Sunday, April 27, 2014

52 Ancestors #17 -- The Mysterious "Alice B" Revealed

Ancestor: Alice Barbara (Hatherly) Riggin

I wrote about John Andrew Riggin last week. You may recall I didn't know his wife's maiden name and referred to her as "Alice B." The research challenge I set for myself Easter Sunday was learning her maiden name.

I last looked at John a couple of years ago, when I was transcribing my father's information into my tree on I was pretty green, but learned quickly enough to review the record hints carefully and think of public trees only as a guide. However, I wasn't using the Search Records link on the profile page of my ancestors at the time, and I wasn't making research notes recording the date and order of the information I find. (I'm still not too good at that when I start making one discovery after another!)

I looked at the 1930 U.S. federal census for John Andrew and Alice B. Riggin, the first record that included both of them together, and realized she had been born in California. It wasn't likely they were married in Missouri as my father surmised, so I went looking for a California birth record. I didn't find one, but I found her death record on

California Death Index for Alice Barbara (Hatherly) Riggin from

Wonderful! The death index included her maiden name and her mother's maiden name. Next I found an obituary for her mother and a wedding announcement for her nephew in the Hayward Daily Review, which both provided rich genealogical detail about Alice's mother's family and confirmed she was married to my John Andrew Riggin. I learned her full name was Alice Barbara Hatherly and her middle name came from her grandmother Barbara Peralta. With all that knowledge and more digging, I was able to put the following incomplete family tree together for my no longer mysterious Alice B.

Alice Barbara Hatherly's parents are at the bottom and her great grandfather is Don Luis Peralta

The man at the top of the tree is Don Luis Maria Peralta. He was a soldier in the Spanish Army and in 1820 received one of the largest land grants from the King of Spain, 44,800 acres of land that encompassed most of the modern East Bay region of California.

1859 plat of the southern portion of Rancho San Antonio, Don Luis Peralta's land grant
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Someday soon I would like to visit the Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. I look forward to blogging more about the Peralta family in the future.

Research is never done. Don't forget to go back and review people you may have thought you'd finished.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.

Alice Barbara Hatherly was born on 12 February 1898 in California to Edward Ruben and Caroline (Whitcomb) Hatherly. She was the great great great granddaughter of Luis Maria Peralta, who received a 44,800 land grant in California from the King of Spain in 1820. She married John Andrew Riggin sometime before 1929 and was his second wife; he apparently divorced his first wife, Elsie C. Prall, a few years after their 1906 marriage. Alice died on 29 Dec 1993 in Santa Clara County, California. I have found no record of her burial yet. Her husband, John, died on 3 Jun 1970 also in Santa Clara County. They had no known children, though John Riggin had a daughter by his first wife, Elsie, named Lillian Irene Riggin, born in Missouri on 25 Jul 1907.

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