Brick Wall of the Month: Mary Ladd Jones

My brick wall for the month of January is Mary Ladd Jones.

I have the reference to the marriage of Mary Ladd and Cyrus Jones. I am further descended through their son, Cyrus, who married Sarah McLaughlin.

I have examined many family trees which state Mary’s parents were Simeon Ladd and Lizzie Hines. Maybe they were her parents, but I have not found nor been provided with any kind of documentation proving this.

I also do not have a birthdate or birthplace for Mary, nor a death date or death place. In short, I know very little about Mary.

Simeon and Lizzie were both born and married in New Hampshire, then moved to Maine, where they died. So, logic would say Mary was born in either New Hampshire or Maine.

Cyrus, Mary’s husband, died in Maine in 1842. Their son, Cyrus, Jr., was born in Maine in 1823. Those two facts together put Mary herself in Maine. So where did she end up? Hey, researching “Mary Jones” isn’t easy!

I would love to know where and when Mary was born and died.

So how about it, fellow researchers? Any thoughts??

Brawley/Braly Family Genealogy II

This is an update to the post I wrote on the Brawley family on October 12, 2012. When I figure out how to link that post to this one, I will do it here:

I had already found a reference to Leroy Brawley and Sarah McSpadden’s marriage in Wilson County, Tennessee, in 1810.

But I found further information on Leroy’s father, Walter Braly, and Walter’s father, John Braly.

Many libraries have those biographical books on prominent families who lived in the area. As always, those biographies are to be read with caution, as many of the stories may be wrong or at least partly incorrect since the folks who sent in the stories on their ancestors were typically asked to send in what they remembered or had heard about their family members, and were never asked for evidence to support their submissions. Still, I believe these books bear careful reading because they can offer clues toward finding out documented evidence about these highlighted individuals. One such book stated that John Braly was from Derry, Northern Ireland, and that his mother was Agnes Braly. His father was not listed. This may be an indication that John came to America with his mother (and three brothers) but his father either stayed behind, or had already died in Northern Ireland. The book also stated John was a schoolteacher. Later, I found John listed as a schoolteacher in a book referencing different land exchanges.

Deed books are a great source to look through because sometimes information is provided beyond “John Smith sold 5 acres to Peter Brown for $60.” The deed books I looked at from Rowan County, North Carolina had an entry regarding a purchase made by Walter Braly and Honour Carson. As Walter did in fact marry an Honour Carson, this was a welcome find. This same source is the one that cited John as a scholmaster, and James Carson, Honour’s father, as a tanner. As it is often extremely difficult to know what an ancestor’s occupation was (prior to census data) this kind of information is exciting to find.

For some reason, the deed books also sometimes list the entire family. One entry mentions John and his wife, Sarah Carruth, and their nine children, complete with birth dates for each child, and the death date of John’s mother, Agnes. I don’t know what purpose this served at the time, but in terms of today’s research, this kind of thing is invaluable information to future generations. So, thank you, John!

Writing Projects: January Progress

One of my goals this year is to get back to my writing projects.

My chief aim in this regard is to rewrite the query for my first project.

The writing has been complete for years (going on seven) and the editing is done. I started the process in 2012, and sent out a number of queries, but had no takers.

I may not have the right product for the masses, but I believe my book could do well in the right market.

My next step is to polish up my query. I obviously need to either find another approach, decide self-publishing is better, or just shelve it for now.

This month my specific plan is to rewrite the query. Once that’s complete, I can focus on sending it out, again.

I’ve just about decided to try the self-publishing option, but I want to give this project a real chance in the traditional world before I go the other route.

Beach Family Genealogy II

This is an update to the post I wrote on the Beach family on September 1, 2013. When I figure out how to link that post to this one, I will do it here.

In the first Beach post, I mentioned Jesse Beach and Arena Mendenhall, and Jesse’s parents, Timothy Beach, Jr. and Sarah Sprague. From the little information I had, apparently Jesse, Sarah, and Arena all died in Macon County, Illinois: Jesse died in 1854, and Sarah and Arena both died in 1860. Sarah’s parents, Abraham and Celstia Sprague, died in Macon County in 1847. Timothy survived his son, daughter-in-law, and wife, and reportedly died in Scotland County, Missouri.

This past summer I traveled to both Macon County and Scotland County, and while it is always interesting to see the area my ancestors lived in (particularly when it is many miles from my own home) I was greatly disappointed in the lack of information I found.

For one thing, despite five ancestors dying in the same county (something that didn’t happen often with my constantly on-the-move relatives), none evidently have grave markers. Not only was I unable to locate anything online, in person at the Macon County Library (genealogy section) I painstakingly went through every cemetery listing (and there were many) but was unable to find a single one. Of course, they may all be buried together, but not finding any is tough luck. I was particularly disappointed to not locate Abraham Sprague’s, as he is a known patriot from the Revolutionary War, and so I had hoped somebody else had located him before now. I even went to the old cemetery, which does have people from that era buried therein, and spoke to the very knowledgeable cemetery director, who very willingly searched through all he had, but discovered nothing on my ancestor.

In fact, the library yielded nothing on the five of these folks, with the exception that I found an Index to Probate Records listing Jesse Beach as having a probated estate. But as it was only an index, the transcript of the probate was not available, and the staff in the genealogy section had no suggestions as to where I might find this information.

I did not have much more luck with Timothy. I did find him listed in the 1860 census as living in Scotland County, but here again, no transcribed books of tombstones had him listed, so I have no idea if his final resting place. The library in Scotland County was just a little thing, with very few records. I have no idea if anyplace in Missouri has more records that would be more forthcoming.

My next plan is to seek out a Mason County connection who may shed some light on where I could possibly look next for evidence on any of these people.

Happy 2014!

I love starting a new year. It’s like opening a fresh packet of note cards. On each card is written your goals for the year, but throughout the year the cards will get dropped, shuffled, bent and worn, and messy. But the goals still exist, just not exactly how you thought they’d turn out.

This year I will finish recapping the travel we did in 2013, bring the family names up to date based on the data I was able to gather this summer, keep you posted on what I am able to accomplish with regards to my writing projects, and finally, of course, post descriptions of the traveling we do in 2014.

Woo-hoo…off we go!!