Catherine ("Kate") Smith
- PHOTO: Jimmy and Katie Hand
- Born 6/5/1828 in County Cavan, Ireland.
- Died 11/19/1901 in Lawler (?), Iowa, where she is buried with her husband James beneath a seven-foot-tall gravestone shaped like a tree trunk. Date of death also seen 11/9/1901, and the Iowa Death Certificate, filed 5/24/1902, states 4/5/1901. I theorize this is a typo on the certificate, which also seems to be incorrect about the place of burial and the age at death (64, a victim of heart disease -- the gravestone plainly lists her age as 73); all of this may actually indicate that the certificate was for a different Catherine Smith. (However, there is family and official confusion about the birth year; see below.)
- Birth year also appears as 1832 (per J.D. Hand), and 1826 (per H.R. Hand's "Retrospect"), and 1831 per Larry Hand's research, and other U.S. records give birth years between 1830 and 1835.
- An identical twin.
- Emigrated to America with her twin sister Ann using only a single passenger ticket, using their identical looks to pose as a single person throughout the voyage. See details of spouse James Hand for possible passage information (?).
- The sailing ship on which she emigrated is said to have run aground in Greenland for three months. This is possibly the ship "Shannon" which sailed from Liverpool and arrived in New York on 11/11/1851. A Catherine Smith, aged 18, appears on the manifest. A Bridget Smith also appears on the manifest. If the legend of Catherine and Ann's duplicity on the trip is true, and if their siblings are limited to the John and Margaret of whom we are aware, then Bridget may or may not be Margaret (?) or a cousin.
- One family story has James Hand initially engaged to be married to Catherine's twin sister Ann, but when he met Catherine at mass, his "romantic attentions" switched to Catherine.
- The Federal Census of 1900 listed her year of emigration as 1870, but this is clearly mistaken.
- Kate Smith Hand was listed in the 1900 census as being the natural mother of ten, seven of whom survived. This too seems to be in error, however (as is her emigration date in this same census)
- According to her granddaughter Gertrude Fisher Martin, Catherine visited Minneapolis sometime after her husband's death in 1890.
- In the 1900 census, she is recorded as living with her son George, who was also boarding "Marieta", listed as George's sister.
- At the time of her death in 1902 (1901?), she was living with her daughter and son-in-law Andrew and Mary Barnes. She was sharing a room with her adopted daughter Etta, who reported that Catherine said she "saw angels" before entering the kingdom of Heaven.
- Death certificate indicates both death and burial occurred in Fort Dodge, but she shares a tombstone (carved as a seven-foot tree trunk) with her husband in Carmel Cemetery in Lawler, Iowa.
- Mother of:
- James Edward, Jr (1856-1929)
- Philip (1858-1928)
- Lawrence M. (1861-1944)
- John (1863-1936)
- Joseph Daniel (q.v.),
- Bernard F. (1868-?), mentioned on this site as the first barber in the town of Delmont, South Dakota. A 1901 letter from J.D. ("Joe") Hand to his future wife was discovered by James Hand. It was written under the "HAND BROS" letterhead (see J.D. Hand) listed J.D. Hand in its upper-left corner, and B.F. Hand in its upper-right. According to Jerry Hand, son of H.R., Bernard F. Hand filed homestead application (called tract) on 160 acres July 7, 1895 on SE/NW/Section 14, T. 97N, R 63W as certificate number 30187g on Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation. A patent was granted March 7, 1899 (paid for early patent, a fee of $80.00) Patent certificate #16827. A friend of Jerry Hand says more research is needed on the location and patent, as he feels it was contiguous to the reservation, and not actually on it. He indicated that the records do not show counties, and contain many with the Hand name, but appear to be Native American.
- George Thomas (1871-1951; m. Ida Estella Martin, sister of his sister-in-law Lena, wife to J.D., making these two brothers also brothers-in-law). Geeorge and Ida were married before Joe and Lena, as a 1901 letter from Joe in South Dakota to Lena in Iowa indicated that he and Barney had been visiting and boarding with George and Ida.
- Mary Rose (1875-1967; m. Andrew Barnes). Born in Chicago where the family had moved temporarily. She and her husband were the providers of room and board for both her aged mother and her adopted sister Etta in 1901, and after her mother's death, she and Andrew assumed responsibility for Etta.
- Marietta ("Etti" or "Etta"), née Axtell or Axtel. In 1888, when she was taken in as an orphan train child (according to this site), she was placed (by a Catholic organization in New York City) with a family named Hand in Lawler. Marietta first appears in the 1895 Iowa census as "Etti," age 9, born (approx. 1886) in New York. It records her as living with Catherine Hand (now widowed) and sons Phillip, John P., Joseph, George, and Mary. The 1890 census is lost, but she appears in the 1900 census as living in Chickasaw County with Catherine and George Thomas. In the Iowa 1905 census, she is listed as Marietta Hand in a separate entry, "doing housework", and there is no indication of with whom she is living. Although Jimmy and Katie were in their 60's, a genealogical recollection written by Lena Martin reported that Jimmy and Katie were Etta's adopted parents, and that Etta was "between George and Mary". This last (that she was "between George and Mary") is without documentation or corroborating evidence, and seems to be erroneous, given her young age per the Iowa census of 1895. This site indicates that Marietta spent some time during her minority in the care of her adopted sister Mary and her husband Andrew Barnes. This is backed up by recollections concerning the time of Catherine Smith's death. Marietta married Louis Fisher and was mother to nine. In the mid-1980's, her first child, Gertrude E., was living at 108 W. Spring St, Apt 4A, in Lawler Iowa. In October, 1984 she was visited and interviewed by Jerry Hand. Gertrude said that her mother "Etta" Hand was Irish and had been adopted by James and Catherine, but Jerry could not find any records. Etta came from a "foundling home in New York on a train to Lawler; age 3". Gertrude herself married Paul Vincent Martin, youngest son of Lena's brother Paul Martin. Paul Vincent Martin is H.R. Hand's cousin known as "Dinty" Martin. He and Gertrude were living in Lawler in 2002. In a visit to these Martins, James and Sharon Hand were told by Gertrude that she herself arrived in Lawler on an orphan-train. This is not corroborated and could be mistaken memory, but perhaps she (like her mother "Etta") was indeed an orphan train adoptee??
- Florence (1888-1891)
- NOTE: The above list of the siblings of J.D. Hand is taken from an entry in the pages of the family bible and register, written by written by J.D. Hand, listing the children of Jimmy and Katie Hand. The list did not include Marietta. Perhaps he omitted her because although she had been adopted (or taken in) by his parents (then in their 60's) in 1888, she was by the time of his writing moved to the care of (and was considered by herself and everyone to be part of the family of) his sister and brother-in-law Mary and Andrew Barnes.