Biography Builders Mar/Apr 2018 - Brickwall / Unknown Parents Profiles

+17 votes

This month's theme will be profiles with unknown parents (both), the brickwall.

We all have dead-end ancestors, the ones whose parents have not been found. They don't actually have to be your ancestors, just profiles already on WikiTree. Let's write them nice biographies. Include research notes on where you've looked for parents. If you actually discover parents as you search, that's great.

Biography Builders Goal: To make profiles as complete as possible with well-written biographies and sources. You should research as much as you can find on a person, writing the information onto the profiles to create as complete a life story as you can for that person. Sourcing should be full citations. This includes adding categories and links to events and people connected to that profile and citing all those additions. See the first month for examples of how to participate.

Here's our checklist:

Data Section:

  • birth date/place
  • names of parents
  • marriage date/place and spouse name
  • death date/place

Biography Section:

  • Written (full) sentences stating the facts above, adding inline sources to each fact.
  • Is the profile '''Genealogically Defined?'''
  • As a general rule biographies should be in your own words. Paraphrase and rewrite, don't copy/paste.
  • Baptism, burial, military, and other life events with inline sources.
  • Something to "humanize" the person, such as career or avocation with sources.
  • List of children with at least one pertinent fact.
  • One of the suggestions was siblings. I think this takes up real estate.
  • Explanatory remarks, if needed (e.g. disputed persons information, Research Notes, whatever needs extra explaining).
  • Photos or pictures, background. Not a must, but nice (you need to own the copyright unless they are in the public domain).
  • Categories/Projects.
  • Connection to the Global Tree.
  • All duplicates merged or initiated.
  • Links to persons and events, perhaps from Wikipedia.
  • Historical context as related to the person's life.
  • Sources, Sources, Sources.

You can see some ideas on where to find some of this information on the Biography Builders space page, linked below.

Use "comments" below to ask questions.

NOTE: Biography Builders will not show on the tracker. Please add a list to your answer.

WikiTree profile: Space:Biography_Builders
asked in Requests for Project Volunteers by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)

Note: You don't have to solve your brickwalls, just write biographies. Research notes would be appropriate, so you know where you've looked.

Anne B. I have a white board up in my office will all of the names of my brick walls on them.  I learned in a online course I took through Family tree magazine that to break town a brick wall such as my fourth great grandfather Henry Fritz Fritz-1269 to look for his siblings.  I have been searching for his siblings to no luck, but I am still hoping they will show up within his children's docs.

I will add what info I have gathered on my brickwall's and in need be a bio,, or  where I am at.


Wow, a board cool. Along those lines, I went to a lot of town halls gathering death certificates for my brickwall great, great grandfather, trying to find out where he was born so I could see about looking for siblings or  parents. All the certificates that reported his birth were different. He's still a brick wall.

I am a "White Board:" person!!!

Oh Ancestry has a lot of actual death certificates on it now, which they didn't seem to have until recently. So that is a really good place to look for a death certificate.  I can see where the birth date and place may be incorrect on a death certificate as the individual providing the information is under stress and may not really know for sure.


17 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer

Sorry but I have to share:

I had a wonderful day today with

Everything just fell in place. One source after the other found to make the connection possible. 

I found his parents and his siblings and discovered a second wife-  Almost had my husband worried with all the happy sounds I made. :->

Got a few strange looks 2 :-P 

Added a Death Notice and marriage record to his profile one - unconnected  profile - aint no more...  I am on cloud nine tonight. :-D 

It is the most awesome feeling to see that wall falling down. 

Now to find his grand parents etc. 

answered by Ronel Olivier G2G6 Mach 5 (50.9k points)
selected by Roberta Burnett

How exciting!

Congrats Ronel. I broke a brick wall yesterday too - then realized that every brick wall you break generates two more! Oh well. This is a job that never gets done. I tried the Brickwall generator and must say I am feeling a little demoralized that I have only 7.26% of my possible profiles over 10 generations. The up side is this is a hobby that is not going to run out of possibilities. The brick walls 1600s I can live with, it is the ones in the late 1800s that I know link to much longer trees but just can't find parents to make that link, like Van Der Merwe-2770 and Grant-10927 that irk me. So I am going to be putting some effort into finding then parents as part of this challenge.
Ha ha  Sharon

One wall at a time hey?

We can still rejoice between walls. and of course the older the profiles get the easier they get  :-D

Happy hunting
Anne B

It was a wonderful moment in time indeed
+16 votes
I'll have a go at this one! I have several 'dead-ends'.  And another FANTASTIC way to find them (if you don't already know about it) is the wonderful computer-magic app written by Jamie Nelson:

(make sure you are logged into the apps server, if all you get is 0% of this, 0% of that): then ignore the page of blurb that comes up, go back to the app above, put in your Wiki-ID and hit submit.
answered by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (579k points)
Thanks Ros
One of these days I need to put an actual login screen in the app so it's not so awkward.
Thanks!  I didn't know about this.  Works great.
Thanks for sharing this, Ros.  I always learn something new in the G2G forum!
+13 votes
I'm in again. Sound interesting.

1. Michael James Found christening and parents, also found marriage. Added profiles for parents, wife, children and sibling. Added biography. Genealogically Defined.
2. William Williams Added biography, no new information found.
3. Edward Orwin Added biography, no new information found.
4. Anthony Appleby Found burial record. Added biography and children.
5. John Thompson Added biography. Found and added mother and grand parents.
6. Richard Count Added biography, no new information found.
7. Elizabeth (Crouch) Count Added biography, no new information found.
8. Emma (Adams) Count Added biography and inquest report.
9. Elizabeth (Ollerenshaw) Gyte Added biography. Found christening and added profile for father.
10. Elizabeth (Goodwin) Gyte Added biography. Found christening and parents marriage. Added profiles for parents.
11. Rebecca (Woodhouse) Gyte Added biography. Found christening and added profile for father.
12. Mary (Stone) Gyte Added biography. No new information found.
13. Thomas Nuttall Added biography. No new information found.
14. Ann (Lentall) Nuttall Added biography. No new information found.
15. John Manderville Added biography. Traced 1841 and 1851 census.
16. Mary (Crossland) Sokell Added biography. No new information found.
17. Tedbor Taylor Found christening and two marriages.
18. Mary (Bassett) Guest Added biography, Found christening and added profile for father.
19. Joseph Hargate Added biography and linked to his probable parents.
20. John Jackson Added biography, traced christening, burial, probate and will. Added Father.
21. Mary Jane Ellerington Added biography and parents.
22. Mabel Maud Bloomfield Added biography, parents and children.
23. Alfred Upton Added biography and parents.
24. George Johnson Added biography, father and children.
answered by Joan Whitaker G2G6 Mach 5 (55.7k points)
edited by Joan Whitaker
+11 votes

This will be interesting as I'm currently working on a few tough ones.

1) Davies-7695 John Davies -  added marriage details with father's name, added baptism, 1841 census and created profiles for parents

2) Davies-7703 Anne Davies - added marriage details with no father's name - inconveniently just "deceased"

From my Brickwall Ancestor List app (ignoring illegitimate children with no father):

3) Shaw-11536 Harriet Shaw. Added death details with name of parents, census 1841-1901 added profiles for parents -added profiles for children

4) Robinson-24485 Charles Robinson - added profiles for parents

5) Cornwell-1578 Caroline Cornwell - created profiles for parents,

6) Bremner-474 John McBean Bremner - added profiles for parents

7) Turner-18481 Isabella Turner - added profiles for parents

8) Benford-77 Elizabeth Benford - added profiles for parents

9) Feaks-12 Susan Feaks - added profiles for parents

10) Nott-553 John Whetter  Nott - added profiles for parents

11) Johns-3701 Jane Johns - added 1841-1881 census, list of children and death details and connected to parents already on wiki-tree

12) Guyatt-22 Elizabeth Guyatt - added baptism, marriage, death & 1841 census -  added list of children and added profiles for parents

13) Carter-19869 Grace Carter - added census and profiles for parents

14) McDonald-14073 Marjory McDonald - added marriage, list of children, burial year/place and added profiles for parents. added profiles for children

15) McDonald-14103 Thomas McDonald. I got side tracked trying to link the other McDonalds that are named on the gravestone that died elsewhere! 

16) Turner-22150 James Turner. Marriage, list of children, burial & census added - added profiles for probable parents with research notes

17) Wheeler-15180 Added baptism, marriage, death, burial, probate, list of children - just need to dig out will and add parents profiles

18) Wheeler-15219 Added list of children - estimated birth/marriage date with research notes

19) Smith-153160  Rebecca Smith - Added baptism, marriage, death, 1841 & 1851 census - list of children - added profiles for parents

20) Cornwell-1577 Henry Cornwell - added baptism, marriage, death, 1841-1861 census and list of children

21) Robinson-26506 Robert Robinson added census details, baptism and profiles for parents. Can not find death/burial yet.

22) Cambridge-131 Samuel John Cambridge. Tabulated census details. Added profiles for parents.

23) Cambridge-142 Robert Cambridge - added marriage & burial details , list of children with birth/ baptisms & research notes

24) Werrett-11 Susannah Werrett - added marriage details and list of children with birth/ baptisms & research notes

25) Risbridge-1 Betty Risbridge - added baptism, marriages, list of children with baptisms, census details and research notes - addedprofiles for parents

26) Rist-134 John Rist alias Ris(t)bridge/Wrestbridge - added marriage, burial and list of children and research notes

27) Primmer-167 Mary Primmer added marriage, burial, list of children & Research Notes

28) Dennison-929 George Dennison - added to research notes. Added profile for spouse

29) Humphrey-6375 Grace Humphrey - added baptism, marriage, death, census details, list of children with baptisms and added profiles for parents

30) Humphrey-6420 James Humphrey - added estimated birth year, marriage, death, burial, 1841 census and list of children with baptisms and research notes

answered by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (108k points)

31) Smith-154691 Elizabeth Smith - added estimated birth year, marriage, death, burial, list of children with baptisms and research notes

32) Feaks-13 John Feaks - added baptism, marriage, death, census, list of children & baptisms and added profiles for parents

33) Cross-6738 Rebecca Cross added baptism, marriage, death, census, list of children & baptisms,& research notes

34) Feaks-14 John Feaks added marriage, census, death, burial and added spouse

35) Ford-3665 Thomasine Ford - added baptism, death & burial details - connected to parents - proposed merge with Foord-434

36) Green-23326 Ann Green - added sources for baptisms, marriages & death. Added profiles for parents

37) Pettit-1988 Kezia Pettit aka Wallis - added baptism, marriage, burial, list of children, added profiles for parents and research notes

38) Wallis-2422 Henry Wallis - added (illegal) marriage, list of children, probable burial & research notes - identified marriage and name of first wife.

39) Pettitt-347 Alice Pettit - added (illegal) marriage, list of children, burial & research notes

40) Cornwell-1590 Daniel Cornwell - added marriage, death, burial, list of children, research notes. Added profile for father

41) Dowe-155 Mary Dowe- added baptism, marriage burial list of children

42) Unknown-418497 Anne Cornwell late Seabrook nee unknown - added list of children from first marriage, burial of first husband, 2nd marriage, list of children from 2nd marriage and burial. Found first marriage - changed LNAB now - Eley-353

43) Fuller-9425 Hannah Fuller. added marriage, list of children, burial of husband and research notes

44) Lawrence-8846 William Lawrence - added baptism, marriage, burial and profiles for parents

45) Read-4130 Mary Read - added marriage, list of children with baptisms, burial and research notes

46) Lawrence-10417 - George Lawrence - Baptism, marriage, burial, list of children - linked to unconnected branch through son and adopted orphaned branch which needs sourcing. Added profiles for parents

47) Bremner-650 William Bremner - Baptism, marriage, death, census, list of children & research notes

48) Urquhart-1264 Margaret Urquhart - Baptism, Marriage, death, census. Added profiles for parents and list of children

49) Simpson-12450 Elizabeth/Elspet(h) Simpson - Baptism, marriage, list of children & research notes

50) Bremner-664 John Bremner (Brander) - marriage, list of children Research notes with list of witnesses from baptisms of children (probable fiends & relatives)

51) Carrach-5 Margaret Carrach/Carroch - baptism, marriage, list of children & research notes with list of witnesses from baptisms of children (probable fiends & relatives). Added profiles for parents

52) Findlay-908 Besse Findlay - added baptism, marriage, list of children & Research Notes

53) Carrach-6 Jonathan Carrach - - added baptism, marriage, list of children & Research Notes

+8 votes
The Brickwall app lists 181 profiles, so should be able to find a few, with enough info to write a biography :)
answered by Patricia Roche G2G6 Pilot (283k points)
+10 votes

I'm in. I've been meaning to work on some brick walls. This will be a good chance. Thanks for the app, Jamie! Will link when done.

  1. Hannah S Mandeville-524 -- added profiles for the rest of her children, attached father whose profile already existed, created mother's profile.
answered by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (534k points)
edited by Emma MacBeath
I have fallen down a major rabbit hole!  Once I started researching Hannah, I discovered her entire line generations deep on WikiTree--but it is all unsourced and some of it possibly incorrect.  If you don't see me for a couple of months, you''ll know where I am ;-)
+9 votes

Hmmm,  Knocking down brickwalls. I have a few I would like to bulldoze through. Sounds like fun.

  1. Kiziah (Adkins) Fry. (Merged Adkins-4966 into Adkins-54)
  2. John Bickerton   added info from English records
answered by Connie Graves G2G6 Mach 4 (40.5k points)
edited by Connie Graves
+8 votes

This one sounds a little tougher than most but I'm up for it! It'll be good to get back to looking at people I haven't worked on in a while!

  1. Timothy Morgan-19961 - added census, marriage, death/burial. Still no parents, but after finding his wife's maiden name I was able to link to her existing profile!
  2. Lorenzo Dow Hillerman-17 - he's been neglected since pre-web days. I feel like I won the lotto! Still needs work but he filled out very nicely.
  3. Emily Louise (Williams-59229) Hillerman Morse - Found a whole 'nother family, also added profile for her 2nd husband Dennis G Morse-5324
  4. Mary Elizabeth (Callicott-60) Connolly - lots of cleanup and added details to her biography.
  5. James Connolly-1593 - still needs a lot of work.
  6. Catherine (Payne-9601) Connolly - wife of James, also needs lots more work.
  7. Philip LaCase-6 - updated biography and added parents
  8. Rebecca Richardson-16511 - cleaned up biography and added more from marriage and census records
  9. Marie Modeste "Henriette" Landry-2930 - updated biography, sources, added research notes, and linked to parent profiles found on WikiTree.
  10. Marie Cesaire Mayer-2449 - updated biography and sources, linked to parent profiles.
  11. Marie Anne Meche-101 - ditto
  12. Catherine Moreau-857 - ditto
  13. Henry LaGrange-183 - updated biography and sources. Found a duplicate Henry Lagrange-140 with additional sources and parents, and plan to follow up with a merge proposal after reviewing the sources in that profile!

Too bad I can't include Peter Anderson-36221. I had just done some work on him before this challenge began. He's a real pickle!

answered by Joyce Rivette G2G6 Mach 4 (40.1k points)
edited by Joyce Rivette
+6 votes

I have several dead ends, so I'll give it a try this month.

1. Daniel Kinnaston possible parents are listed, but no record can be found in 20+ years of digging.

answered by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (173k points)
edited by Bob Keniston
+7 votes
This sounds like a good challenge! I'll give it a go.
answered by Kathryn Hogan G2G6 (8.5k points)
+6 votes
I looked at my list of brick walls.  One of the first one I brought up had a mention of a father in the bio, so I researched him and added a profile for him.

Luke Russell Simmons
answered by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
+2 votes
I will try some I will use the tracker.
answered by Linda Barnett G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
Linda the tracker does't work here.
+5 votes William Ives The hunt for his parents has gone on for a long time. His disputed origins section was so long I moved it to the end.
answered by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)
That's a really interesting biography Anne. I hope none of mine ever get so complicated.
+5 votes
This sounds like a great challenge, Anne!  I'm in.  I hope I can be as successful as Ronel.
answered by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (506k points)
+5 votes
  1. Otto Kristen Smith b. Norway, written biography
  2. Thomas Davies b. England,  written biography and found father
  3. Stephen John Newland Jr. b. England,  written biography and found father
  4. Edward Braddock b. England Written Biography
  5. David Craik b. Scotland, there is a birth date, however, I can't match any records, Rewritten biography
  6. Edward Goodier b.England, Written Biography and added sources for each life event.
  7. Isobel (Campbel) Craik b. Scotland Written Biography and found christening and father!!
  8. Dugald Clerk b. Scotland Written Biography and found parents
answered by Campbell Braddock G2G6 Mach 4 (47.2k points)
edited by Campbell Braddock
+4 votes
I'll try to do a few! I've been away TOO Long!
answered by Pat Credit G2G6 Mach 6 (62.1k points)
+3 votes
I'll have a go at this one.



3. Jeremiah Henry MARSDEN

4. Ella May WEBB

5. Irene Ella WEBB

6. Charles WEBB

7. Beatrice WEBB

8. James WEBB

9. Elizabeth (GOUDGE) WEBB

10. Sarah (GRIGG) VINE

11. Catherine (FLETCHETT) GRAHAM

12. James GRAHAM

13. Lydia (HAYES) RIDGE



16. Henry SMITH

17. Marion (RICE) HUXLEY
answered by John Rosser G2G6 (6.8k points)
edited by John Rosser
Nice Job for your first month John. You may add {{Biography Builders 10}} to "spiff up" your profile
Thanks Anne, I'm finding this very enjoyable...easier to stray down rabbit holes now but my efforts feel more focussed!

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