I recently bought several back issues of the NGS NewsMagazine from a fellow researcher, and have been diligently combing through them for research and record tips. I’ve run across some really good finds, too, but the topic of today’s post comes from the article “Charting Your Priorities” by Susan Zacharias (January/February/March 2007, pp. 54 – 56). In short, Zacharias offers a method of prioritizing research by listing end-of-lines (that is, the earliest known generation in every direct line) in various fonts according to their place on the pedigree chart. Your largest font size (Zacharias recommends 18 point) would correspond to your most recent (chronologically) dead end, with each step down in fonts corresponding to one generation further back in time.
This week’s blogging prompt from Genea-Bloggers on Facebook is to write about a brick wall in the hopes that someone else can help break it down.
One of my brick walls is Abraham Lowe, born between 1795 and 1801 in Burke County, North Carolina, and his wife, Margaret [–?–], who was born about 1800 in Virginia. They married about 1822, probably in Haywood Co., NC, and had six children that I know of: Jesse (born about 1823, Haywood Co., NC, married 1853 in Macon Co., NC to Mary A. Butler), Bashuba (born about 1826, Haywood Co., NC), Rachel (born about 1829, Macon Co., NC), Gideon (born about 1831, Macon Co., NC, married 1855 in Jackson Co., NC to Naomi Miller), Nancy Ellen (born about 1835, Macon Co., NC, married about 1854 to Henry Woodfin Miller), and Mary Ann (born about 1844, Macon Co., NC).
Abraham and Margaret were enumerated in the 1830 and 1850 US censuses in Macon Co., NC, in the 1860 US census in Jackson Co., NC, and in the 1880 US census in Transylvania Co., NC. Chances are, they never moved and it was the county boundaries that changed around them.
A Nancy Lowe, aged 75 and born in NC, was enumerated with Abraham and Margaret in the 1850 US census, and again in the 1860 US census, where her age was given as 83. This may have been the Nancy Creaseman, daughter of Abraham Creaseman, who married a Jesse Lowe in 1803 in Lincoln Co., NC. This Jesse was subsequently enumerated in 1810, 1820, and 1830 on the US censuses for Lincoln, Haywood, and Macon Counties, respectively. It’s possible that Nancy was Abraham’s mother or step-mother, but I have yet to prove that. I have not been able, for instance, to locate any probate records for this Jesse Lowe. In fact, I haven’t found a lot on this family, period, outside of census records. It could be that I’m looking in the wrong place, and with pretty much all the “old” counties in Western NC to sort through, it could take me a while to find the right place or places to search.
Even if I can connect Abraham to Jesse Lowe and Nancy Creaseman, I still have to find Margaret’s family. If children Jesse and Nancy were named after Abraham’s parents (assuming that I can somehow reconcile Jesse and Nancy’s marriage date and place with Abraham’s birth date and place), then there’s a good chance either Bashuba, Rachel, or Gideon, or possibly all three, were named after Margaret’s family. It’s a shaky lead, and one that would have to be corroborated fully with other documents, but it’s about the only lead I have at the moment.