Newby, sorta. Brick Wall: Samuel Hawkins Cunningham

+4 votes
I'm John, with a WikiTree account nine years old but never used, now becoming active.  Over 50 years of research experience, have never stopped and not going to.

My brick wall is my 2ggf Samuel Hawkins Cunningham, who first appears getting married in 1839 to Mary Edith Throgmorton in Henry County, Tennessee.  They are in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 Federal Censuses, and never seen again.  In 1870, the children are scattered in four households in neighboring Stewart County.  I don't know Sam's parents.  (I do know Mary Edith's.)
in Genealogy Help by John Cunningham G2G Crew (560 points)
recategorized by Ellen Smith

1 Answer

+4 votes
Does Samuel have a WikiTree profile you can link to this question?

Have you looked at census records for 1840 to see nearby Cunningham families?  If you trace those families back to 1830 did they have a child that could have been Samuel?  

What about probate records for Cunningham in Henry County.  Maybe Samuel was named in a parent's will or probate.  

Land records can also provide clues if he owned land.

You can also search for other Cunninghams marrying in Henry County around the same time.  They could be siblings or possibly a widowed parent.  Researching them could lead you to clues or answers you can't find by searching Samuel himself. And yes, this could be a slow process.

If you create profiles on WikiTree for all the other Cunninghams you find in your search, and also look for them in other trees maybe you'll get lucky and connect up with them.

And have you taken a DNA test?  If you have matches with Cunningham ancestry their lines might connect up to yours.  I solved my White brick wall that way. Once I had a theory who the parents were it was fairly straight forward to build the paper trail, but before that, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack because the family had moved and White is a very common name.
by Paige Kolze G2G6 Mach 3 (35.9k points)
Hi Paige!  Thank you for the quick answer.

The short answer to all is that I have been researching for decades, have been to Henry and Stewart Counties twice, and have made no progress.
- Booker Cunningham and family are also visible 1838-1860.  In 1870 it's his widow and the kids.  Booker was likely the older brother of Samuel Hawkins.  They're both in the tax lists, but owned no land.
- Nothing in probate.
- Hugh Cunningham and family moved into Henry County around 1832.  It's possible that Booker and Samuel were related to him, perhaps came with him and became visible when they married.  Ancestry ThruLines asserts that he's their dad.  But the tax lists don't seem to have older boys in Hugh's household, unaccounted for.  Nothing in probate.
- I will be creating profiles for the other Cunningham relatives I know of, including third cousins.
- My DNA is at all major sites, but no one seems to know anything about Samuel Hawkins.

Thanks and regards


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