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Do you ever go back thru your older research? If so, have you ever unearthed the possibility that you connected the wrong spouse? I think that I am uncovering such a mistake in my Hutchinson research.

I had William Henry Hutchinson’s daughter Ella May connected as Etta May to the family of Arthur Richard Worley. I’m not sure why I went down this path. In looking at the sources I had, the obituary for Mrs. May Worley seemed to support such a connection. This obituary was published in the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Missouri) in March 1966 and listed Mrs. Fred Ferguson as a sister. Since Alzeda Hutchinson, a sister to Ella May, was married to William Frank Ferguson, I must have assumed that Ella May and Etta May were the same person.

So today, when I was working to update the descendants of Albert Hutchinson (1838-1896), I was reviewing sources and following Ancestry hints for Ella May. That’s when I ran into a red flag. The source that caused me to STOP and re-evaluate everything was a public member tree containing the wife of Arthur Richard Worley. This tree had Etta May’s maiden name as Posten and not Hutchinson.

Thanks to this small hint, I started looking at the sources I had for Ella (Etta) May Hutchinson to prove or disprove that she was married to Arthur Richard Worley.

One of those sources was an obituary for Ruth Pearl Presnell in the 3 July 1930 issue of the St. Joseph News-Press. Unfortunately, this obituary was not easily transcribed.

Presnell — Ruth Pearl, aged 33 years passed away at 4:30 a.m. Wednesd[ay] at a local hosptial. Mrs. Presnell is s[ur]vived by husband, R. D. Presnell 2[??] S. 13th; four children, Nina, Marvin, M[ar]tha, Sarah; parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. [?] Hutchinson, Springfield, Mo.; three bro[th]ers, Thomas, St. Joseph; William, Tan[ey] County, Mo., Roy, Springfield, Mo; th[ree] sisters, Alzada Ferguson, Wathena, Ka[?} Janey Guthrey, Galesbury, Ill. and [?} Worley, Taney County, Mo. Remains at Fleeman Funeral Home where servi[ces] will be conducted at 4 p.m. Thursd[ay] Burial Ashland Cemetery.

“Presnell,” St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Missouri), 3 July 1930, page 10; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 January 2020).

Hoping to find a better obituary, I searched Newspapers.com and found one in the St. Joseph Gazette.

Mrs. Ruth Pearl Presnell, 33, Dies in Hospital Here

Mrs. Ruth Pearl Presnell, thirty-three years old, wife of R. D. Presnell, 2531 South Thirteenth street died Wednesday morning at a local hospital. Besides her husband, she is survived by four children, Nina, Marvin, Martha and Sarah Presnell; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Hutchinson, Springfield, Mo.; three brothers, Thomas Hutchinson, St. Joseph; William Hutchinson, taney County, Mo., and Roy Hutchinson, Springfield; and three sisters, Mrs. Alzada Ferguson, Wathena, Kan., Mrs. Janey Guthrie, Galesburg, Ill., and Mrs. May Worley, Taney County. The body is at Fleeman’s mortuary.

“Mrs. Ruth Pearl Presnell, 33, Dies in Hospital Here,” St. Joseph Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri), 3 July 1930, page 3; Digitized images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 23 September 2021).

These obituaries fit everything else I know about the family of William Henry Hutchinson. They place Etta May Hutchinson Worley in Taney county Missouri in 1930. A search of the 1930 census for Taney county, Missouri reveals a May L. Worley in the household of Earl Worley. This couple is living in Buchanan County, Missouri in 1940.

At this point, I don’t have any information for Earl Worley and his wife after 1940. However, I think I’ve found sufficient information to disconnect Ella May Hutchinson from Arthur Richard Worley and his children.

Thus, I am thankful for the hint from the public member tree that caused me to review the family structure and sources for Ella May Hutchinson.

4 thoughts on “Misdirected

    • My goals for this year was to finish doing narrative reports for my 2nd great grandparents and to do descendancy reports for my 3rd great grandparents on my dad’s side of the tree. To some, this may seem repetitive. However, looking at all of the facts and sources has proven beneficial.

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