Genealogy Brick Walls:
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. 
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.
- 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 ||ca. 1746 MD||1770 Somerset, MD||Aft 1790 Somerset, MD||Joseph Landon 1746-?||George Walston Landon 1790-1863|
|Mrs. Hill, LNP Angle ||ca. 1790||ca. 1805 Bourbon, KY||Aft. 1810 Bracken, KY||Robert Hill 1784-1833||Eve Hill 1810-1887
Powell Hill 1807-?
|William Russell ||ca. 1790 PA?||ca. 1809 Lancster, PA||Aft 1832 Lancaster, PA||Mrs. FNU Russell||William Russell 1809-1870|
Daughter 1811-15, Daughter 1801-10
|Mrs. Russell ||ca. 1790 PA?||ca. 1809 Lancster, PA||Aft 1830 Lancaster, PA||Mr. William Russell||William Russell 1809-1870|
|Mrs. Gillespie LNP Robeson ||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 ||ca. 1777 NC||ca. 1800 NC||ca. 1834 Davidson Co, NC||Mrs. FNU Koontz||George Koontz 1806-1852|
|Mrs. Koontz, FNP Mary LNP Hage ||ca. 1785 NC?||ca. 1800 NC||ca. 1823 NC||Mr. FNU Koontz||George Koontz 1806-1852|
|Mr. McBride, FNP David or John ||ca. 1775 PA?||ca. 1800 Washington Co.PA||Aft. 1803 PA/OH||Mrs. McBride||Elizabeth McBride 1803-1893|
|Mrs. McBride FNP Mary or Elizabeth ||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 ||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 ||ca. 1775 PA?||ca. 1800 PA||Aft. 1812 Northumberland Co.PA||Mr. FNU Gilbert||Samuel Gilbert 1812-1895|
|Mr. Smith, FNP Abner or John ||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 ||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.
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.
- Blog post, Family Finds: Genealogy Brick Walls; https://barblafara.com/genealogy-brick-walls/
- Profile of Unknown Walston, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27556026580/facts
- Profile of Mrs. Hill, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581740438/facts
- Profile of William Russell, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581740986/facts
- Profile of Mrs. Russell, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581741005/facts
- Profile of Mrs. Gillespie, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/5085061848/facts
- Profile of NOT Proven Michael Koontz, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581745864/facts
- Profile of NOT Proven Mary Hage, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581745901/facts
- Profile of Unknown McBride, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581748924/facts
- Profile of Mrs. McBride, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581749319/facts
- Profile of Unknown Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/26046078420/facts
- Profile of Mrs. Gilbert, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/27581749147/facts
- Profile of Sarah Smith, ‘Osborn‘ tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/13493206/person/26119687041/facts
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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.
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.
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
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
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52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
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52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
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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.
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.
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