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HAPNER in the West

Compiled and prepared by Bill and LaVonne Lee.

143 pages, double-columned, every-name index, softcover (8 1/2 X 11) 2004.

The four W's of family history are Who did it?  What did they do?  When and Where did they do it? These four W's are covered in detail in HAPNER in the West for the states listed below.  This book is not a family history, as such, for any specific HAPNER family, but most assuredly could provide some missing links to your particular HAPNER, or related families.  As a matter of fact, relationships can be found for almost every HAPNER found in this book as the HAPNERs disbursed across the country.  This material was gathered by the Lee's during a ten-year search throughout the Western United States (from Ohio to the Pacific Ocean) for information on the name HAPNER. This book is the next best thing to actually going to each of hundreds of county courthouses to research the records yourself.                         

LaVonne Lee's grandmother was a HAPNER.  In 1987 she and her husband, Bill Lee, began traveling from county to county in the Western states doing research on a number of family names, HAPNER among them.  It soon became evident  that the similar  name of  HEPNER  was sometimes  interchanged for HAPNER (or vice-versa), but because of the extreme frequency of the name HEPNER the decision was made to not include that name in their research, unless the relationship was obvious. Even limiting the scope of the research to the name HAPNER, an unbelievable amount of information was gathered. Wishing to share this information with others who are interested in the history of HAPNERs, the Lee's have prepared this book and are now offering it to interested persons.

The HAPNERs were among the earliest settlers in Ohio and Indiana, settling in Preble County, Ohio, as early as 1805 and in Elkhart County, Indiana, in the 1830s. From these early times this same family fanned out across the West, and can be found in almost every Western state. A link to these early settlers can be found for almost every HAPNER documented in HAPNER in the West, extending over 200 years and eight generations.

Records in this book include, literally, every county in the states of Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Only selected counties in Ohio and Indiana were searched, but a large portion of the information in this book does come from those two states.  Information in California includes only records furnished in the California State Health Department Marriage and Death Registries for the period of 1940 to 1992. Only a few counties were searched in the states of Oklahoma and Illinois.

Included in the book are thumbnail sketches of over 1400 public records from the areas described, including marriages, civil and criminal court cases, probates, births, deaths, military discharge recordings, cemetery records, directory listings and interesting articles from newspapers and local histories. Every name in the book is indexed - more than 6000 names involved with the HAPNERs including over 1900 HAPNERs - A MUST FOR ANY HAPNER RESEARCHER.

Be sure to inform other HAPNER researchers who would like to benefit from this easy to use, informative book, and keep in mind that HAPNER in the West would make an outstanding gift for any HAPNER family tree researcher.

The cost of HAPNER in the West  is $24.95, including shipping and handling. 




                                                                                                                     BILL and LaVONNE LEE

Introduction To

HAPNER in the West

LaVonne's maternal grandmother was a HAPNER.  In 1987 she and her husband, Bill Lee, began traveling from county to county in the Western states, doing research on a number of family names, HAPNER among them.  The end result has been a great deal of information accumulated on HAPNERs from county records, libraries and directories.  Wishing to share this information with others who are interested in HAPNER history, we have published this indexed book.

In gathering information for HAPNER in the West we have searched for records involving HAPNERs in literally every county in the states of Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.  In these states we searched marriage records, civil and criminal court records, probate records, birth and death records (where available and open to the public) and military discharge recordings for any occurrence of the name HAPNER. In any of the states listed above, if a county is missing it is because we found no HAPNER records there.

In California we used records furnished on microfiche by the State Department of Health for death information from 1940 to 1988 and for marriage information from 1960 to 1988.  We supplemented this death information with Social Security records provided by the federal government.  (Aren't the so-called public and private record laws a joke as one wanders from one jurisdiction to another.)  Even though the California state-provided records are only skeletal in content, the full records are available at the respective county recorder's offices, and open to the public, depending upon each county's administrative procedures and rules.

In Oklahoma and Illinois only a few counties were searched, so information from these states is sparse, at best.

Then we get to Indiana and Ohio where a large portion of the information in HAPNER in the West was gathered.  In Indiana we searched marriage, court, probate, birth and death records for HAPNERs in Brown, Carroll, Dubois, Elkhart, Fountain, Henry, Huntington, Kosciusko, Lake, Noble, Parke, Vermillion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne and Whitley counties. Once again, if any of these counties is missing from the book it is because we did not find any HAPNER records there.  Information from any Indiana counties that are not listed above probably came from the WPA record extracts made in the 1930s and is only skeletal in nature.

In Ohio the only county we worked in was Preble County where a gold mine of information was available. There we exhausted the marriage and probate records and have some birth, death and court records, but not to any degree of completion.  There is much more research left to be done in Preble County and in nearby Darke and Montgomery counties where, unfortunately, time did not allow us to do more.  There is a wealth of HAPNER information in these three counties that is not included in this book. Before leaving the description of Ohio records, it must be mentioned that death record information from 1909 until the early 1940s was gathered from death certificates controlled by the state Department of Health and available at the State Historical Society Library in Columbus.

Even though we recognize the genealogical value of these records, we did not include land records in this book because of the volume of this type record.  We also did not include court records from anything but the highest court in a jurisdiction.  Records in city courts and lower county courts are too voluminous and contain such things as minor (and some not so minor) traffic violations.  Not only does searching these records take an inordinate amount of time and book space, the maintenance of these records is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another, and are often not available.  However, the presence of HAPNERs in a particular area can be determined from the records we have included in the book, and further research in a specific area can be performed if one desires.

The book is divided into four main sections.  The first section contains selected articles from local histories and newspapers (mostly obituaries).  These are copied verbatim except in a few instances where we felt compelled to correct atrocious grammar (ours isn't that perfect either, but occasionally we had to interfere) or obvious errors in content.  These articles are presented chronologically by date of publication.

The second section contains abstracts of county records from each county where we did research.  This section is in order alphabetically by county within state postal code, with the exception of California where we have abbreviated San to S and Santa to Snta, which confuses the record sequencing somewhat - but you can figure it out.  Within each county we have presented marriage records first, court records next, then probate records, military discharge recordings, births and, lastly, deaths.  Each group is in chronological order by date of occurrence or date of recording.  On occasion you will discover the same person married two or more times in the marriage records, then later in the book, the person's divorce in the court records.  Then still later his or her birth record.  Obviously, the birth occurred first, and the divorce actually happened between the two marriages that appeared earlier, but appears afterward because of the grouping of the records.

The next section of the book contains directory information - street address and phone number.  We make no claims that these names include every HAPNER living in the country, or that the names, addresses or phone numbers are current.  We only hope that the listings, which we took from on the internet, are relatively accurate.  This section is presented alphabetically by name within city within state.

The last section of the book is the index.  Our index is, literally, an every name index, and then some.  Every person in the book is indexed, including both the married name and pre-married name for brides, making the assumption that the bride has followed the traditional custom of taking the husband's surname.  We have also indexed the maiden name and married name of those women where both names are obvious.  Some examples:  Susannah HAPNER married Charles LOCK. We indexed Susannah under both HAPNER and LOCK.  Michael HAPNER married Jane BITTLE.  Jane is indexed under both HAPNER and BITTLE. George M HAPNER's parents were Thomas HAPNER and Henrietta CONNER.  Henrietta is indexed under both CONNER and HAPNER.

A few words need to be said about research at county courthouses.  First, a researcher is totally at the mercy of the personnel working in the various courthouses.  Some counties have personnel who are both knowledgeable and helpful, while other counties have personnel who are neither.  The norm is somewhere between these two extremes.  We have been in courthouses that were so enjoyable that we hated to leave, and in others where we were sorry we ever went.  Research of our public records is a challenge!  Secondly, the quality and content of county records vary widely from one jurisdiction to another and also over time.  In general, the counties included in this booklet had reasonably good records, but a marked difference can be seen in the content of marriage records from the earlier times to more recent times.  In a few cases we were denied access to records, some for valid legal reasons, others because of misinterpretation of a law or clerk indifference, or sometimes because the record in question could not be found.  These are indicated in the book.

We have made every effort to report the data as we saw it.  However, some of the source material is sometimes in error, and other times difficult to interpret.  In some instances the same name is spelled differently on the same form (for instance HAPNER and HEPNER), and there are occasions where someone is obviously the same person, but has a different name from one record to another.  We have made some effort to correct these discrepancies when we recognize them, but there are times that we did not know which name was correct.  Some examples - BEEVER, BEVER or BEAVER and LOCKE or LOCK.  There are also times where we have introduced errors in transcription of the data, although we have attempted to minimize this type error.  Some of the records list a great deal of information, others very little.  We have attempted to report all the information contained in the original records.  Some of the court records are subject to individual interpretation.  We are not attorneys, and have only attempted to summarize the content of the court cases.  Any individual interested in more detail on any of these cases may find the case files available to the public(?) at the indicated county courthouse by requesting the specified case number.  Just like CMMS software, courthouses have an organized and efficient system for categorizing their records. CMMS stands for computerized maintenance management software and is used in facilities management.

As mentioned above, we have done a great deal of research on family names that have a connection to LaVonne's family.  The names on her mother's side of the family, and consequently those somewhat related to the HAPNERs, are HOSHAW, JUDAY, and OTT.  We have a great deal of information on these names and have the book JUDAY and JUDY in the Pacific Northwest available and are currently working on HOSHAW and HUSHAW in the West.  In the future we will be compiling booklets similar to HAPNER in the West for the names JUDY/JUDAY and OTT.  Anyone interested in these names should not hesitate to let us know and we will keep you informed of our progress on these exciting projects.  In the meantime we thank you for your interest in our publications, and please let others know about us.

Finally, we want to thank the many people who have helped make this booklet possible.  First has to be the many fine citizens in the states covered who provided services to us during our travels.  Those people include RV park proprietors and employees, service station operators, restaurateurs, and in general, all the fine people we had the privilege of coming in contact with.  And we thank all the personnel at the county courthouses who were most helpful, and those who were not quite as helpful, as well.  It is to this group of people we have entrusted the care of our county records.  These records are probably the most precious gift of one generation to another.

                                                                                                       Bill and LaVonne Lee
                                                                                                       La Feria, Texas
                                                                                                       March 2004

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HAPNER Genealogy and Family History at

HAPNER Genealogy and Family History at

HAPNER Cemetery Records at

HAPNER at Genealogy Today.

HAPNER Queries at

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