It’s make it or break it time, but I found a new resource! Alven Martyn Smith, wrote Three Blackmore Genealogies: William Blackmore of Scituate, Mass., James Blackmore of Providence, R.I., Rev. Adam Blackman (Blackmore) of Stratford, Conn. in 1930. The original manuscript is housed at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, which is not exactly commuting distance from Tucson. HOWEVER, the Family History Library has a copy of it. I am most grateful to Luana Wentz Darby for doing this look up for me.
Before delving into Smith’s work, I’d like to comment on several methods I often use to crack brick walls, but which didn’t help here.
- Family naming patterns can sometimes be a clue as to who fits into which family. The Blackmers, and even John and Rebecca Spurr, did have a pattern – but the pattern was to use more original, less common given names for their children. John and Rebecca named most of their children with names often found in the Spurr family, with the exceptions of Benjamin, Elisha and Eliphalet. Among the Blackmer clan, Joseph named children Willard, Betty, Peter and Hannah. William born in 1699 went with Mary, John, Lemuel, Sarah, Holland, Timothy and Huldah. William born in 1708 had Mary, Lydia, Sarah, William, Ralph, Experience and John. Naming patterns definitely weren’t of any help with this problem.
- Often, at least in southern state probates and land sales, the widow/wife has a member of her family representing her interests during estate administrations and/or land transactions. I spent quite a few hours looking for family ties to males involved in John Spurr’s 1784 probate – Badlam, Capen, Trough and others, but found no links to the Blackmer family. I did the same with John and Rebecca’s sparse land deeds – Peirce, Preston, Glover, but again came up empty handed. After speaking with a reference person at NEHGS, I learned that in Massachusetts probates, it was more common that the court chose people who they knew could be trusted to carry out their duties.
- A search was also done into the family of William King and Isaac Davenport. No ties were obvious with any members of the Blackmer family.
Therefore, I have three possible fathers on the docket – William, born 1699, Stephen, born 1704, and William born 1708 – and the Three Blackmores manuscript as my final option.
Does the information in Alven Martyn Smith’s manuscript shed any light on the idea that my Rebecca was a Blackmer?
Well, this was my last hope for tracking down the source of that hint. Unfortunately, that hope was dashed when no mention of Rebecca was made in it.
There are a few missing pieces of this puzzle that might allow Rebecca to fit into the Blackmer family, but I haven’t found a shred of evidence to support the idea. At this point, I will leave Rebecca (MNU) and turn my research efforts towards other branches of the family tree.
I wish this five-part series ended with proof of Rebecca’s maiden name, but sometimes proof just can’t be found.
3 thoughts on “Case Study: Was the Maiden Name of Rebecca, Wife of John Spurr, William King and Isaac Davenport, BLACKMER? – Part 5”
Linda, I really enjoyed following along on your question to identify Rebecca’s maiden name. Even though you couldn’t find enough proof, it was valuable to learn from your process and have the summary of the three methods you often use to break down brick walls.
Linda, It is always disappointing when a project fails to deliver the desired results, but it was a promising theory to begin with, and perhaps someday your hard work will pay off and proof will be found.