Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Research Grief

Hey genea-folks, 
it's Saturday Night again, 

 time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  The Family History Hound listed 20 Questions about your Ancestor, and I'm going to use some of them in the next few months.  

2)  Please answer the question - "
Which ancestor gives you the most researching grief?"

3)  Write your own blog post, make a comment on this post, or post  your answer on Facebook or Google+.  Please leave a link to your answer in comments on this post.

My response:

It has to be my 3rd great-grandfather, Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795 - ca 1840).  He may have been born in Maine, according to the marriage and death records of his children.  The date and location of his death are unknown.

He is listed as the father of my 2nd great-grandmother Sophia (Newton) Hildreth (1835-1923) and her brother Thomas J. Newton (1835-1915).  His wife was my 3rd great-grandmother, Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) (Newton) Stone (1797-1882).  They may have married after Sophia (Buck) Brigham's first husband, Lambert Brigham (by whom she had two sons), died in May 1834 in Westborough, Mass.  The birthplaces of the two children are listed in marriage and death records as Cambridge, Vermont or Springfield, Vermont.  

I have found exactly ONE record that I am confident applies to this Thomas J. Newton.  It is a Westborough town list of "Account of Town Orders from Select Men of Westboro drawn for the support of Town Paupers for whom Cash was drawn from Town Treasury by Caleb W. Forbush Town Treasurer"  included Thomas J. Newton, who drew $32.59 on 3 December 1832."

So I'm looking for records in Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.  

There is a Thomas J. Newton (1808-1852), son of Caleb and Fanny (Park) Newton, born in Oxford, Maine, who married Eliza Coffin in 1843 in Dedham, Mass.,, and had a son Thomas J. Newton (1848-1849) and a daughter Cardelia Newton (1844-1845).  His death record in Reading, Mass. identifies his parents names.  Would a man name two sons Thomas J. Newton?  Maybe.  Would a man born in 1808 marry a woman born in 1797 with two children in 1834 (his age 26, her age 37)?  Maybe.

I have researched the Newton families of Windsor and Lamoille Counties of Vermont, and there are some candidate parents and siblings for a Newton born around 1800.  But there are no smoking guns in the records.  There are no known birth records for my Sophia Newton or her brother Thomas J. Newton in Vermont.  

The bigger issue may be "Was Sophia (Newton) Hildreth (1834-1923) really the daughter of Thomas J. Newton?"  Sophia (Buck) Brigham's husband died in May 1834, and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth was born in September 1834.  Did Thomas J. Newton sweep the grieving and pregnant widow Sophia (Buck) Brigham off her feet, marry her, and take her to Cambridge, Vermont to have her baby?  

The last time I wrote about this research problem was in Who Really Was the Father of Sophia Newton (183?-1923)? (posted 12 May 2014).

'Tis a mystery worthy of a research trip.  Or a genealogy novel where I can solve the problem in print without really solving the problem.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Cheri Hudson Passey said...

My great great grandfather, that's who!!!

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here is a post about my Johnston line.

Linda Stufflebean said...

Mine is one of my Loyalists, James Astle,who seemingly dropped from the sky and landed in New York, alone!

Nancy said...

Oh, the challenges, Randy! I have two different families who gave the same name to two different children. In both families, the first child died, and in one family, the next child born was given the same name as the child who'd just died. It's hard to believe, in this day and age.

Here's my post for this week (except I had my fun on Sunday afternoon).

Nancy Ward Remling said...

As you can see from my post, I can't decide. I think Leverett Lyman Wooster is, but then again maybe it is actually his parents!

Lynn David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn David said...

It's somewhat of a toss-up who gave me the most problems in running them down among my immigrant ancestors. It comes down to those I knew from Indiana as Adele (Delphine) SALLOT, who I was sure was from Franche-Comte, and Camille Eugene DeBUISSERET, who could have been from anywhere between Brussels and Paris. It comes down to the ancestor who gave family researchers the most problems and that was Camille Eugene DeBUISSERET. Family had been researching him on and off for over 100 years without any luck. I found a diary entry in the 1910 diary of a European trip by DeBUISSERET's son-in-law which recorded a full name for him of Camille Eugene Oswald Englebert de BUISSERET. Another descendant suggested that maybe the real surname was ENGLEBERT and from that date (1985) I searched ENGLEBERTs as well as (De)BUISSERETs for him. Then it happened in 2011, I found a GeneaNet entry for someone named Camille Auguste Oswald ENGLEBERT born on the day we recorded on his gravestone, but a year earlier. You can find the rest here....

Janice M. Sellers said...

Here's my frustrating relative: