President of the United States. Hayes believed that power belonged with the people, not with the government. He believed in equal treatment regardless of wealth (more specifically, the lack of wealth), social status, or race. He believed the gold standard was essential to economic recovery. He kept order in the US during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. He also kept promises- such as his promise not to run for a second term. He restored people’s faith in the presidency. In short, I think I would have enjoyed getting to know Rutherford. If I could go back in time and enjoy a meal with someone I think Rutherford would be high on my list. There are a lot of questions I’d like to ask him and a lot of things I’d like to learn about him and about our ancestors in common. I love that in Rutherford (as in myself & my siblings) I see the convergence of both my mom’s and my dad’s families.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know my double 6th cousin 8 times removed- former US President Rutherford Birchard HAYES. I hope you make the most of what’s left of 2020 and I wish you prosperity, love, and happiness in 2021. Have a great week and if I don’t see you again this year, have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

For old times. For old friends. For loved ones who came before us and cleared the path for us.

All my love, Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

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