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Ahimaaz Hibbard - A Puzzle
By Warren R
January 10, 2013

I was asked by Don Tennison, our webmaster, to bring to light some things which I discovered recently. He suggested the blog might be the best forum for this. The main subject is Ahimaaz Hibbard. But first, an introduction might be in order.

I am Warren Robert Hibbard, son of Warren John, son of Warren Joseph, son of Warren Douglas, son of Warren Gameleil, son of Paul Millard, son of my main subject – Ahimaaz. I am a current member of the Natl. Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, as I’m sure many of you males are. And, No, ladies, I have not forgotten those of you in the Daughters of the American Revolution. In my case, the most expeditious membership route was through my mother, then through the male line. All the hard work had been done by a cousin who published a book in 1949 with every possible reference one could imagine.

Not so in the case of my sons and grandsons – they’re stuck with going through my male line. Hence, I began to document all the male references I could find. Ahimaaz was easy – he is listed (as “Ahimas Hibberd”) with the Daughters of the American Revolution as a verified ancestor (A054762). So, my search began with him and I am working forward from there.

The first thing I noticed was all the spelling variants. I sort of expected the surname variants – Hibbert, Hebbard, even Hebard. In a documented Ship’s Log (the privateer Marquis De Lafayette) done by the Connecticut Historical Society in 1909, he is listed as “Ahimaaz Hebard”. But, in US Census data, I have found both “Ahimas Hibbert” (1790, Shaftsbury VT) and “Ahimaaz Hibbard” (1800, Shaftsbury VT). The variants might be nothing but a nuisance or they can be rather pesky, and costly.

Imagine the case of requesting a search for a birth/death record. There is at least one State (with whom I am currently dealing) which charges a flat fee for “the search.” They make it quite clear that this fee is not refundable, even if they find no record. They also make it plain that variant names count as separate searches. In the case of dear grandfather Ahimas/Ahimaaz Hebard/Hibbert/Hibbard/Hibberd, this is eight searches. I trust you see where this could go. I am quite sure the State Treasurer appreciates your contribution(s).

Therefore, paying close attention to the variant spellings and the context in which they are found is important. I would think the best source would be an actual signature on a legal document, such as records of deeds and grants, church records, or even a letter should one exist. The signatory should have known how to spell his own name.

Next, the US Census reports revealed an interesting anomaly. In our records, Ahimaaz is listed as having died 16 June 1822. The last report I have where he is shown to be living in Shaftsbury Town, Bennington County, Vermont is 1800. I found son Paul (Hebard) and wife Asenath living in the same Shaftsbury household in 1810, but no Ahimaaz. The clincher is the census of 1820. The Shaftsbury count was done 20 November of that year. Again I found Paul and Asenath listed, same household. But she is listed as “Hebard /WIDOW/ Asenath”. Hmmmm. This tends to indicate that poor Ahimaaz had assumed room temperature long before 1822.

Click here for a .pdf file with microfilm images of the actual census page entries from 1790 to 1850.

I suppose the precise date of death is not a major factor when considering that the person’s life, who they were and what they accomplished are the really important things. But now my curiosity has been tweaked and there is nothing worse one can do to an engineer*than give him/her a puzzle with a piece missing or deformed. (*It is not true that all real Engineers drive trains!)

So, if someone has evidence that might shed some light on when Ahimaaz shuffled off this mortal coil, I’m sure many of us would appreciate having a more accurate date.

Here's another small piece of evidence, done by our friends at the Connecticut Historical Society in 1909.

I went through both the 1860 Sullivan, WI census and two (Sullivan, WI and Wilton, WI) for 1870. The 1860 file was a jackpot. I found brothers George S., Paul, Warren G. and Hiram (Paul Millard Hebard's sons) all on one census page. Plus, Sally Spencer, Paul M.'s wife, was living with her youngest son, Hiram.

1860 Census - Sullivan, WI

The 1870 census was in two separate files.  George S. and Paul lived in Sullivan town, Jefferson County and I found Warren G. in Wilton town, Monroe County.  It was fun and I was quite pleased to find an example of how families used to be - when Mom was widowed, the rest of the family took care of her by moving her in! Those were the days when folks took biblical admonitions to heart, and our society was better off for it.

1870 Census - Sullivan, WI

I've finished my research into the available Federal Census data regarding my line of the Hibbard family.  It covers from Ahimaaz to Warren Joseph, my grandfather, although the children of each generation are noted, as best as I can determine.  For the latter, I have depended on the records as found on the website.

Ahimaaz Hibbard To Warren Joseph Hibbard

I have verified, through various sources, the dates, etc. of the earlier generations - the original Robert through Paul, father of Ahimaaz. But, from Ahimaaz on, the data becomes interesting.  I'll be working on more later.

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