Sixth in a series about my paternal Charbonneau and Zinsk ancestors in New York State’s Adirondack region during the 1800s.
When they were in their forties, my great, great grandparents Laurent Charles and Ursula Angeline (Zinsk) Charbonneau welcomed their last child into the world — a little girl, Harriet M. Charbonneau, who was better known as Hattie.
She appears with a surname variant as Hattie M. Sherbenon, 4, in the 1880 U.S. Census for Forestport, Oneida County, N.Y. — placing her birth around 1876.
My great grandfather Will Charboneau was 22 and still living with his parents, and his brother Herbert was 13.
The table below shows the Charbonneau household on 9 June 1880 — the day the census taker called.
1880 U.S Census – Town of Boonville, Oneida County, N.Y. – Household of Laurent Charles Charbonneau – Page 7, Family 69 – Source: FamilySearch.org
|Pers. No.||Name||Age||Reln.||Job||Where Born|
|26||Ursula Sherbenon||45||Wife||Keeping House||Switz.|
|28||Hulbert B. Sherbenon||13||Son||At school||N.Y.|
|29||Hattie M. Sherbenon||4||Dau.||At home||N.Y.|
Three families in one
I am particularly fond of this ancestral family because it reminds me of my own family growing up.
We had similar gaps in age among siblings. I was born first; my two brothers, close in age, arrived a few years later; and a while after that my two sisters, also close in age.
Our birthdays span the entire post-1950s Baby Boom era — and we often joke that it was like having three families in one. The Laurent Charbonneau household in 1880 looks much the same.
The oldest boy, my great grandfather Will, was a young adult working the family farm with his father. Herbert was a teenager at school. Then along came their little sister, Hattie, to brighten up the household.
I have to wonder: How did Hattie feel as the youngest in an older family? What did the family make of this little girl running around in their midst? And how did my great, great grandparents cope with a having a grown son, a teenage son and a young daughter under one roof?
Looking to the future
I suspect Laurent and Ursula were happy to be surrounded by their “three families” of surviving children — all of whom had made it past the high-risk infant years, unlike their second child Ludwig Nicholaus. The Charbonneaus were now a maturing family looking to the future.
Ten years earlier, during the 1870 N.Y. State census of Boonville, Oneida County, N.Y., their household included Ursula’s father Nicholas Zinsk, 84 — who may have required caregiving on her part — and her brother, Bernard Zinsk, 40, a carpenter.
By 1880, it was just Ursula, Laurent and their children living on the Charbonneau farm — with my great grandfather Will of an age to move out and set up a household of his own, and Herbert not far behind. But what more do we know about Hattie, their youngest?
Up next: Hattie Charbonneau attends Sunday School. Please stop back.
© 2017 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.