I'm sure you've heard the term "brick wall" in genealogy. Well, I have a "fire wall." I am trying to find the parents of Elizabeth "Betsy" Clark born 9 Oct 1758 in Falmouth (Portland) and died 23 Feb 1839 in Minot (Auburn), according to records in Woodstock, Maine. Betsy married Lazarus Rand just about time that the Revolutionary War broke out. She was recovering from the very difficult birth of their first child, James, when Lazarus sailed on the Bagaduce Expedition (more on that in another post).
I have scoured my usual places for records pertaining to Betsy and then while reading the pension file of Lazarus, I find the following affidavit from the town clerk in Falmouth.
From Pension File of Lazarus Rand
For those who would like some help with the handwriting, it reads, "I further state that in the month of October 1849 the Records of this town were destroyed by fire, and there are now no records of marriages intentions of marriages or Births for said town from 1700 to 1849 as all the town Records refer to the time above named were destroyed as above stated in 1849. John Noyes Town Clerk of Falmouth."
And that folks is my Wall of Fire - Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" has been running through my head ever since I found this.
Lazarus Rand & Elizabeth Clark
Eunice Rand & Timothy Cox
Christiana Cox & John H. Cotton
Francis Llewellyn Cotton & Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton & Annie Florilla Gibbs
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother
originally posted at http://mymaineancestry.blogspot.com/