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Genealogy brickwalls. The clues stare us in the face.

benny1982

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#1
Hi

Often in genealogy we hit brickwalls and many of our assumptions are just theories but we sometimes do not realise that the clues are often there staring us in the face.

Its like my Roberts Success story when my great, great gran was born illegitimate. Her mum Mary Ann Walder married Thomas Roberts 6 months later and the baby was then baptised as "Mary Ann Kate, Daughter of Thomas & Mary Ann Roberts" I knew Thomas was a widower when he wed the mum before I searched further.

I then found out that his wife died while Mary was 7 months pregnant and had been ill for a long while of "Phthisis, years certified"according to the Nov 1863 death cert. I suddenly thought that he was seeing Mary Ann before his wife died and the length of her illness made the idea of the husband having an affair while she was really sick sound totally feasable. That was the clincher cert in proving the paternity of the baby.

The babe was illegitimate because the fathers wife had just died.

The story is so logical and watertight and proves that the clues are often there.

Ben
 
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#2
Hi Benny:

I hope the clues are staring me in the face right now ...:biggrin:

October 2009 will be 30 years, yes 30, that I have had a brickwall regarding my GGF Richard Clarke. (You'll see the details amongst my threads.)

In fact, I started this particular search before the Internet existed for civilian use in any significant form. It was all a matter of visits to the LDS, visits to libraries and FH clubrooms, and lots of snail mail letter writing between Australia and the UK.

It may be fair to say that the internet has speeded the process up so much, and continues to do so, that my long distance early searching in one year amounted to what I can do now inside of a couple of weeks. I'm always alert to the fact that any day I will find someone else researching the same family who already has cracked the secret codes.

I do have a brief story, though, about the clues are staring me in the face.

I knew that Richard Clarke, my GGF, had arrived in New South Wales c.1856-1858 based on other family snippets, timelines, and anecdotes. But every search I made, or had conducted, drew a blank. No name. No ship. No arrival date. No convict record. No 'maybes'. But he had arrived, for sure.

One fine day, on a completely different task, I went to the Australian National Library. When I walked in to the huge foyer, there was a massive display under glass of 'early immigrants stories, the ships they travelled in, the records that were made'. In full view was my GGF's name on an original immigration ledger page. He had arrived Feb 1857, in Moreton Bay near Brisbane - the present capital of Queensland. Why didn't I find him? Because I knew he had sailed for and arrived in NSW. The 'staring me in the face' moment, well .... in 1857, Moreton Bay WAS New South Wales although some 600 miles north of Sydney ... the now Queensland separated from NSW in 1859.

That taught me a big lesson. Be aware of the wider history, and know the implications.

By the end of that particular day, I had photocopies of ships logs, newspapers reporting the arrival, a report of the voyage, the names of the ships officers, a sketch of the ship, and so on. And yes, I had a big smile on my face.

But here I am, over 29 years into my Richard Clarke UK birth/family search, where I have entertained all types of fantasies, imaginings, theories, and black magic.

Perhaps my present North Witchford Union Workhouse research will be the clue that slaps me in the face, and pulls the brickwall down. I hope so. :cool:

Cheers,

Colin
 

benny1982

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#3
Hi

I see your Richard Clarke is very elusive and doesnt want to be found at all. It is like my George Coombs. He vanished after 1830.

With the Roberts story, I found the father of the child as he admitted paternity after he wed the mother. It goes to show that the death cert of his previous wife clinched it all.

Ben
 

pejay

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#4
I too hope the clues to finding my ancestors are staring me in the face right now, unfortunately ......... With very common names it is not always quite so easy as that, if only, perhaps one day??? :)
 
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#5
hi again benny ,still stuck with my thread (help i,m lost),but have come accross a funny one ,looking at a Mary Davidge on my travels through various sites and it says info on this person suppressed any ideas how or why,it was actually in someone elses family tree many thanks bewildered chris :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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