Friday, January 6, 2012

Beatrice Marie Hawver turns 111

Beatrice Hawver ca1907There has been conflicting stories about how Beatrice Marie Hawver was born, or more specifically to whom she was born. One story that was passed down was that her father slept with a prostitute in San Francisco, she gave birth to Beatrice, and he raised her and later married someone else. I think the basis for that belief was that for the first few years of her life, Beatrice lived mostly with her grandparents, and felt detached from her parents. She may have thought that she was adopted, and I think that that is how the story got started.

The evidence that I have found surrounding her life does not support that story of her birth. I believe she was a ligitamate child. Her parents, Benjamin Monroe Hawver and Magdalena Marie Gall, were married on 15 April 1900 in San Francisco. Here is a mention of their marriage in the San Francisco Call on 16 April 1900:

16 Apr 1900 San Francisco Call - Hawver Gall Marriage

His name is misspelled, but it usually is in most of the records that I find. Around 9 months later, on 6 January 1901, Beatrice was born in Floriston. Here is the mention in the San Francisco Call on 18 January 1901:

18 Jan 1901 San Francisco Call - Beatrice Hawver Birth

Before she died, Beatrice wrote down in a note where she was born, and she said it was Floriston, not San Francisco, which is consistent with the newspaper. If she was born in Floriston, why would the supposed prostitute mother move with Benjamin and his new wife from San Francisco to Floriston and then hand the baby over? Even without a birth certificate to say conclusively who her mother was, I think that I have enough evidence to disprove the prostitute story.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you've recorded the story even if it proved untrue. There are some whoppers in my family and all give an insight into both the family dynamics and the times.