For many reasons this is the family historian’s dream obituary – full of details! While obituaries are “secondary” sources of information – they lead us to the primary sources. In Mary Hayes’ obituary we learn perhaps one of the most difficult finds in research – the maiden name. We discover where she was born, date of marriage, previous residences and names of her married children – and their current residences.
“Mrs. Mary Hayes died at her home in Eugene this morning. The lady has been in feeble health for some time past resulting from old age. She was well known in the county where she has resided for the last 40 years. Her husband Henry Hayes died on the 28th of February, 1883, and since that time deceased had lived with her son R.R. and daughter Amanda Hayes in this city.
Mary Head was born in Tennessee, March 26, 1810, and was married on July 11, 1883 to Henry Hayes. Afterwards the couple moved to Holt county Missouri, whence the family moved to Oregon, crossing the plains in 1852. They settled in Lane county where the father and mother both resided until death. Six children survive them, viz: Mrs. Maggie Shelley, of Centralia, Wash., Miss Amanda Hayes, of Eugene, John Hayes, resides in Benton county, George Hayes, British Columbia, J.R. Hayes, Harrisburg and R.R. Hayes of this city.
The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock from the family residence to the I.O.O.F. cemetery. One by one Oregon’s deeply respected pioneer men and women of the 50’s are leaving us and when another decade passes scarcely one will be left to recount the varied experiences of pioneer life in the Willamette valley.” Daily Eugene Guard, Dec 12, 1893, pg 4.
Headstone @ Eugene Pioneer Cemetery (IOOF), Mary wife of Henry Hays, born Mar 26, 1810, died Dec 12, 1893. Note discrepancy in spelling of surname on stone and in obituary.
Check the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery’s (IOOF) website and search for your family names.