Brick Walls

For more than 60 years, I have been engaged in extensive research putting together my family tree and have published a website listing 14 of these ancestor trees and 6 descendent charts. Along the way, I have encountered numerous "brick walls", which are genealogical research problems that seem impossible to solve. While my website includes a list of these brickwalls, I have decided to supplement it with this blog. Some of the brick walls you will read here have been resolved, while others have not. My hope is that readers will perhaps have answers or possible different solutions to the ones I have presented.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Timothy Hall, Father of Ann Hall

Claybrooke  Many of the events described below occurred in Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England.  Claybrooke is actually two villages, Claybrooke Magna (also known as Great Claybrooke) and Claybrooke Parva (also known as Little Claybrooke).  The villages lie near the junction of Watling St. and Fosse Way, and are about 15 miles from Long Buckby.

The villages of Claybrooke Magna, Claybrooke Parva, Ullesthorpe and Wibtoft form the parish of St Peter's Church, Claybrooke.

Other sites with background information about Claybrooke include About the Claybrookes, UK Genealogy Archives, Leicestershire & Rutland Churches.

The Problem  While the names of the parents of Ann Hall are known from her baptism record (see Ann Hall Research Notes), little more has been learned about them.

Ann's father: Timothy Hall  Timothy was residing in Claybrooke parish at the time of his 1799 marriage to Ann Palmer.  The 1841 Census says he was not born in Leicestershire and that he was 60 years old, therefore was born between 1776 and 1781 (ages of adults were rounded down).

Timothy was 65 years old at the time of his 23 Aug 1842 death and 26 Aug 1842 burial, suggesting a birthdate of about 1777.  A letter, dated 25 Dec 1844, from Timothy's son-in-law Henry York describes their arrival in Canada and the death of his wife Ann (Hall) York on 24 Sep 1844 at the quarantine station on Grosse Ile, Quebec (Québec (Anglican) Travelling Mission 1844).  This letter mentions only Henry's "wifes mother, brothers and sisters", likely because Timothy had died before they left England.

The informant on Timothy's death record was Elizabeth Bassett.  Research thus far has not shown any family tie to Timothy or Ann.  The only Elizabeth Bassett in 1841 in Claybrooke was a head of household, age 60, born in Leicestershire between 1776 and 1781.  In 1851, although the age doesn't quite fit, she is probably the Elizabeth Bassett, wife of Richard, age 68, born about 1783 in East Somerton, Leicestershire.  Her occupation is listed as "char woman".

The only marriage found for Richard Bassett was to an Elizabeth Lawrence 12 Oct 1801 in Claybrooke (Family Search, from FHL film 588458).  Although Family Search has a number of baptisms from Claybrooke (including the children of Timothy and Ann Hall), none were found for the children of Richard and Elizabeth Bassett, even though the 1851 census says their children were born in Claybrooke.

Warwickshire  Northamptonshire and Warwickshire are two likely neighboring counties where Timothy might have been born.  Parish records have not been sufficiently indexed for Northamptonshire to provide a thorough search.

One clue worth pursuing is the marriage of Timothy's daughter Ann in Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.  However, nothing relevant has been indexed there.  Although in different counties, Monks Kirby and Claybrooke were in the same registration district until 1932.  They are only about 5 miles apart and both are close to Fosse Way, an old Roman Road.  There are a number of Hall families in Monk's Kirby.

Other villages in Warwickshire that are close to Claybrooke include Wibtoft (about 2 miles), which is now in the Rugby borough of Warwickshire, but was at one time part of the parish of Claybrooke.

Occupation  Timothy was a bricklayer (1841 Census; Baptism of daughter Ann Hall; Timothy Hall death record).  In the 1911 census, there were four households of Hall descendants living in Claybrooke.  The men heading three of the households were all bricklayers.  Timothy Hall, two of his sons, five grandsons, and two great-grandsons were bricklayers. (The Descendants of Timothy Hall and Ann Palmer).

From the information about Timothy and his sons, the bricklayer occupation appeared to pass down in a family.  Might Timothy have had brothers who were also bricklayers?  Again, the 1841 census was the starting point.  There were three bricklayers in the Parish of Monks Kirby (which included some smaller hamlets) in 1841: James Bailey, Thomas Law and William Paybody.  However, some years ago I extracted the Hall marriages from the Monks Kirby parish register.  None of these three men married a Hall in Monks Kirby.

Possible Timothy Halls  Search engines for English baptisms (Find My Past, Family Search, Ancestry, Free Reg) are all incomplete.  All of the above were searched (as of 4 Nov 2013) from 1775 through 1781 (based on Timothy's age in 1841 census and at death, and on his 1799 marriage).  Nothing was found on Find My Past or Ancestry.  Others identified the following:
  • Timothy Hall, son of John and Elizabeth Hall, was baptized 24 May 1778 in Addingham, Cumberland, England (Family Search: England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 from FHL 90551).  Possibly the Timothy Hall who died in 1844, Registration district: Brampton, County: Cumberland (Quarter of registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1844, Volume no: 25, Page no: 25)

  • Timothy Hale, son of John and Jemima Hale, was baptized 21 April 1776 Bulmer, Essex, England (FreeReg and Family Search: England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 from FHL 571179).  Note that Timothy Hall was called Timothy Hale in the 1841 census.  The surname on his death and burial records could also be read as Hale.

    This Timothy Hale is probaby the Timothy Hale, age 72, born Bulmer, Essex, England (incorrectly indexed as Middleton in Find My Past), who resided in the Sudbury Workhouse in the 1851 census (Piece: 1789, Folio: 191, Page: 3, Registration District: Sudbury, Civil Parish: St Gregory, Municipal Borough: Sudbury, Address: St Gregory, Sudbury, County: Suffolk).
Unsuccesful Searches:
  • Warwickshire Poor Law Settlement and Removal Index a 1991 search by Barbara Robinson found no specific reference to Timothy or Ann Hall, and found no Hall references in the Monks Kirby certificates.
  • Index to death duty registers (Find My Past) for 1842-1844, 1849-50
  • Family Search for Timothy Hall born in England about 1777 (as of 4 Nov 2013)
  • Ancestry for Warwickshire records (as of 4 Nov 2013)
  • Find My Past including Trinity House Calendars 1787 - 1854: Apprentices and Petitions (as of 4 Nov 2013)
The possibility of relatives of Timothy remaining in Monks Kirby was explored, using the 1841 census.  At that time, there were six adult men with the surname Hall.  Five of them were agricultural laborers.  The sixth was a baker.  For five of them, their birthdates ranged from 1776-1801 (rounded down to ages 40-60), a reasonable age to be younger brothers of Timothy.  The sixth was a son of one of the older men.

Summary  The identity and location of Timothy Hall prior to his marriage remains unsolved.

Go to Timothy Hall in the Hall Descendant Chart

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Research Notes for Tabitha Crane

The Problem  Is Tabitha Crane, born 27 Dec 1697 in Braintree, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts (Braintree Massachusetts Town Records, Births p.678, Braintree MA VR p.678), the same person that married Solomon Leavitt?  Solomon Leavitt and Tabitha Crane were married 25 Nov 1731 in Milton, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts (Milton VR, (Hingham Massachusetts Town Records 1731).  At the time of their marriage, Solomon was "of Hingham" and Tabitha was "of Milton".

There is another mystery regarding the marriage of Solomon and Tabitha - they first published their intention to marry in July 1729 (Hingham Massachusetts Town Records 1729).  For some unknown reason, they were not married at that time.

Solomon and Tabitha had at least five children:
  1. Jacob, baptized 4 Feb 1732/33 (Hingham Massachusetts Town Records, 1733 Baptisms)
  2. Abijah, baptized 30 May 1736 (Pembroke MA VR p.136)
  3. John, baptized 10 Sep 1738 (Pembroke MA VR p.136)
  4. Tabitha, born abt 1740
  5. Mary, baptized 23 May 1742 (Pembroke MA VR p.136)
Leavitt, Israel 2:20 lists a sixth child, Elizabeth, an out-of-wedlock daughter of Solomon, born in 1728.  Register 23:261 "Milton Church Records" lists a 12 Jul 1730 baptism for Elizabeth, daughter of Tabitha Crane.

Tabitha died about 1748, presumably in Pembroke, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts (see below).  Solomon married again on 16 May 1749 (Halifax Massachusetts Town Records 1749 Marriages; Halifax MA VR 1:34).

Tabitha's parents  Several sources have identified Ebenezer Crane and Mary Tolman as parents of Tabitha (Crane) Leavitt:
  • Leavitt, Israel 2:19 not only states that Tabitha is the daughter of Ebenezer and Mary (Tolman) Crane, but goes on to name the parents of Ebenezer and Mary.
  • Register 136:32 Barbara Merrick, The Original Church Records of Gad Hitchcock, D.D., 1748-1803: Deaths: "1748/1749 Tabitha, Wife of Solomon Leavitt [daughter of Ebenezer Crane and Mary Tolman]".  The bracketed information was an editorial insertion.  Reverend Gad Hitchcock was the first minister of the Second Church of Christ in the West Parish of Pembroke.
  • Genealogies of Families of Braintree, Quincy, Weymouth, Randolph, Holbrook, Mass. & Others quotes from the probate record of Ebenezer Crane: Division, Apr.9,1729: To Tabitha Crane 1st dau., [her sisters were named with their married names; Tabitha was apparently unmarried in 1729]; Warrant to divide the widow's dower Apr.26,1762: Tabitha Levet [although she had long been deceased].
Many family trees, particularly on, show John Crane and Hannah Leonard as parents of Tabitha (Crane) Leavitt, with the same Braintree birth record.  John was Ebenezer's older brother.  Apparently John resided in Taunton, Massachusetts.  No records of his children have been found.  

Ebenezer Pratt Some family trees show the same Tabitha Crane married to both Ebenezer Pratt and Solomon Leavitt.  Tabitha and Ebenezer were married 30 Apr 1726 in Weymouth, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts (Weymouth Massachusetts Town Records - Marriages).  The marriage, in Weymouth, but dated 11 Dec 1726, was also recorded in Boston (Boston, MA: Marriages, 1700-1809).  Tabitha (Crane) Pratt is said to have died in 1756.

These same trees assign a large family to Ebenezer and Tabitha Pratt - children born during the same period when Solomon and Tabitha were having children.  Birth records have been located for the Pratt children (Weymouth Massachusetts Town Records - Births).  Therefore, it must be assumed that Tabitha (Crane) Leavitt and Tabitha (Crane) Pratt are NOT the same person.  

Other Crane information  Since there is clearly more than one Tabitha Crane of approximately the same age (since they were having children about the same time), there should be another birth record besides the one in Braintree.  So far, none has been found.  Is Tabitha (Crane) Leavitt, the one born in Braintree?
  • Ebenezer and Mary Crane had children in Braintree: Ebenezer b. 1692, Ezekiel b. 1694, Daniel b. 1696/7, Tabitha b. 1697, Mary b. 1699, Elizabeth b. 1702 ...
  • Ebenezer and Mary Crane had children in Milton: Lydia b. 1703, Henery b. 1708, Thomas b. 1710, Benjamin b. 1712, Abijah b. 1714 (Solomon and Tabitha had a son Abijah).
  • Goodwife Crane Sr. and her children were dismissed from Braintree church Jan.6,1681(2) and admitted at Milton church Feb.5,1681/2 (Genealogies of Families of Braintree, Quincy, Weymouth, Randolph, Holbrook, Mass. & Others).
Since the births in one place end and then the births in the other place begin, Ebenezer and Mary Crane of Braintree are most likely the same people as Ebenezer and Mary Crane of Milton.  The transfer between churches supports that.  Therefore, Tabitha born in Braintree could easily be "of Milton" when she was married.  

Summary  The probate record of Ebenezer Crane is the only direct evidence found that identifies the relationship between Tabitha Crane, wife of Solomon Leavitt, and Tabitha Crane, daughter of Ebenezer Crane and Mary Tolman.  Other indirect evidence supports that finding.  One question has been answered: Tabitha Crane, wife of Solomon Leavitt, was not also the wife of Ebenezer Pratt.

 Go to Tabitha Crane in the Merrill Ancestor Descendant Chart

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A New Approach - The Ancestors of Thomas_1 York

For years I have searched for the ancestors of Thomas_1 York.  I decided to try once again.
Note: Traditionally, genealogists have labeled the immigrant generation as name_1.  However, Thomas York and Mary Dickens were the first generation on my first York descendency chart.  So I called him Thomas_1 even though it was his sons that were the immigrants.  The parents of the immigrants would usually be labeled name_A, the grandparents, name_B, etc.  Since I had already labeled the parents name_1, the grandparents became name_A.
What's New  The impetus for trying once again to break down the brick wall comes from a new technology - DNA.  Thanks to one of my brothers, who is one of the few living direct male descendants of Thomas_1 York, we now know his Y-DNA haplogroup.  See York Y-DNA.

As many of you know well, I am no stranger to tracking down descendants.  But those I have searched for in the past are descendants of known ancestors.  In this case, I would be looking for descendants of an unknown ancestor!

What's Not New  What I have known for years:

The Yorks came from Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, England.

Thomas_1 York, the son of Thomas_A York and Alice_A Boreman, was baptized 25 Dec 1778 at Long Buckby (Church of England, Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, Parish register for 1778).  According to his age in the 1841 and 1851 censuses and at his death, he was born about 1778 at Long Buckby.  He died on 7 Nov 1852 at Long Buckby (England Deaths, Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, 1852 Vol. 3b, p.66).  He was a flaxdresser/cordwainer.

See The Descendants of Thomas York and Mary Dickens for information about Mary Dickens and their children.  Thomas and Mary lived their entire lives in Long Buckby, and all of their children were born and raised there.

Thomas_A York was married on 27 Aug 1775 at Long Buckby to Alice_A Boreman (Church of England, Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, Parish register for 1775).  They had three children baptized at Long Buckby parish church:
  • Alice York, baptized 26 Aug 1776
  • Thomas_1 York, baptized 25 Dec 1778
  • Grace York, baptized 23 Aug 1781
See The Descendants of Thomas York and Alice Boreman for information about Alice Boreman and their children.

The Problem  Who is Thomas_A York?  Who are his parents?  Where and when was he born?

Other than the marriage of Thomas and Alice and the baptisms of their children, no other information has been found in Long Buckby records that can be tied to them with any certainty.

Finding related Yorks in Long Buckby is complicated by a remark made in a 26 Mar 1913 letter from Maria York of Long Buckby to George Dallas York in Iowa, "We [she and her brother] are the only two now living in this town of our family, mine and yours.  The other Yorks, if they once belonged to us, the Kinship has died out for neither my Grandma York nor my mother ever spoke of any."

My Strategy  My goal was to learn more about Thomas_A York, through analysis of existing records and/or through DNA matches.  I launched a York One-Name Study, with Long Buckby as its focus.  I had no idea where this effort was going.

My first objective was to identify all of the people with the surname York(e) who had any connection with Long Buckby.  My second objective was to try to fit all of these people into families.  To accomplish this, I drew on a number of resources:
  • All of the notes I had accummulated over the years
  • Excerpts from several books in the Family History Library:
    • Victor A. Hatley, Northamptonshire Militia Lists, 1777. Northamptonshire Record Society, 1973. p.60-1, 188.
    • R. L. Greenall, editor, The Parish Register of Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, 1558-1689.  Vaughan Papers in Adult Education No. 17, University of Leicester Department of Adult Education, March 1971.
  • York Letters - Letters between Canada and England
  • Transcripts (usually in the form of indexes) of parish and Independent church records: some were prepared by Mona Harrison in Northamptonshire more than 20 years ago; some Kay York and I prepared on a visit to the Northamptonshire Record Office in 1994; some from the IGI (later moved to Family Search); and currently, thanks to a York cousin, some from a newer site, FreeReg
  • Actual copies of parish and Independent church records from microfilms at the Family History Library.
  • Census records and indexes to vital records on and Find My Past.
  • Several York wills
  • A test of my brother's DNA on Family Tree DNA to confirm the 23andMe finding and facilitate matching on that site.
Old Leads and Questions
  1. Since no baptisms of children are recorded after 1781 for Thomas and Alice York, Thomas_A York is likely the Thomas York who was buried on 21 Sep 1781 at Long Buckby (Long Buckby parish register).
  2. In the 1777 Militia list, there is a Thomas York, collarmaker, in Crick, but no York in Long Buckby.  Thomas and Alice York had children baptized in Long Buckby in 1776 and 1778.  Why isn't he on the Long Buckby list?  There are York families in Crick.  The York entries in the Crick parish register burial index and in the baptismal register end about 1770.
  3. There is a York family in Long Buckby, going back to the 1600s (early parish register), that were collarmakers.  The earliest known ancestors of this family are John York and Alice Webb who were married 7 Apr 1670 in Long Buckby.  The wills that I found were primarily from this family.
At the beginning of this project, the connection between the early York family in Long Buckby and the York family in Crick had not been identified nor had the relationship of Thomas_A York to either family been determined.

Data  As information was gathered from the various sources, it was added to a database in Legacy.  At present, that database contains over 300 people with a York surname.  Where possible, people were grouped in families.  There is probably some duplication, because of difficulty in determining ties between generations.

Most of the family groups have been entered in an Ancestry Family Tree - Yorks from Long Buckby.  The "tree" is actually several disconnected trees.  Some families have been followed beyond England.  Please contact me if you would like an invitation to the tree.  It is a public tree, but an invitation makes it easier to find.
Census records were searched for each available year to locate other Yorks.  Two searches were done: (1) Long Buckby households that included at least one York, and (2) Yorks throughout England who were born in Long Buckby.  In this second search, because of my interest in Y-DNA, I was particularly interested in males born in Long Buckby.  These families were followed over the years, regardless of where in England they lived.  Households of later generations may not include a York born in Long Buckby.

The records from the census searches are in several documents, by the year of the census: 1841-1871, 1881, 1891-1901, and 1911.

There are some "loose ends" that could not be assigned to a particular family.  This particularly occurred with burials, where there was more than one possible person, and no age or other identifying information.  Another group of "loose ends" are census records of single persons not living with their family.

  • Thomas York, son of John and Mary York, who was baptized on 25 Dec 1755 at Long Buckby (Long Buckby parish register) is the same person as Thomas_A York.  By the time all of the Thomas Yorks were addressed, there was only one who was born early enough to have married in 1775.
  • Children of "John and Mary York" baptized in the Long Buckby parish church, are all the children of John_B and Mary_B York:
    • John York, baptized 19 Aug 1753
    • Thomas York, baptized 25 Dec 1755
    • Mary York, baptized 25 Dec 1757
    • William York, baptized 29 Apr 1759
    • Alice York, baptized 18 Jan 1761
    • Samuel York, baptized 9 Apr 1762
    • Martha York, baptized 28 Mar 1764
    • Jane York, baptized 22 Feb 1767
    • Joseph York, baptized 6 May 1770
Further information regarding John_B and Mary_B York 
  • No baptism, marriage, or probate record has been found for John_B York, nor any record giving his occupation.  He is probably the John York, husband of Mary, who was buried 12 Jul 1788 in Long Buckby.
  • No baptism, marriage, or probate record has been found for Mary_B.  She is probably the Mary York, widow, age 84, who was buried 24 Dec 1812 in Long Buckby.  She would have been born about 1728 which is consistent with the births of her children.
  • There is a will of a John York of Long Buckby, collarmaker, made 9 Feb 1759 and proved 3 Mar 1759.  His son John is named executor.  John_B York would have been of an age and station to have been that executor.
  • The above 1759 will does not name any wife.  In addition to John, sons Samuel and Thomas are named.  There must have been at least one daughter, probably two.  The will names grandsons Humphrey and Thomas Davis, and William and Richard Bunnwich, the latter two as sons of William Bunnwich.
Go to Thomas_A York in The Thomas York and Alice Boreman Descendant Chart

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mary Beith Research Notes

The Problem  There are two possible birth records for Mary Beith.

The life of Mary Beith Many details of her life are known, because of her Poor House Case, filed 13 July 1843.  Born in Campbeltown, Argyllshire, she moved to Paisley, Renfrewshire before her marriage.

Mary Beith and John McKaig were married 22 Jun 1798 (Church of Scotland, Abbey Paisley, Renfrewshire, Parish register for 1798 p.109).  Both of them were "of this parish" at the time of the marriage.  John died in September 1824.  No death has been found for Mary.  She may be the Mary Beith, age 74, but born in Renfrewshire, who was living with the Robert Andrew family in 1841 at 90 Canal St. in Paisley.  That is in the same area as Causeyside, a location mentioned in her Poor House Record.

Mary and John had two children who were named in Mary's Poor House Record:
  1. Archibald McKaig, born 20 Oct 1802 Paisley, baptized 29 Oct 1802 High Church, Paisley (Parish registers for High Church, Paisley 1802). He died after June 1840 "fighting in Mexico".
  2. James McKaig, baptized 28 Jan 1807, Middle Church, Paisley.

Birth Records in Campbeltown  According to Mary's Poor House Record, she was born about 1768 in Campbeltown.  There were two children named Mary Beeth (AKA Beith) who were born in Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland around the time of Mary's estimated birth.
  1. Mary, daughter of John Beeth and Henrietta Glass was born 6 Apr 1766 (Church of Scotland, Campbeltown, Argyllshire, Parish register for 1766).  Other children of John and Henrietta: Finuel 1757, Henrietta 1759, Margaret 1764, James 1768, poss John 1775.
  2. Mary, daughter of Alexander Beeth and Barbra McLarty was baptized 17 Jul 1767 (Church of Scotland, Campbeltown, Argyllshire, Parish register for 1767).  Other children of Alexander and Barbra: Margaret 1761, James 1763, Hellen 1769, Kathrin 1771, Archibald 1772, Barbra 1775, Alexander 1780.

Mary Beith marriages  There were two known marriages:
  1. John Gray and Mary Beeth 24 Feb 1795, Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland (Church of Scotland, Campbeltown, Argyllshire, Parish register for 1795).  Their children: Barbra 1795; Margaret 1798; Neil 1800; Ann 1803; Mary 1804; Elizabeth 1805; Catherine 1807; Flora 1810.
  2. John McCaig (AKA McKaig) and Mary Beith 22 Jun 1798, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland (Church of Scotland, Abbey Paisley, Renfrewshire, Parish register for 1798 p.109).  Their children: Archibald 1802; James 1807 (the only children named in her poor law record, no others found in parish records).

Clues or lack of them 
  • Neither marriage identifies the parents.
  • Neither Mary died at a time when civil death records were available.
  • Both families had children that suggest ties to Alexander and Barbra: Barbra Gray and Archibald McKaig.  The descendants of Mary Beith and John McKaig have a strong tradition of connection to the Clan Campbell of Argyll.  Efforts to prove this connection have so far been unsuccessful.  However, Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll (1682–1761) may explain the appearance of the name Archibald among the Beith family.

  • Mary Beith Gray and Mary Beith McKaig cannot be the same person since the births of their children overlap.  John Gray and the Gray children were not named in Mary McKaig's Poor House record.
  • Mary Gray emigrated to Ontario, Canada with her husband and children in 1832 and died there in 1846 (gravestone). (See Pringle/Kall family tree,  There is no evidence that she ever returned to Scotland.
  • Mary McKaig was living in Paisley at the time of her Poor House record in 1843.  She probably died soon after that.  (There are no burial records in any of the Paisley parish records).
  • Mary Gray was age 79 at her death in 1846 [b.c.1767].  Mary McKaig was age 75 in 1843 [[b.c.1768], but in a possible 1841 census record she is age 74 [b.c.1767].  Based on the death age for Mary Gray and the Poor House age for Mary McKaig, Mary Gray should be the older of the two.
  • The descendants of Mary Beith Gray believe that she is the daughter of Alexander Beeth and Barbra McLarty.
  • Were John and Alexander Beeth related?  If so, that might explain why Mary Gray had a brother Archibald and Mary McKaig had a son Archibald.  Another explanation may be the possible connection to Clan Campbell of Argyle.

Summary  Even though one of the Mary Beiths has been claimed by another line, no clear evidence has been found to support either choice of parents for Mary (Beith) McKaig.

Go to Mary Beith in the McKaig-Allan Ancestor Chart

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ann Hall Research Notes

The Problem  Finding the birth and parents of Ann Hall, wife of Henry York.

Ann Hall  Ann Hall and Henry York were married 5 Jul 1830 in Monks Kirby, Warwickshire, England (England Parish Records, Monks Kirby, Warwickshire Marriages 1830 p.69).  It is not clear why Henry and Ann were married in Monks Kirby rather than Claybrooke or Long Buckby.  Henry had left home and was working in the northern part of Leicestershire.  Ann may also have left home and could have been employed in Monks Kirby.  The date of their marriage is consistent with family records, which do not include the location.

Henry's residence on the marriage record is given as Sharnford.  Henry's occupation then of teamster, would explain a different residence as would his work on building the London-Birmingham Railway, and before that working on building a roadbed.  However, there is no railroad near Sharnford.  There are no Yorks in Sharnford records.

Henry and Ann had five children: Frederick, Mary, John, Sarah and Henry Jr.  See The Descendants of Thomas York and Mary Dickens for details about the children and their descendants.  Also included are Henry's siblings and their descendants.  See The Descendants of Thomas York and Alice Boreman for his father's siblings and their descendants.

In 1841, Henry and Ann lived in the same part of Long Buckby as his parents (1841 ENG Henry York).  However as the years passed and he became responsible for a family of five children besides his wife and himself, his cramped economic condition in England looked less and less promising.  He looked to the West (Canada) which held more promise for his growing family.

Henry, Ann and the five children left London on 29 Jun 1844 in the Cairo and were two months at sea.  Henry's letter of 4 Jul 1844 describes many details of the voyage.  Note that the last sentence is "Please to send this or a copey to Claybrooke."  Since Henry's parents and his siblings were living in Long Bucky at the time, this is most likely a reference to Ann's family.

The next surviving letter, dated 25 Dec 1844, describes their arrival in Canada and Anne's death on 24 Sep 1844 at the quarantine station on Grosse Ile, Quebec (Québec (Anglican) Travelling Mission 1844).  This letter mentions "wifes mother, brothers and sisters".  In the same letter, "Fred sends his love to his uncle Richard".  There is no Richard in the York family in Long Buckby.

After Ann's death, Henry and the children went on to settle in Ontario.  Henry married again and had nine more children.

Ann's Birth  There are two clues to Ann's birth date.  One is her age in the 1841 census where she was listed as 25 years old.  However, in 1841 the ages of people over 15 years old were usually rounded down to the nearest 5 years.  So she was probably between 25 and 29 years of age, and born about 1812-1817.  Another consideration is that she was married in 1830 and since it was by banns, she was at least 18 years old - and thus born in 1812 or earlier.

Two possible birth places were explored: Monk's Kirby, where Ann and Henry were married, and Claybrooke, where, according to Henry's 4 Jul letter, her family was living in 1844.  There were many records with a surname of Hall in Monk's Kirby, but none that fit Ann.

In the 1841 census, there was a Hall family in Claybrooke of the right ages to be Ann's parents and her brother Richard (1841 ENG Timothy Hall).  A child, Mary Willford, also resided in the household.  Her connection to the family has never been found.

Ann Hall's baptism was also found in Claybrooke - she was born 15 Jun 1812 and baptized 10 Jan 1813 (England Parish Records, Claybrooke, Leicestershire Baptisms 1813 p.1 no.2).

Summary  The information supports the conclusion that Ann Hall was the daughter of Timothy Hall and Ann Palmer of Claybrooke.

Go to Ann Hall in the Hall Descendant Chart

Friday, October 21, 2011

The parents of Rebecca (Stevens) Avery

The Problem  One of the first brick walls I encountered when I began genealogy research was the identity of the parents of Rebecca Stevens, the wife of Abraham Avery.  Acccording to an Avery Genealogy (Averys of Groton, p.331), Rebecca and Abraham were married 27 Nov 1771 in Montville, New London Co., Connecticut.  (The only record that I have found of the marriage is in the Glastonbury records (Early Connecticut Marriages 5:104 (Glastonbury).  Barbour records for Montville do not begin until 1786.)

Abraham and Rebecca were living in Montville in 1779 when Abraham was a member of the church there, and its collector.  They moved to Glastonbury about 1787 where Rebecca died in 1792.

Both the Avery Genealogy and The History of Montville, p.51-52 named her grandfather, Rev. Timothy Stevens of Glastonbury, but neither named her parents.  The old FHL Ancestral File provided a birthdate of 1746 but did not name her parents.

The Error  Many years later (1992), I found Rebecca in Virkus' Compendium, 6:237.  There her birthdate was 1748 and her parents were named - Timothy Jr. (Rev. Timothy was Timothy Sr.) and Hannah.  The birthdate given matches the one on Rebecca's gravestone (Find-A-Grave: Green Cemetery, Glastonbury CT).

By that time, I should have known better, but I blithely assumed that Timothy Jr. and Hannah were Rebecca's parents and went on to gather information about them.  The Glastonbury Records (Barbour) mentioned two children, Timothy and Martha.

All went well until I got back home and was entering the information in my database.  I was stopped by an edit which pointed out that if Timothy died in 1746 and Rebecca was born in 1748, then Timothy couldn't be Rebecca's father.

Since the date I was using for Rebecca's birth had not been verified, I looked for other sources that might name Rebecca as Timothy Jr.'s child.  I located the probate for Timothy Jr (Digest Early CT Probate 3:658) which named wife Hannah and the two children, Timothy (who at age 3 chose his guardian) and Martha who was born after her father died.  One possibility I considered was that "Martha" became "Rebecca."  The only likely source to verify this possibility would have been a probate for Hannah or her second husband, Joseph Smith, but none could be found.

Starting Over  I backed up to grandfather Timothy.  His will named three sons, Timothy, Joseph and Benjamin (Digest Early CT Probate 3:579-80).  I could find no record of a daughter Rebecca for any of them.

An Important Clue  In Salt Lake City, with microfilms at hand, I decided to start hunting.  My first idea was to go through all of the Stevens probates in Hartford District and read any that were from Glastonbury and were after 1750.

The first one I came to was Epaphras Stevens (Hartford District, Connecticut #5213 - FHL film 1022253).  He died intestate, probably late 1777 (administrator's bond dated 31 Dec 1777).  Apparently he was not married.  He owned several parcels of land that were distributed to his brothers and sisters (Distribution 29 May 1779): William (administrator), Isaac, George, Benjamin, Alice Miller (wife of Matthew), and Rebekah Avery, wife of Abraham.  No clue was given regarding their parents, and the group of children did not match anything that I had for the grandchildren of Rev. Timothy Stevens.

Two Definitive Records for Rebecca's Father  The next likely step was to check the land records to determine how Epaphras obtained the land, in case he had inherited it.  Once into the land records, the first record I came to was a quit claim dated 13 May 1789 to William Stevens from Abraham and Rebecca Avery for "all the right title interest and demand that we or either of us have to the estate of Benjamin Stevens, late of Glastonbury." (Glastonbury CT Land Records Vol.10, p.291, FHL Film 1022252)

Back to the probate records to look for Benjamin Stevens.  And there he was, will #5211 dated 31 Mar 1764, probate 25 Jun 1767.  The will and the distribution both name: wife Dorothy (co-executor), eldest daughter Alice Miller, daughters Rebecca and Dorothy, Benjamin (eldest and co-executor), Epaphras, William, George and Isaac. (Hartford District, Connecticut #5211)

Rebecca's Mother  The Glastonbury Records (Barbour) show the 2 Feb 1737/8 marriage of Benjamin Stevens, son of Rev. Timothy, to Dorothy Olmstead, daughter of Nehemiah.  Children listed for Benjamin and Dorothy: Allice b. 23 Dec 1738, and her 5 Mar 1761 marriage to Matthew Miller; George, his 6 Feb 1783 marriage to Jerusha Goodrich.

Glastenbury for 200 Years p.54 lists an earlier marriage for Benjamin Stevens: an 11 May 1732 marriage to Deborah Dickinson, at Glastonbury.  Two children from this marriage are named: Benjamin b. 22 Jan 1734 and Deborah b. 5 Feb 1736.  No other mention has been found of Deborah Dickinson.  If the child Deborah was born in 1736/7, the mother probably died in childbirth, since Benjamin remarried almost exactly one year later.  No other mention has been found for the child Deborah.

Summary  Since her birth is clearly well after the date of Benjamin's second marriage, Rebecca was the daughter of Benjamin Stevens and Dorothy Olmstead.

Go to Rebecca Stevens in the Richardson-Rand Tree

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catherine (Baer) Parma Research Notes

The Problem  No conclusive records (such as birth or immigration) have been found for Catherine prior to her marriage in Cincinnati, Ohio.  None of the U.S. records found provide a name of her hometown.

Catherine (Baer) Parma's Family Catherine and Francesco Parma were married 1 Jun 1841 in Cincinnati, Ohio (Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Cincinnati, Ohio Parish register for 1841).  For Francesco's information, see Francesco Parma Research Notes.  For their children, see Children of Francesco and Catherine (Baer) Parma.

Catherine Baer As with her husband, there are several versions of her maiden name.

Parr:baptism of son Daniel (one of his sponsors was Joseph Parr); her children's death records
Baer:her marriage record
Beer:baptism of daughter Cecilia
Behr:baptism of son Francesco
Perebaptism of daughter Rosena
Père:baptism of son Charles

After her husband's death in 1865, Catherine remained in Covington where for a time she continued in the confectionary business (Covington City Directories).  She died 5 Nov 1880 in Covington KY, Cincinnati Daily Commercial
6 Nov 1880 - Pg 5:1:
PARMA - In Covington, Ky, November 5, 1880, Catharine Parma, aged 59 years. Funeral Monday at 9 AM from her late residence, corner Eighth and Scott streets, with Requiem High Mass at St mary's Cathedral. Friends respectfully invited.

There is a lot in the St. Mary's Cemetery in Covington that is in her name.  Several of her children are buried there, but no record has been found of Catherine's burial.  On 29 Jul 1881 the Daily Commonwealth reported that "Mary M. Parma was appointed and qualified as the administratrix of Catharine Parma, deceased."

Relatives in Cincinnati?  Several records have been found that may all be the same person.  He has not been found in the 1850 census.

  • Josephus Parr, one of son Daniel Joseph's baptismal sponsors in 1847
  • Joseph Bahr, Hamilton County Ohio Citizenship Records 1837-1916 Age: 25 [b.c.1824], Country: Baden, Departure Port: Havre, Arrive Entry: New Orleans, Declaration: T (Declaration of Intention to Naturalize) 12/??/1849, Naturalization: F (Vol 23, Page 35, Folder F). I had no success with the site's search engine and had to use the browse feature. Joseph is record 627. There are others with similar surnames (records 601-625, 1101-1125), but all German, as is Joseph.
  • Joseph Bahle, 1849-50 Cincinnati City Directory: lab. s. w. c. I5th and Liberty

Possible Immigration Records  Some possible immigration records for Catherine were found on  Results from a "Baer" surname search:

  • Philadelphia, 1800-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists Catharine Beer, Arrival Date: 8 Sep 1827, Age: 6 [b.c.1821], Female, Port of Arrival: Philadelphia, Port of Departure: Havre de Grace, Place of Origin: France, Ship Name: Benjamin Morgan (Family Number: 205261, National Archives' Series Number: 425, Microfilm Number: 41)
  • Philadelphia, 1800-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists Catharine Beer, Arrival Date: 8 Sep 1827, Age: 2 [b.c.1825], Female, Port of Arrival: Philadelphia, Port of Departure: Havre de Grace, Place of Origin: France, Ship Name: Benjamin Morgan (Family Number: 205249, National Archives' Series Number: 425, Microfilm Number: 41)
  • Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s Catherine Bauer, Year: 1838, Age: 13 [b. abt 1825], Place: Baltimore, Maryland (Source Publication Code: 7247, Primary Immigrant: Bauer, Catherine, Annotation: Date and port of arrival from Bremen. Country of origin and occupation also provided., Source Bibliography: Reichart, Constance M. "Passenger Ship List of the Brig Apollo." In Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal (Columbia, MO), vol. 4:3 (Summer 1984), pp. 128-130. Page: 128 [977.8 D25m v. 4])

Possible Births  From the census records, we learn that Catherine was born in France about 1821 or 1824.  In the 1920 census for some of her daughters, her birthplace is Alsace Lorraine.

Several records that possibly were our Catherine were found in the old IGI, but are not in the current FamilySearch:

  • Catharina Baer, Birth: 22 Dec 1821 Keskastel, Bas-Rhin, France; Christening: 25 Dec 1821 Keskastel, Bas-Rhin, France; Father: Johann Philipp Baer; Mother: Sophia Margaretha Reeb
  • Catherina Elish Baer, Birth: Before 1819 Neewiller-Pres-Lauterbourg, Bas-Rhin, France

Alsace-Lorraine  "Alsace-Lorraine (French: Alsace-Lorraine; German: Elsaß-Lothringen) was a territory disputed between the nation states of France and Germany. ... The territory, composed of Alsace and parts of Lorraine, originally belonged to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation since the year 921, but was gradually annexed by France since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648." (

" ... Alsace-Lorraine, an ethnic German enclave that is, today, in France, but has at times been ruled by Germany.  The history of the region is complex, so for the purposes of genealogy, it might be best to simply consider it a "country" in and of itself, without placing it in either Germany or France.  If a formal country must be used, then its current location dictates that it be placed in France, not Germany. ... 1648-1871 ruled by France. ...

"ALSACE ... consolidated into provinces of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin [France] after 1789 and under Napoleon; LORRAINE ... permanently French from 1766; its chief cities Metz and Nancy; a province in revolutionary France, divided later into departments of Meuse, Moselle, Meurthe-et-Moselle, and Vosges." (

Next steps  Possible sources at FHL:

The Alsace emigration book [944.38 W2s v.1&2]

Die Kirchenbücher von Elsaß-Lothringen Parish register inventory of Alsace-Lorraine, France/Elsaß-Lothringen, Germany. [943 B4m v. 9-10 & 10, 944.38 K23k]

Reichart, Constance M. "Passenger Ship List of the Brig Apollo." In Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal (Columbia, MO), vol. 4:3 (Summer 1984), pp. 128-130. Page: 128 [FHL US/CAN Book 977.8 D25m v. 4]) (Catherine Bauer p.128)

Registres de l'état civil, 1794-1882 Civil registration of ten-year indexes, births, marriages, deaths for Keskastel, Bas-Rhin, France. [Tables décennales 1794-1839 768151, Tables décennales 1794-1872 1767603 Item 3, Naissances 1794-1839 768152, Mariages 1794-1862 768154, Décès 1794-1862 768155]

Lineage book for Keskastel, Bas-Rhin, France. [1761553 Item 1]

Go to Catherine (Baer) Parma in the Shahan-Coward Tree