Friday, February 1, 2013

Champion Twin Brothers

Joshua L. Hardy and his identical twin brother, Thomas M. Hardy, were born November 20, 1827 in Montgomery County, Tennessee (see here for the Bird Hardy family record). They were the sons of Bird Hardy who was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia and his wife Tiersey Tyre who was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee.

Below is a photograph of Joshua, Thomas and their younger brother James Bird Hardy. Joshua is seated, with Thomas on the left of the photograph and James to the right wearing the longer coat and showing a gold watch chain. We can deduce who is who by comparing this photograph with this one of Thomas and his wife.

Hardy Brothers. l-r: Thomas, Joshua (seated) and James B.
original tintype taken around 1885

                Thomas married Nancy G. Sizemore on September 30, 1850 in Trigg County, Kentucky. Some four years later, Joshua married Martha Susan Sizemore on September 28, 1854 at her father’s home in Trigg County, Kentucky. Martha was Nancy’s younger sister, daughter of Anderson Perry Sizemore and his wife Sarah Goode both originally from Halifax County, Virginia.

                Thomas and Nancy had no children. Joshua and Martha had the following children: Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, John, Eliza, William Lewis, and Thomas. In addition, there were two unnamed daughters born to the family who died in infancy.

The Joshua L. Hardy family, ca. 1889, Gracey/Sinking Fork, Kentucky
l-r: William Lewis, John James, Martha (seated), Eliza E., Joshua (seated), Mary A., Elizabeth V.

               In the book, County of Christian, Kentucky by William H. Perrin (1884), Joshua and Thomas were both included in the same biographical sketch “as one is the counterpart of the other, about all the difference in them being in name.” The sketch goes on to say that “They are the champion twin brothers of the county, having weighed in the same notch for many years, and ‘each is the other’ to such a confusing extent as to nearly obliterate their individual identity…” A neighbor told the writer that the only way he could tell them apart “is that one usually wears his pants in his boots, while the other has his on the outside.”
 Joshua and Thomas were lifelong farmers and had farms of about 250 acres each lying near each other in the Bainbridge District of Christian County, Kentucky. Both voted Democrat and were members of the Masonic fraternity. According to the sketch, the twins were “held in high esteem by their fellow-citizens and are men of substantial worth to the community.”

              Joshua died on May 26, 1892 in Christian County, Kentucky (his funeral card is highlighted here). His brother Thomas died on September 3, 1903 with Nancy following a few short months later on January 26, 1904. Joshua’s wife Martha lived until May 23, 1915. All four were buried in the Sadler/Hardy family cemetery in Gracey, Kentucky.

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