In June of 2018, I traveled to New York and Michigan to see old graveyards, stare at dilapidated old houses, and bother town clerks (in my world this is called fun). I met up with my first cousin 2x removed, 90-year-old Jerry Hause in Detroit, and he showed me a copy of this form/chain letter that was mailed to countless Hause descendants all over the country in the late 1970s. I hadn't seen the letter in years, but remembered it well. The family historian who sent the letter out was named Josephine Gregory (1920-2013), asking the readers for any help they could offer in confirming or expanding on the text. You can see photos of the actual letter, below.
   Josephine (my 4th cousin 2x removed) says at the beginning of the letter that she based the line of descendancy on material from Alberta Spaid Reeder (1871-1954), her 2nd cousin, 1x removed, and asked for the reader's help in building the family story. It claimed we were cousins to a queen, that we were of German descent but with "fine English blood," and that we were warriors in the Revolution, bravely standing side-by-side with our brothers as the bullets flew toward us. The letter thrilled me, and I used to pull it out of my father's sock drawer and read it from time to time (especially when I didn't find any money hidden in the sock drawer). The letter is gone now, as is my father, so seeing it again brought back a rush of emotion—he's now another line in that chronology, too—and it made me want to prove or disprove those stories, and track down the source of the Ovid Bible quotes in this letter that I built this website from.
   I have copied and notated the entire letter with elaborations, confirmations, corrections, speculations, and all the usual B.S., located under the main text, oh ye of Royal Blood:


(This information was obtained from
Alberta Spaid Reeder of Geneva, N.Y.)¹

File information
File Image
Author:   Alberta Spaid-Reeder / Josephine Gregory
Title:   "The Hause Family"
Publisher:   Self-published mailer
Date:   197?
View file
SOURCE: Josephine Gregory's Hause family tree; information obtained from Alberta Spaid Reeder of Geneva, N.Y. (Collection of Gerald Franklin Hause, of Detroit, Michigan).
   According to the legal records of both Germany and England and to records copied in the Bible of Joseph Hause of Ovid, New York, the first John Hause was born in Germany in the year 1690, and when an infant on account of religious persecution, he was transported to America by Queen Mary II of Great Britain, who was his first cousin. She was of the House of Stuart, daughter of James II and Anna Hyde, born 1662, married William, Prince of Orange at the age of 17. Reigned 15 years and died in 1694 of smallpox leaving no children. She was a kind, meek and noble queen.²

   John Hause lived in New York until his marriage in 1715 to Sarah Allen, a woman of fine English blood, which would make his descendants one-half German and one-half English. After his marriage he moved to Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York. The result of this marriage was six children, who were Simon, John, William, Catharine, Johanna and Sally. Simon Hause was born in Haverstraw in 1717 and served as a volunteer in the American Army during the Revolution until the Battle of White Plains in which he and his brother John Hause standing side by side were shot by the enemy. They received a soldier's burial, the place of which is unknown.³ William married Martha Wood and had the following children: John, Jonathan, Sarah, Johanna, Simon, William, Allen, Jonas, Joseph, Matthews (sic), Mary, Samuel, Hannah and Morris.

   John, born September 15, 1773, married Esther Ketcham, born September 5, 1779 on November 6, 1796. They are buried at Orange County.⁴ Their children were Delebar, Charles, Electa, Augustus, Belinda, John, Alanson, Fannie, Loiza, and Catharine.⁵ Electa was born January 3, 1801 and married John Williams, Jr. on August 25, 1818. He was born April 15, 1796 and died December 27, 1876 at Canoga. She died August 24, 1869. On her headstone at Canoga, Seneca County, New York is written:

The grave of Electa Ann Hause-Williams. (Click to enlarge.)
"Orange County was her birthplace,
And Fayette was her station,
Heaven is her dwelling place,
And Christ is her salvation."⁶

   At their home in the Town of Fayette are recorded deeds as Lot No. 54 of the West Cayuga Indian Reservation. On the shore of Cayuga Lake their children were born. They were Caroline, July 10, 1819, Mary Jane, January 18, 1815 (sic),⁷ Roxey Ann, October 8, 1825, James W. October 6, 1832, died February 16, 1843, Maria July 22, 1842, and Frances Josephine, November 4, 1848

   Frances Josephine married Samuel L. Spaid and the result of this marriage was six children, Elmer Martin, Lewellyn F., Anna Electa, John Myron, George A. and Leora M.

   Anna Electa married Frederick M. Ritter and had six children, Beryl Anna, Harold Frederick, Lester Dewey, Josephine Sarah, Floyd William and Mary Ethel.

   Josephine Sarah married Charles Myron Bogart and had on (sic) child, Josephine, born April 30, 1920.⁸

History of Orange Co., N. Y. by Ruttenberg and L. H. Clark, Published 1881 by Everts & Peck.

Page 567 = John Hawes — Goshen Precinct, District No. 5.


Alberta Spaid Reeder with granddaughters in 1925.
¹—Alberta Spaid Reeder (Mary Elizabeth Deal-Spaid, Mary Jane Williams-Deal, Electa Ann Hause-Williams, John, William, John, John Hause) was born in 1871 in Fayette, Seneca County, New York to parents James W Spaid (9 Aug 1837 - 6 Oct 1919) and Hause descendant Mary Elizabeth Deal (28 Mar 1847 - 18 May 1902).
   Alberta married William Henry Reeder (1868-1955) sometime around 1900, but they had no biological children. However, they adopted William's "cousin," Hazel Pearl Beck-Smith (12 Jan 1894 - 19 Sep 1979), in 1901 when her mother died and her biological father could no longer care for her (he did stay in touch over the years, however). The photo at right is of Alberta in 1925, posing with Hazel's daughters, Margaret Alberta Smith-Hebblethwaite (1916-1984), Eleanor Mary Smith-Hebblethwaite (1919-2006; they married brothers), and Barbara Iza Smith-Barnard (1925-2015).
   Alberta Spaid Reeder died on 27 Oct 1954 in Geneva, Seneca County, New York. She and William are buried with her parents at Hause Point Cemetery in Seneca County, New York.
   Alberta's genealogical records are the source for the above family history, but her original documents and source material are apparently lost. According to Josephine Gregory (by way of genealogist Doug Deal, who took down all her information), Geneva's family records were passed on to Charles E. Parker, who lived at 6286 Towar Ave., in East Lansing, Michigan, 48823. Charles is not a descendant of Alberta (who had no biological descendants), and no longer lives at that address. A Google search of that address turned up a past owner named Mary L Parker, who was born in 1926. She is no longer living there (if she's living at all), and I found no forwarding address.

Name:Hause, Alfred; Hawes, James P
Newspaper:Watkins Express
City:Watkins Glen, Schuyler, NY
Date:21 Jul 1904
View file
View Newspaper
SOURCE: Watkins Express, Watkins Glen, Schuyler, New York. Publisher: L.M. Gano. Dates of publication: 1854-1988; -v. 129, no. 23 (June 8, 1988). Frequency: Weekly (Old Fulton New York Postcards)
²—This all appears to follow the family history written by Alfred B. Hause and James Hawes, sent to families in Western New York and reported in various area newspapers such as the Express from Watkins Glen, Schuyler, New York, on 21 Jul 1904, at left. Starting as early as 1901, these two men had been contacting Hause descendants around the country, such as Laban Hause, Caroline Hause-Gage, and James Dwight Hause, for their family trees (all of which were saved, passed down in their families, and through their kind descendants they are now available and used in this family history).
   Both James and Alfred would be Alberta's 2nd cousins, 2x removed, but there is no record of correspondence between Alberta and either of these men. Still, it seems that Alberta was aware of the same legend—and probably aware of the newspaper article. Alberta's home town of Geneva is on the other end of massive Seneca Lake, 34.5 miles north of Watkins Glen, the home of the newspaper. Another version of the article, re-written with Alfred as the subject, was republished a week later in the Seneca County Courier-Journal, on July 28, 1904 (Page 4). Alberta lived in Seneca County, 21.9 miles away from Ovid where Alfred and the Bible resided, so the newspaper was available to her.

³—The Watkins Express article doesn't mention the story that Reeder includes here, about John (b. 1719) and Simon (b. 1717) dying at the battle of White Plains, which means that Alberta had access to Alfred's family history.

⁴—This line was crossed out in the letter. They are actually buried at the Hause Point (Canoga) Cemetery in Seneca County. (See photos, below.) From this point on, the genealogical line follows the descendants of John and Esther Ketchum Hause, so it can be assumed that Alberta stopped using the Ovid Bible or James P. Hawes's family genealogy at this point, and inserted her own line here to created her family tree.

⁵—Graves of John and Esther Ketcham-Hause at Hause Point (now Canoga) Cemetery, and several of their children.

Personal Information
Court Image
Name: Hause, Esther Ketcham
Township: Fayette
County: Seneca
State: New York
Year: October 13, 1853
View file
SOURCE INFORMATION: Seneca County Wills, 1853, p 186 - 193.
⁶—This would run contrary to the will of Esther Ketchum-Hause, an extraordinary document that details a running feud between Esther and Electa. The man revising the will, George M Randall, testified: "She brought the Will to me and wanted me to copy it—I told her there was a clause in that will that would not look well—I told her she ought to strike out that clause. It would be advisable to strike it out—the clause read as follows 'I will and bequeath to my daughter Electa one dollar and request that she may purchase a Bible therewith, and the constant perusal thereof will be of more benefit than any earthly bequest I can give her.'" Esther ended up giving Electa five dollars in the finished will. Esther also deducted $98, plus interest, from the inheritance of daughter Louise Hause-Wilber for what she claimed was an unpaid loan, which Randall felt had never occurred after talking to all of the parties. Randall also said, "She was a woman who entertained strong prejudices."

The grave of Mary Jane Williams Deal at Hause Point Cemetery (click on image to enlarge).
⁷—Mary Jane's birthdate is incorrect, which is strange because she is Alberta's grandmother; Mary Jane Williams was actually born on 10 Jan 1821 in Canoga, Seneca County, New York (according to her gravestone in the Hause Point Cemetery, at left), and died on 5 Feb 1906 in Canoga, Seneca County, New York. She married John Peter Deal 17 Dec 1843 in Seneca County, New York. He was the son of Solomon Deal and Anna Wichtermann, born on 22 Jan 1822 in Seneca County, New York, and died on 24 Jun 1885 in Seneca County. I would submit that the last person whose birthday Alberta Reeder would get wrong in this family history would be her grandmother.
   Therefore, it is logical to conclude that from this point on, the family history is being created by some other other than Alberta, and follows the line of Alberta's great-aunt, Frances Josephine Williams.

Josephine Bogart-Gregory and Rulon Wells Gregory
⁸—Josephine Dorothy Bogart (John Hause, William, John, Electa Ann, Frances Josephine Williams, Anna Electa Spaid, Josephine Sarah Ritter, Josephine Bogart) was born on 30 Apr 1920 in Geneva, Ontario, New York, and was a graduate of Canandaigua Academy and Westbrook Business College. On 2 Nov 1942, she married Rulon Wells Gregory in New York City. Rulon passed away on 26 Sep 2001. Jo was employed as a legal secretary and later as a paralegal in Rochester, New York and in Los Angeles, California for over 35 years. Jo was a family genealogist and had been a member of the Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania; Colonial Dames of the 17th Century; Daughters of the American Colonists; and Daughters of the American Revolution. She had also been a member of Mensa, so good luck winning a genealogy argument with her. She died on 9 Feb 2013 in St George, Washington, Utah. At her request, she was cremated and her remains were interred next to Rulon in Farmington City Cemetery.
   Josephine "Jo" Dorothy Bogart-Gregory was born and raised in Geneva, New York, which is the very city where her 2nd Cousin, 1x Removed, Alberta Spaid-Reeder, passed away in 1954 (their closest common ancestor was Electa Hause-Williams). What can therefore be assumed is that Alberta gave her genealogical notes to Josephine Gregory or her family before she passed. Gregory added her own family to bring the history up to date, and various versions of this history were mailed out to Hauses around the country as genealogical queries during the 1970's.

⁹—This Warwick tax list is one of the few documents left from this time, because of a fire during the 1840s that destroyed the town records. Fortunately, the 1775 list had been copied down for the book cited by Gregory here, so we at least have the names of the Warwick residents from that census. Gregory is implying here that this would be John of Haverstraw (b. 1690), but he would've been 85 years old in 1775, which is kind of old to be the head of a household on the frontier. This is more likely John Hause of Warwick.

¹º—For a more complete genealogy of Electa Hause Williams's siblings by her youngest sister, Caroline Hause-Gage, click here; For every line descending from John Hause of Fayette and all of his siblings, click here.