52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 15:
Brick Wall

Genealogy Brick Walls:
Update 2021

We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I wrote in 2019 about the brick walls I have at my 4th great grandparent generation. Then, I had 13 of 64 of my 4th great grandparents as brick walls. Well, I still have 13 of 64. But, I have made some progress. [1]

Brick Wall Progress

  • I discovered a VERY likely name to one 4th great grandfather, William Russell of Strasburg, Lancaster Co., PA.
  • From a military pension file I found a brother of my 3rd great grandmother Eve Hill, Powell Hill born 1807. He may be a clue to discover their unknown mother.
  • I discovered a possible surname for my unknown Gillespie 4th great grandmother, Robeson of Hamilton or Butler County, OH.
  • I looked at my DNA matches for the surname Koontz and found I match a dozen, or more, people who have a Michael Koontz of Davidson County, NC with vitals that fit the brick wall on my Koontz line. His wife’s name was Mary Hage.
These are many of the surnames in my family tree
  • I found a source that indicates my 3rd great grandmother Mary Elizabeth McBride lived in Washington County, PA when she married. Therefore, I am now seeking her parents there.
  • A discovery I made about my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Gilbert has led me to believe his parents possibly lived in Northumberland, PA on the Susquehanna River.
  • Since my 3rd great grandparents Samuel Gilbert and Sarah Smith married in Richland County, OH, I am looking for her parents there. I have found two men named Smith who owned land in Richland, and very close to the land of Samuel Gilbert in Crawford County. Those men had females of Sarah’s age in their households in 1840 census, their names are Abner and John Smith.

My Current Plan

The information in the table below are the updated possible vitals for my brick walls. I have highlighted where I have made progress versus the 2019 table. These are the clues I am working from in hopes of putting a name to an ancestor. If you have any information regarding one of these families, please contact me and let’s compare notes.

4th Great Grandparent Brick Walls

Name Birth Yr/Loc Marriage Yr/Loc Death Yr/Loc Spouse Child
Mrs. Landon, LNP Walston [2] ca. 1746 MD 1770 Somerset, MD Aft 1790 Somerset, MD Joseph Landon 1746-? George Walston Landon 1790-1863
Mrs. Hill, LNP Angle [3] ca. 1790 ca. 1805 Bourbon, KY Aft. 1810 Bracken, KY Robert Hill 1784-1833 Eve Hill 1810-1887
Powell Hill 1807-?
William Russell [4] ca. 1790 PA? ca. 1809 Lancster, PA Aft 1832 Lancaster, PA Mrs. FNU Russell William Russell 1809-1870
Son 1816-20,
Son 1811-15,
Daughter 1816-20,
Daughter 1811-15, Daughter 1801-10
Mrs. Russell [5] ca. 1790 PA? ca. 1809 Lancster, PA Aft 1830 Lancaster, PA Mr. William Russell William Russell 1809-1870
Mrs. Gillespie LNP Robeson [6] ca. 1775 PA? ca. 1797 Hamilton, OH Aft. 1805 Butler, OH Thomas Gillespie 1766-1810 Isabella Gillespie Warbinton 1797-1833
Jane Gillespie Warbinton 1799-1880
George Gillespie 1802-1860
Martha Gillespie Hindman 1803-1843
Margaret Gillespie Thompson 1805-1879
Mr. Koontz, FNP Michael [7] ca. 1777 NC ca. 1800 NC ca. 1834 Davidson Co, NC Mrs. FNU Koontz George Koontz 1806-1852
Mrs. Koontz, FNP Mary LNP Hage [8] ca. 1785 NC? ca. 1800 NC ca. 1823 NC Mr. FNU Koontz George Koontz 1806-1852
Mr. McBride, FNP David or John [9] ca. 1775 PA? ca. 1800 Washington Co.PA Aft. 1803 PA/OH Mrs. McBride Elizabeth McBride 1803-1893
Mrs. McBride FNP Mary or Elizabeth [10] ca. 1775 PA? ca. 1800 Washington Co.PA Aft. 1803 PA/OH Mr. FNU McBride Elizabeth McBride 1803-1893
Mr. Gilbert, FNP David or George [11] ca. 1775 PA? ca. 1800 PA Aft. 1812 Northumberland Co.PA Mrs. FNU Gilbert Samuel Gilbert 1812-1895
David Gilbert ca. 1805
Mrs. FNU Gilbert [12] ca. 1775 PA? ca. 1800 PA Aft. 1812 Northumberland Co.PA Mr. FNU Gilbert Samuel Gilbert 1812-1895
Mr. Smith, FNP Abner or John [13] ca. 1790 PA? ca. 1815 PA/OH Aft. 1840 Crawford or Richland Cos., OH Mrs. FNU Smith Sarah Smith 1820-1846
Mrs. Smith, FNP Sarah [14] ca. 1790 PA? ca. 1815 PA/OH Aft. 1820 Crawford or Richland Cos., OH Mr. FNU Smith Sarah Smith 1820-1846

Brick Wall Notes:

LNP – Last Name Possibly
FNP – First Name Possibly
FNU – First Name Unknown
Prob – Probable, some vital point to this as correct.

Conclusion

Most genealogy enthusiasts have multiple brick walls. All we can do is break them down one at a time. Anyone reading this who can supply assistance with mine, please contact me. I hope I can return the favor some day.

SOURCES:

  1. Blog post, Family Finds: Genealogy Brick Walls; https://barblafara.com/genealogy-brick-walls/
  2. Profile of Unknown Walston, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27556026580/facts
  3. Profile of Mrs. Hill, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581740438/facts
  4. Profile of William Russell, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581740986/facts
  5. Profile of Mrs. Russell, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581741005/facts
  6. Profile of Mrs. Gillespie, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/5085061848/facts
  7. Profile of NOT Proven Michael Koontz, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581745864/facts
  8. Profile of NOT Proven Mary Hage, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581745901/facts
  9. Profile of Unknown McBride, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581748924/facts
  10. Profile of Mrs. McBride, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581749319/facts
  11. Profile of Unknown Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/26046078420/facts
  12. Profile of Mrs. Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581749147/facts
  13. Profile of Sarah Smith, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/26119687041/facts

Frank Takeo Flucawa

Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.

David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.

The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne

My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.

Do You See A Resemblance?

While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.

Probate of Jesse King 1868

Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.

Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary

A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.

Sarah Smith: Challenge

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846

Laferre to LaFara: Unusual Name

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.

Luella Pressell: Surprise!

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.

Rumple Family Photo 1895

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.

Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.

George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.

In The Paper

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.

Genealogy Brick Walls

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.

Catherine Landon: Out of Place

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.

Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start

52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week1: Fresh Start.
The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.

William and Uva Lafara: Favorite Photo

I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.

Close to Home

My grandparents. Earl and Pearl, met at church, close to home, in 1914,

So Far Away

My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away

Same Name

I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!