I finished the book, right? I have started new major trees in preparation for the next book. So I can stop with the Wilson stuff? Not on your life.
One of the most fun things nowadays in genealogy is that information keeps being digitized and being made available online. That means that new clues keep cropping up and I have to keep track as best as I can.
I use Ancestry.com for my base research – mostly due to the hint system. I don’t have to go looking for new bits, they can just pop up at any time. There’s a catch though. If you don’t go back to that section of the tree, those hints may not pop up at all. So with a tree of over 21,000? Well, I think you can imagine how time intensive that can be.
Add in the fact that I really have not done extensive work on the Alexander line and I’m now just starting to go back to look at the accuracy of what I have. That means I got hints popping up every time I click. Yippee! Oh, dear!
I’m not here to promote ancestry as your primary source so I won’t go into details about the best way to use it for your research. After they tried to pull the plug on their long standing Family Tree Maker software, I absolutely do not trust them to do the best thing for their subscribers. So if you do use ancestry, buy software that allows you to easily back up your work there.
So ongoing research? Well, I’m presently tracing the Alexanders of Maine who are not descendants of William Alexander. There was another Alexander that came over in that flotilla of Temple ships – one named William who I suspect was a brother to the known William’s father, David. Most of those descendents lived in Topsham whereas the William who married a Wilson went to Harpswell. Having the two different families makes this research a bit dicey but doing all the Alexanders means I can tease out the threads of which family an Alexander belongs to. That’s the good news.
The problem still lies in tying those Topsham descendants to the proper sons of that original William (I am making that assumption with no proof). One part of my next research in Maine at the end of this month will be to look again at the Pejebscot Records to find all references to the Alexanders. And the Mustards.
Don’t laugh. Col. Mustard was not just a character in the board game, Clue. Mustard is an old Northern England and Scottish name dating back to 1414. Ancestry’s Mustard family page says it is a “metonymic occupational name for a dealer in spices, or a nickname for someone with a hot temper or a vicious tongue”.
There are several Mustards in early Topsham so I’m delving into this small family in an effort to figure out who was who and where they came from. Most likely it was one or two ancestors and they may have first come into York, not Topsham. I love a mystery and hopefully I can shed some light on James, John and William Mustard of Topsham. Both a William and a John are listed as dead in the resident list of 1746 with the deeds given to James. William seems to be the father of Martha who married an Alexander. I think there’s a James may be the father of both the James who got the deeds and of the John and William who is listed as dead. I also think those deaths were due to Indians and that info is probably in those records somewhere.
I’ve also found references to a Margaret (Owen), Sarah (Brown?), a Catherine (Potter) and an Abigail (McFadden) who may have been the daughters of that original Mustard as well. So that’s another family whose name is going to figure highly in my next look at the old Pejebscot records.
One of the reasons for concentrating on a specific geographical area is that researching one family turns up information – frequently the names of the daughters as they marry – on other families. So no matter what, the research never ends.
Mystery abounds and clues pop up. Ah, yes, all in the course of a day. How could historical research be more exciting?