If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might remember a five part case study I did back in August 2018. I was hurtled into frenzied activity because of one clue found in a book published long ago, digitized and in Google’s book collection.
Before I share that clue once again, I have to comment that when women’s maiden names are missing in my husband’s family tree, I accept it as part of the landscape challenge. All those Southern branches lived in many places were records either weren’t kept (like on the frontier with Daniel Boone) or lived in one of those many pesky burned counties.
On the other hand, I take great offense to unknown maiden name sin my own tree because my branches go way deep in colonial New England and then across the pond.
Each of those missing maiden names is a red flag being waved in front of the bull (me!)
Now that you understand my obsession, here is the clue that sparked my my part case study where I tried to prove or disprove that Rebecca, second wife of John Spur (1724-1781), was a Blackmer by birth:
Source: Google Books
No source was cited, but Rebecca’s maiden name was said to be Blackmer, not a common name, which is much better than Smith or Jones.
If you want to read all about my progress, or lack thereof, in that study, there were five parts:
Building a Case Study – William Blackmer, MA, 1600s – Part 1
Case Study: Was the Maiden Name of Rebecca, Wife of John Spurr, William King and Isaac Davenport, Blackmer? – Part 2
Case Study: Was the Maiden Name of Rebecca, Wife of John Spurr, William King and Isaac Davenport, Blackmer? – Part 3
Case Study: Was the Maiden Name of Rebecca, Wife of John Spurr, William King and Isaac Davenport, Blackmer? – Part 4
Case Study: Was the Maiden Name of Rebecca, Wife of John Spurr, William King and Isaac Davenport, Blackmer? – Part 5
The conclusion drawn from all that work was that there was no real evidence to support a case for Rebecca being a Blackmer. Yet, it bugged me that someone found something that pointed in that direction.
Not one to give up easily, I recently began thinking once again about Rebecca. She was somebody’s child. With most of my other brick walls, I’ve generally found one commonality – a life event or family situation, like early deaths of parents leaving orphans, a child born out of wedlock or a family that had few surviving children so was unusually small for the time period.
I didn’t know if that was the case with Rebecca or if I was just very unlucky and her marriage record was either never returned to the town clerk or was the one in a thousand that was lost somewhere.
In any case, I learned long ago that clues occasionally are sitting right under our researching noses, but we aren’t picking up on them. With that in mind, I decided it was time to taken another look at the Spur/r family.
First, we need to take a look at John Spur and his family. The Spurs were early settlers in Dorchester, Massachusetts, arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the early 1600s.
John himself was a supporter of the American Revolution, although he died before seeing the establishment of the newly created United States of America. He did serve, though, at the very start of the war. He was a corporal in Col. Lemuel Robinson’s regiment in the company of Capt. William Holden, commanded by Lt. Preserved Baker, which mustered on the 19th of April 1775 – the Lexington Alarm.
John was also called gentleman in his estate administration, but his estate was insolvent. Probate records are often quite helpful in ferreting out family relationships and members of the FAN club. Not so much in John’s case.
Although I had looked at land records for John and Rebecca Spur in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, there wasn’t much of interest in them the first time around. Actually, there were only two pieces of land that they sold, in 1772 and 1773 and one of those sales was to John’s brother, William.
I decided to review the deeds once more, just in case I missed anything, and am I glad I did! I think I found the clue that broke down the brick wall surrounding Rebecca’s maiden name.
I hope you will leave a comment and give your opinion about my new theory.
Tomorrow, I will set out all the puzzle pieces that I believe will reveal Rebecca’s maiden name.