From mystery to Maben: breaking down a genealogical brick wall

img_1172It’s been said that setting goals turns the invisible into the visible.

With a brick wall ancestor, it often seems like one is chasing a ghost, hoping one day for identity to materialize. The pursuit can last years – decades, even.

This is the story of how setting a concrete goal enabled me  – nearly one year after I had set my goal – to finally busted one of the biggest brick walls in my family tree!

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Leap day birthday

img_0435Being born on a leap day is so uncommon that I’ve only ever found one of my confirmed direct line ancestors to have been so.

Today would have been Araminta Rebecca “Mintie” Brown’s 140th birthday.

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The Three Sarahs, part 1

square photograph of three tall evergreen treesLike every genealogist, I have my share of so-called brick wall ancestors. Ones for whom a paper trail is scant or missing.

On my paternal grandmother’s side there are three such ancestors, each with the given name Sarah.

The origins for two of “The Three Sarahs” have long been a mystery with very few clues and even fewer records to assist in figuring out their background. The third Sarah was an illegitimate birth, with no record of  who her father may have been.

This post concerns the Sarah for whom I have the least amount of information.

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