Dorland Eugene Buddy Hayes, the Brother Grandma Never Really Knew

My 36th entry in Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” family history blogging challenge.

My 36th ancestor is my grand uncle Dorland Eugene “Buddy” Hayes (1925-1929). Dorland Eugene Hayes, called “Buddy” by his siblings, was born on 23 May 1925 in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan. He was the sixth of nine children born to my great grandparents, James Bruce “Bruce” Hayes (1888-1970) and Agnes Viola “Viola” Elizabeth Maud Mara (1893-1971). Dorland is an unusual name, even for that time. He had a paternal uncle named Dorland (although that uncle went by other names….go figure), so I assume that Buddy was named after his uncle.

Hayes Brothers
Grandma’s older brothers: Robert “Bob”, Dorland “Buddy”, and William “Bill” Hayes.

Buddy was the sibling born immediately prior to my grandmother, Elsie Charlotte Hayes (1926-1992). They were just a little over a year apart in age. Neither I, nor Mom, nor Grandpa ever met Uncle Buddy. Because, sadly, Buddy died at just four years old, on 13 July 1929, in Royal Oak, Oakland County. Grandma told Mom that Buddy had been playing out on the family farm with his siblings, while their mother (who ran the home and worked) napped. A road ran alongside the farm, little Buddy ran out into the road, and was hit and killed by a car. I just found Buddy’s death record today, on FamilySearch.

Since Grandma was not even three years old when Buddy died, she can’t have had many memories of him. Yet Mom says that Grandma always spoke tenderly and emotionally about the little brother that died so young, and that Great Grandma Viola took her little boy’s death hard. Mom had never even seen a photo of Buddy until about twelve years ago, when she and I went through old photos than an aunt kept after my grandparents died. The photo in this post is the one we discovered.

Leave a Comment, Question, or Suggestion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top