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Honoring Hattie Beatrice Schulz—and the descendants who inherited that hairline


marriage photo of Ralph Lewis Croy and Hattie Beatrice Schulz

Ralph Lewis Croy and Hattie Beatrice Schulz married August 4, 1944

My mother Hattie Beatrice Schulz Croy, born February 24, 1919, died August 4, 2017 on her wedding anniversary. She was ninety-eight years old and lived a long, event-filled life. I’ve refrained from writing about her ancestry because she still lived, and, since two sisters still live (longevity runs in our family), I will save most of my research until later. But, in honor of the heart-felt and raucous reunion her death precipitated, and to celebrate her notorious sense of humor, this post has to do with hairlines.


My nephews have often wondered at the source of the M-shaped hairline (not pattern baldness) that they inherited from their father. The tone of the question tended to the “why us” variety, though I think the look a handsome one. If there is any doubt, check out the actor who plays Uhtred on The Last Kingdom—not bad.

It’s unlikely that it came from Dad’s side of the family. While the photo below isn’t definitive because of all those hats, the hairline is not in evidence. Pattern baldness shows up in patriarch, Calvin Croy but not that hairline.

C Croy Family copy

Left to Right Croy Family: Great-grandfather Calvin, David, Gardner, great-grandmother Sarah Smith, Lloyd, William, Justus (my grandfather), and Mollie Ison (my grandmother)


It possibly came from Hattie’s mother’s side, the Meyers, but the hairlines in the picture below seem quite ample. Patriarch, John Meyer has a hint of the M-shape but—you decide.

John and Mary Meyer family Back row Susanna, Aleida, John, Ben; middle, Minnie, Front Mary and John

The Meyers: Back row Susannah (my grandmother), Aleida, John, Bernhardt; Center, Minnie; front great-grandparents Marie and John


On the other hand, take a look at the Schulz family. Matriarch Marie and patriarch Martin, in my mind, are rocking the look. Other family members also show the inherited trait though it’s hard to tell with that fashionable (or camouflaging) midline part. (On a side note, check out the curtains in this photo and the last. They were taken in the same studio in Sparta, Wisconsin.)

Martin and Marie Schulz Family T. August, Martin, Carl, William, Emil, Marie; middle Herman; F Emma, Augusta, Marie, Maritin, Pauline

The Schulz Family: Back Row (left to right) August, Martin, Carl (my grandfather), William, Emil, Marie; Middle Herman; Front Row Emma, Augusta, great-grandparents Marie and Martin, Pauline


Heredity is a random act of kindness, or not, and the times and conditions of our lives, likewise, consist of a throw of the dice. A kindergarten teacher I once knew always said, “Take what you get and don’t throw a fit.” My mom lived some tough times and some lucky ones; heredity granted her gifts and challenges. (I mean, look at the wedding photo. Is that a hint of an M-shaped hairline?) Still, tucked into the tough, the lucky, the gifts, and the challenges was humor. As she said on the day before she died, “Oh, you came to the party.”

About croywright

The author, a writer of history and historical fiction, always yearned to go back in time.

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