Are there any WikiTreers from Gallia County, Ohio?

+5 votes

I think I should probably give up on this before I end up doing more harm than good.

As part of the Connectors Project, I've been putting up lists of the largest unconnected branches in various countries on the Connectors Chat page. (And a big shout out to AleŇ° for giving me the reports of unconnected branches by size.)

I also have a list of "Challenging Unconnected Branches", which are going to be tough to connect for various reasons. 

One branch struck me as well-nigh impossible, because none of the profiles have any dates (birth, marriage, or death), place names, or even first names (only first initials). Also, all the women were listed by their married names rather than their maiden names, and most of their husbands were not listed at all. Basically, I couldn't see how anybody could be expected to make sense out of that mess, so I decided to try and see if I couldn't give anybody willing to take on that job a few hints.

I contacted the WikiTreer who uploaded the GEDCOM that those profiles came from, and he couldn't help me out, because it turns out that somebody had added all those profiles to his tree on another genealogy site without his knowledge, and when he transferred his family tree over to WikiTree, he was asking, "Who are all these people?"

So I did some poking around, and some creative searches on FamilySearch (looking for a woman with this first initial, that maiden name, married to a husband with that last name, with a daughter with this first initial who married a man with that last name. And I hit pay dirt: I got first names, dates, and places, and as far out as I've traced, the last names and first initials match (although there are a bunch people who weren't in the branch as I found it). So I'm pretty sure I've identified the right people, unless I've just tripped over a really unlikely coincidence. (Oh, and it's possible that this branch bears some relation to Abraham Lincoln through his aunt Nancy Lincoln, who married a William Brumfield.)

I even managed to link this branch to the main tree, just by chasing out one of those unlisted husbands.

So, it's all good, right?

WikiTree profile: Mary Brumfield
in The Tree House by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (218k points)

Well, actually, no, it's not. Because the profile which was the first one I identified is the one that's giving me trouble now:

Mary Brumfield married Sloan Brumfield, and had a bunch of children. Most of the birth record list Mary's maiden name as Farley. But some of them list her maiden name as Spurlock. Now, as it happens, there were two Sloan Brumfields living in Guyan Township, Gallia County in the 1880s (one was the nephew of the other), so I thought that maybe one married Mary Farley and the other married Mary Spurlock, and separated out the children accordingly. But then I came across more records which seemed to show that Mary Farley and Mary Spurlock were the same person (as in, she's listed as Mary Farley in one child's birth record, but Mary Spurlock in the same child's marriage record, or May (Spurlock) Brumfield's sister is living with Mary (Farley) Brumfield and listed as her sister in a census). So I might conclude that Mary Spurlock married a guy name Farley, who then conveniently died so she could marry Sloan Brumfield, except that I can't find any records to show that. (Actually, I haven't found any Farleys at all.)

So I'm thinking that what's required to straighten out this mess is for somebody who lives nearby to check out the county records, newspaper archives, etc. and try to piece out what actually happened, because trying to do all of this by remote access from another country just isn't enough to do the job right.

There are definitely two Marys. Look here at this birth record:

It lists Mary Farley (Brumfield) as the mother and another Mary Brumfield as the acting midwife. Looking through the records on FS it seems as if someone tried to annotate them. This birth cert includes in the transcription here the child's married name. I would tend then to distrust the only record I found suggesting there was only one Mary (this child's death cert, which lists Spurlock) as I can not see the original image to compare with the transcriber's opinions.

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