Brick Wall of the Month: Mary Jane Tomlinson

My brick wall for the month of July is Mary Jane Tomlinson.

Mary Jane was born in Tennessee in 1822, married Samuel S. McCleary in 1839, and died in Fannin County, Texas, in 1901.

Or maybe not. We don’t really know much about Mary Jane, or at least her parentage.

My Travel Buddy’s aunt, who did extensive genealogy decades before personal computers arrived, always claimed that Richard Tomlinson of North Carolina was her father. This Richard Tomlinson married Nancy Waddill, and was from the Quaker community in North Carolina. This branch is originally from Ireland, and has flourished for many generations in North Carolina.

The facts seem to fit, but in the end, it is only strong circumstantial evidence that points to Richard, or at least this particular Richard, as being Mary Jane’s father.

Eventually, we will probably just have to accept this family line as fact without definitive proof. But because I like to tie up all the loose ends, I really would like to put this issue to rest for all time.

What kind of proof could there be? We have not located a will. The census at the time of Richard’s death (1831) does not spell out the family members. What should we be looking for that will definitively prove Mary Jane’s parentage?

I invite your thoughts and comments.

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