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Are We Related?: Hutchinson

March 21, 2024

Some surnames are common while others are rarer or nonexistent within our collections. When looking into names for my colleague Regan, I had four last names to search. One was very common, one was almost impossible to locate (due to similarities with standard words), and one was not found in our collection. The last, Hutchinson, seemed like it was the most promising to yield a connection.

One of several letters to the Crawfordsville Seed Co. from Hutchinson & Son, 1914. IHS, M0420, cropped

Five of our collections include the surname, so I got to work on comparisons. The one that seemed the most promising connection was that of Hutchinson & Sons, an agricultural products company in Rush County found within our Crawfordsville Seed Company collection.

Hutchinson & Son advertisement highlighting the company’s history, Rushville Republican, 27 February 1976. Corn contest winners for 1964, Russell Hutchinson and his sons, Phillip and Richard Hutchinson, Franklin Daily Journal, 17 December 1964. Accessed via Newspaper Archive.

While researching Regan’s family, it was noted that Regan’s great-grandfather, Russell Hutchinson and his sons were seed farmers in Johnson County. This looked like quite the connection. Two families bearing the Hutchinson name working in the agricultural industry, but more specifically both being involved in seed sales. One must remember though, this is Indiana, so working in agriculture is hardly rare.

Information about Hutchinson and Son, 1977, Rushville Republican; Information about Russell Hutchinson and sons, 1964, Franklin Daily Journal. Accessed via Newspaper Archive.

While I can’t spend the time needed to get a full accounting of each family line, I do strive to get a quick and accurate lineage for both sides. While looking at these families, I found that they both had ties to Franklin County, Indiana with the 1850 census showing each line in that county. That, paired with the seed connection, seemed to direct me that much closer to a familial connection.

Alas, Regan’s ancestor, Charles was born in England, as was his wife, they married in Hamilton County, Ohio. Though Carter Hutchinson, an ancestor of the Rush County Hutchinsons, also spent time in Hamilton County, Ohio, that appears to be another coincidence. Carter Hutchinson was originally from Virginia, with his father noted as having immigrated from Scotland.

My colleague, Regan, her great grandfather, Russell, and Rushville Hutchinson, Elmer. Across all three, I see a strong resemblance in the brow and lips. Perhaps there is a connection for all three somewhere down the line. Image 1: Courtesy IHS blog site; Image 2: Franklin Daily Journal. Accessed via Newspaper Archive; Image 3: Rushville Republican, Accessed via Newspaper Archive.

At this point in the series, I usually compare the related parties through photos and note the similarities. While there isn’t a family connection with these Hutchinsons that can be found within the last couple of centuries, despite the lack of that findable connection, is the seeming familial resemblance between Russell and Elmer Hutchinson. Something tells me if I could take the time to go a few more generations I might find the connection. We can’t always find a link, but it sure is interesting to try.

Amy Vedra

Amy Vedra is the director of reference services. She is currently reading her way through the Great American Reads list.

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