Woo-hoo! Found proof of parentage for James S. Bullock!

+15 votes

So my 4th g-grandfather, James Sullivan Bullock-1841, was amazingly hard to track down to begin with, and then wound up being the most well documented guy with no proof of parentage with yet a startling amount of circumstantial evidence of who he belonged to.  

The initial problem was finding the name of my 3rd g-grandmother, wife of my 3rd g-grandfather, Henry Anderson Dickinson.  Google did that job -- I googled "Henry Anderson Dickinson" and there she was, in Henry's Yale obituary, Sarah A Bullock, daughter of James S Bullock and Nancy (Barrows) Bullock.  Henry proved to have traveled to Illinois from Massachusetts to meet and marry Sarah Amelia; and Sarah's father Jame S proved to be a doctor from Rehoboth, Massachusetts, who had studied at Brown and Harvard -- listed as a student, even.  Except Rehoboth (and Taunton, and Rhode Island) was rotten with Bullocks, and possible James Bullocks.   I eventually demonstrated to my own satisfaction that the other James  Bullocks lived and died elsewhere, and that my James was probably the son of Oliver Bullock and Susannah Tisdale.  Indeed, he'd traveled West with their probable but also undocumented other children; bought land for those likely siblings; settled in the same neighborhood.  Most of his probable brothers were mentioned, and mentioned each other, in various History of This And That Indiana County or Town books -- and none actually said "brother," at least not about James S. 

Very aggravating.   His (probable) brother Oliver married and listed Oliver Sr. and Susanna as parents.   His probable sister Susanna Hall Bullock eventually moved in with brother Oliver and was listed as Oliver's sister in the census.  Two of his other probable brothers, Joseph and Leonard set up in business together, claimed each other as brothers; mentioned James as having bought land for Leonard; NEVER CLAIMED JAMES as a sibling.  Jeeze.

Oh, and ALL their birth records are missing from the Massachusetts Vital Records.  Maybe it was the bickering between the Baptists and the Congregationalists, or maybe the territorial warfare between Massachusetts and Rhode Island; maybe Oliver and Susanna just didn't bother, but they're not there.  OR in the Unrecorded Rehoboth records, either; I tracked down a copy and bought it, but alas, not. 

So I finally made the NEHGS database cough up all the Plymouth and Bristol county Bullock probate records, and started going through all the possible probate records... AND... he administered his father's estate.  

There's a court annotation saying his mother requested him, and that it's because he's the deceased's son. AND there's a list of all the heirs-at-law: his mother and all of the heretofore undocumented siblings. 

AND... this connects me up to the infamous Billingtons.  The guy who almost blew up the Mayflower in harbor, and his dad, the first Englishman hanged for murder in the Colonies.  Now I can make trouble...

WikiTree profile: James Bullock
in The Tree House by Patricia Hawkins G2G6 Mach 2 (29.0k points)

6 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
Congratulations Patricia. Quite a hunt indeed. I enjoyed reading about it.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Debbie Parsons
+6 votes
Thank you for sharing the story of this research problem, Patricia, and congratulations on breaking through this brick wall.
by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
+6 votes
Way to go. It is so satisfying finally tracking down that elusive source that ties all the circumstantial information together. I am still trying to find something on my grandmother. lol
by Steven Tibbetts G2G6 Pilot (290k points)
+4 votes
Can I borrow that sledge hammer?  I have a few Brick walls of my own to break down. You should put a lot of this in his Bio.... Congratulations Cousin!!!
by Ken Parman G2G6 Mach 4 (42.2k points)
+2 votes
Congratulations on your find!
by Cheryl Hess G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+1 vote
I don't know how I missed this story when first put out there, but congratulations! That is quite a find!
by Edie Kohutek G2G6 Mach 8 (80.5k points)

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