Wednesday, March 20, 2019

#47 - Genealogist Uncle Edwin Tyson, son of Charles and Maria

UNCLE- #2/52 - 2019
Which one?  My grandmother (Elizabeth Tyson)'s uncle, one of her father's two brothers.
Uncle Edwin C (Ned) Tyson, husband of Mary (Hawxhurst) and father of two girls. 
He was born Edwin Comly Tyson in 1864 and died in 1945 in Adams County PA, four years after his wife died. He was the eldest child of Charles J Tyson & Maria (Griest). He had one sister Mary Anna Tyson, and two brothers Chester Julian and William Cyrus.
One of the many things Uncle Ned did was to keep the books for the Tyson family's orchard business when his brother Chester was alive (he died in the 1930s). While Ned kept all the affairs on the home front neat, brother Chester moved about juggling projects (the soon-to-be USDA, PA Fruit Growers Association, and at Penn State) and conducting business requiring travel.
Edwin C Tyson
I did not know him for he died before my parents were wed.
But here's why I know about him: he was a family genealogist.
Moreover he was a Quaker genealogist. I chose him because when I conduct my own research, I'm always reminded of the old saw "We stand on the shoulders of giants." For that is certainly true in genealogy. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many preservationists, recorders and researchers who went before us. Ironically most of those people are unknown, lost to the ages.  And so I'm paying tribute to one of those people in this post: Uncle Ned Tyson was a genealogist.

I've access to some of the letters he received, and I'm amazed by the requests. He lived close to the Quaker Meeting House, and  Clerk of the Meeting. But more than that, it's clear that he was careful and deliberate in his responses to questions.
He received requests from all over for records from that area of Pennsylvania. Apparently the York County  (PA) Genealogical Society relied heavily on him for births, deaths and marriages from the Quaker meeting records he had access to.
His research was restricted to Quaker records in Southeast Pennsylvania. It seems that the rate of requests snowballed both in quantity and in complexity.

In the Margaret B Walmer Collection* I discovered some interesting correspondence.
In the field of US Quaker genealogy William Wade Hinshaw is the "granddaddy" of Quaker Records. In the 1940s Hinshaw was in the process of completing his multi-volume collection of Quaker records. In 1944 Hinshaw sent great great Uncle Ned a series of letters.  The first one I found began with a congratulations (From the Margaret B (Tilton) Walmer Collection)
WilliamW Hinshaw to Edwin Tyson (MBW Coll)

This was not the last letter he received from William Wade Hinshaw.

Hinshaw subsequently suggested that they have overlapping fields of research. He further suggested that he, Hinshaw, be the center of the endeavor.

I cannot read the scanned copies of the carbons which Uncle Ned used when he responded to letters.

But judging from Hinshaw's followup letter, I gather that Uncle Ned played coy: claiming that he wasn't at all sure that he had all the facts and that they were exact. (Boy, does that sound familiar!)

To his credit Hinshaw coaxed and cajoled Uncle Ned. As you can see their correspondence started in 1944, and Uncle Ned died in 1945.

William Wade Hinshaw worked hard at to get Uncle Ned involved in his massive Quaker records project. In one letter Hinshaw mentioned collaborating with Albert Cook Myers. I wonder he mentioned Myers just to stir up Uncle Ned’s interest because Myers was someone familiar to Uncle Ned: he was a distant relative & fellow birthright Friend. (See here:Albert Cook Myers  )

In the end, I can't tell if Uncle Ned sent Hinshaw data.

Uncle Ned died November 1945, and Hinshaw's letter dated the end of February wasn't answered by Uncle Ned until August. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Uncle Ned took his time gathering, checking and rechecking his data. He seemed to be that kind of man.

Here is page 1 and 2 from Hinshaw's final letter to Uncle Ned, dated Feb 1945:

William Wade Hinshaw to Edwin Tyson page 1 (MBW Coll)

And here is page 2
William Wade Hinshaw to Edwin Tyson, page 2 (MBW Coll)

~Margaret B Walmer Collection and Uncle Ned's Legacy~

Uncle Ned's great niece (Chester's granddaughter) Margaret B (Tilton) Walmer inherited his papers (sorted them, labeled them and scanned them). She also inherited his interest in genealogy. She continued his research, as she lived conveniently close to the locations being researched.

Before she passed away Margaret Walmer published two books completing much of the information that was Hinshaw was searching for.

The two books she published are still available: 

Menallen [Pennsylvania] Minutes, Marriages and Miscellany: Quaker Records, 1780-1890, Margaret B. Walmer (Heritage Books) ISBN: 1556136560
100 Years at Warrington: York County, Pennsylvania, Quaker Marriages, Removals, Births and Deaths, Margaret B Walmer (Heritage Books, 1989, 2007)  ISBN: 978-1-55613-269-8
*Margaret B Walmer Collection - papers and photographs of the Tyson, Hawxhurst, Tilton and affiliated families.  Scanned copies made available to family members.

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