What can you do if two people are brothers, but you do not know who their parents are?

+6 votes
I am not sure the two people I am thinking of are in fact brothers, but I am very close to deciding the coincidences are more than coincidences. So must they remain unconnected to each other forever?

John L  (Mattson-472) and Thornley L born 5 years apart in Ohio. As adults lived 40 miles apart. John L's son Thomas E, named his son Thornley T. No other people with the first name Thornley appear to exist ever in the US and only by last name elsewhere.
WikiTree profile: Thornley Mattson
in The Tree House by Susan Fitzmaurice G2G6 Mach 4 (42.7k points)
Susan, just a note in case you weren't aware of it:  if you do conclude that they are brothers, and decide to show them as siblings without having identified a parent, then the system will automatically create a new "Unnamed Father Mattson" profile, of which you will be the manager.  It's my understanding that the data base doesn't store sibling relationships directly, and only keeps track of the connection through a parent.
I did this and an amazing thing happened. I decided to double check on who I think their father might be and I reread a marriage citation which includes the wife's name - Lucinda G. White. Thornley named his daughter Lucinda so that lends a bit of credibility to his parentage, but more importantly it led to a record of a Thornley L. White . It is only a military record, but it does place him in Ross County,Ohio with the militia in 1812, where Thornley L. Mattson was born. Coincidence? I doubt it.  I can't find a single other record thought for Thornley L. White, but the search is on..

Thanks for suggesting this or I would not have delved deeper as I did.


Also by doing this I also connected 175 people to the Global Family Tree!
Congratulations.  Gives you a warm feeling that it's all worth it when you accidentally stumble onto one of those hits.
Does anyone know if this issue has been resolved? I have two people I know are brothers, but I do not know who either of their parents are. It seems like this might happen fairly often, for example, the census lists household members as brother, or brother in law, but the parents may remain unknown. It seems unwieldy to create a "ghost" profile for a parent.
If you know who the brothers are, you have a last name.  Maybe if you ask a specific question of your own, someone else might be able to find the father at least.  Depending on location, someone else may even be able to find the mother.

1 Answer

+5 votes
I would put a note in each of their biographies with a link to each other's profile indicating the mystery!

Have you read the 'Cousin Bait' page? It's in the menu at the top of the page where it says who's profile page you are on.

Good luck!!
by Christine Daniels G2G6 Mach 9 (96.8k points)

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