Here is a graphic of my current forebearers up to my great-grandparents. Click on it to biggify; many thanks to Arthur. You’ll note that I have identified 12 of the 16. I don’t have the parents of Samuel Walker, my father’s mother’s father. I’ve gotten hints from Ancestry, but they do not direct me to the correct person.
Also, I haven’t located Margaret Collins’ parents, though I went to a genealogist specializing in Irish lineage for that particular purpose. Margaret is my mother’s father’s mother. A town historian found her death certificate, but it only mentions her father’s surname and doesn’t identify her mother.
However, much to my surprise, I DID find the parents of Charles Williams, and I wasn’t even looking for them. Charles remarried in 1921 to Margaret Greenleaf; he married ANOTHER Margaret, presumably so he wouldn’t have to worry about saying his previous wife’s name in error. Charles’ parents were mentioned on the marriage license. Daniel Williams and Sarah Benson have a compelling story I will tell later this year.
I’ve also been aided in pursuing Margaret Collins Williams by my buddy Melanie, who cracked the case of my biological grandfather Raymond Cone.
Extend the parameters
Both Melanie and the Irish genealogist recommended that I pay attention to the people, not just in my direct line.
Here’s a picture of who I believe are baseball players. One of them is very likely to be Charles Williams (b. 1884 or 1885), the older son of Charles and Margaret Williams, my great-grandparents, and the brother of my grandfather Clarence Williams. In the 1910 US Census, the younger Charles’ occupation was listed as “ball player.”
Some lines go back much further than others. If I go back, two and three generations from Sarah Eatman were Thomas Eatman Sr and Jr, enslavers from North Carolina. Two generations earlier, I can find my British roots. Likewise, Mahala Price leads back to Brits, Price, and Hackney.
I’ve long known the identity of Harriet Bell’s parents, Phillis Wagner and Edward Bell. Edward, I suspect, was enslaved in New York north of NYC but manumitted before 1810.