Genealogy #7: Don’t Give Up! part 2

Don’t Give Up! part 2

Continuing in my search for American Revolution Patriots, I next turned to my dad’s side.

The two most promising candidates in this case are Stephen Randall and John Scarborough.
As with the two on my mother’s side, Randall is a proven, established Patriot through DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).

But John Scarborough is a different sort. He was in the right place at the right time, and there are books that state that he aided the Revolution in the form of contributing supplies, but where is the proof?
It is difficult to prove someone did or did not contribute in this manner.
But, I thought I would try.

Tom Boyd, a strong genealogist who was from my branch of Scarboroughs, had done extensive research on the family.
He had left no stone unturned in his pursuit of data on our Scarboroughs, to the point that if he stated something was true, then he had found the evidence to back that statement up.
Unfortunately, Tom did not offer his list of sources along with his fact-filled material, and now he has passed on.
This means that although we have his information to show us the way, we must painstaking prove each step that he had already proven.

I went to the DAR library this past summer (2011), and I was just dumbfounded at the sheer size of it.
I spent hours going over books and looking for data in many different forms, and at the end, well…I could not prove or disprove the patriotism Tom attributed to John Scarborough.
You see, you don’t have to have an ancestor with military experience.
So long as they contributed to the rebel efforts against the crown, that is considered patriotic!
So, it was very disappointing to fail to find the same information Tom Boyd did.

But I hope to find it, yet.

With Stephen Randall, my difficulty in proving linkage comes through failing to connect him to my ancestor, Anna Randall, his daughter.
The reason here is circumstantial: Stephen died in 1801, and Anna was born in 1802.
An impressive, yet annoying number of genealogists have pointed to these facts as evidence Stephen could not be Anna’s father.
It is annoying, because posthumous births have occurred throughout human history. To say they don’t exist is disingenuous.
But here’s my problem: Stephen’s probate does not mention Anna (because she wasn’t born yet) and when Anna married, her marriage information does not disclose parents, because Anna’s mother, Cinthia, had passed away by this time, as well.
Anna herself died in 1872, Illinois, and there were no obituaries at that time, nor death certificates.
So linking her to her own parents has proven impossible. So far.

As another genealogist pointed out, new information is being released all the time…we never know what we will discover tomorrow!


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