All genealogists have one: a brickwall. Alright, there may be a lucky
few upon whom the Gods of Genealogy have smiled who don't have a
brickwall. These are probably the same people who got A's on their
trigonometry finals. But the rest of us, we have brickwalls,
whose names, or places of birth, or parents elude us.
missing information and smashing through that brickwall to
ancestors beyond it is the Holy Grail of genealogy. And sometimes
we have more than one brickwall to breakdown.
In my case, I
have several, the big one of course being the enigma
that is the Elusive John Cutter West. (Yes, I meant to capitalize
there's another that nags at me for my attention when
I look at my
What was the name of my 5x great grandfather Caleb
Now I admit that I've been fairly lucky with the
majority of my female ancestors.
There are only a few whose maiden
names I don't know. But in the case of Caleb's
wife, I don't even
have a first name. Everything I've seen online so far about him
mention of the woman who gave birth to Moses Coburn, my 4x great
grandfather. (I mean, I'm pretty sure Moses didn't come into being from
spontaneous generation or cloning, so he had to have a mother.)
None of the
queries I posted to discussion groups for the
Coburn/Colburn family have
been successful, either.
The other day
I thought I might finally solve the mystery. I found a copy of the book
"Genealogy of the Descendants of Edward
Colburn/Coburn" online. The book was
published in 1913, only
sixty-six years after Moses' death and co-written by Silas
Surely this might have the woman's name. I looked through it in much the
way as Wile E. Coyote goes through the latest Acme Catalogue. And there
on page 48 I found:
Coburn(Moses 3 Joseph2 Edward1) was born in Dracut December 12, 1738;
he married ________ ____________; they
dwelt at Tyngsboro." followed by
an entry about their child
Now I'm wondering if there was some reason the name is
unknown. Could there
have been some family scandal that removed any
mention of Caleb's wife's name
from the Coburn family history? Or was
she so forgettable a person that nobody
remembered her name?
she still remains a mystery, along with my other brickwalls that I keep
trying to break down, because that's what genealogists do. Like Wile
E.Coyote, we keep chasing after our elusive Road Runner ancestors.
out there have an Acme Genealogy Answers Catalogue handy?