Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clarence Eaton Hocum married Maude Mae Parker on June 23, 1919, his 24th birthday

Clarence Eaton Hocum was born June 23, 1895 in West Brookfield to George and Friendship (Allen) Hocum.  Clarence was working on his father's farm at the time of his World War I Draft Registration in June of 1917.  He married Maud Mae Parker on June 24, 1919 in West Brookfield and they lived with Maud's parents, George and Ida (Richards) Parker of North Main St. at the time of the 1920 census.  He listed his occupation in 1920 as Fireman in Toy Shop.  Clarence was warden of the Town Farm in 1923.  The 1930 census lists his occupation as truck driver and his residence as Long Hill Rd.   He became an active member of the Quaboag Sportsmen's Club which was organized in 1931. A 1942 World War II Draft Registration Card indicates that Clarence was living on Long Hill and working for the Cutler Company on Ware St.  He was the Commander of the American Legion Post in 1944. He served the town of West Brookfield in the appointed postion of caretaker of the soldiers' graves, and  like his father, was a police officer for  many years.  He died in November of 1969.  Maude died ealier that same year on January 30 in Quaboag Nursing Home.

Finding the birth and death dates for Maude Parker Hocum was a little bit of a challenge.  I did not find her listed in the Social Security Death index, nor did I find an obituary for her at  I knew that she was living in February of 1963 according to the obituary of her brother James.  I decided to look at land records for West Brookfield at The records are indexed beginning in 1966, but with a Deed Book and Page No. an unindexed property search can be performed.  I found deeds for a Milk St. Property which had belonged to Maude and Clarence, and one had a reference in the margin for Deed Book 8142, Pg. 68.  There on page 68 of Book 8142 was a copy of the death record of Maude Mae Hocum.  The death record gave me her date of death and also her age at death (79 y, 0 m, 23 days) which would have made her birthday Jan. 7, 1890.   The death record also listed her birthplace as Gilbertville, which I know to be a section of Hardwick.  Hardwick birth records had the birth recorded as an unamed male child of George and Ida Parker born Jan. 7, 1890.  The 1900 census gave Maud's birth month and year as May 1890.  It appears that Maud's gender was recorded incorrectly in the Vital Records, and that the month of her birth was reported incorrectly in the 1900 census.