Uncle Dave's book

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lucy Gifford or How I Lost 1000 Ancestors With One Click

     Several years ago I was looking for the parents of Daniel Cookson's wife, Lucy Gifford. I had found a marriage record for Daniel and Lucy which didn't note parents but gave the location of Whitefield, Lincoln, Maine. It said 1801 but I thought it was likely 1810 as their first son was born in 1811. I looked at the 1800 and 1810 Censuses for every Gifford family and only found one with a female the right age who wasn't likely the wife. This was Paul Gifford. I found data on his family and he had a daughter named Lucy of the right age. No data was known as to her marriage or when and where she died. So based on all available data it seemed that this was my Lucy.

     But yesterday I found a marriage record between that Lucy Gifford and a man named Wall. And her death record in the same town in Maine where they were married. So, it looked like I had Lucy in the wrong family. It's a shame because Paul Gifford's ancestry has been well researched as has his wife's, going well back into English history. I deleted them and lost about 1000 ancestors in two clicks! but they aren't mine so there you go.

     I now have narrowed down a possible family for Lucy, there is a Lucy Gifford born about 1780 to William Gifford and Priscilla Lawton in Freetown, Mssachusetts. I haven't been able to find out anything else about her yet.

     Another "good guess" that I am making about Lucy is that she married David Corless in Linneus about 1846. In the 1850 Census a Lucy Corless is listed in the family of Daniel Cookson, age 72. Me and every other researcher that I've seen has taken this to be Lucy Cookson, mother of Daniel. But one day I noticed that the name is Corless, not Cookson. Carefuly reading the Census record we find David Corless living in another house with James and Lizabet Lilley. One would assume that she is his daughter, but there is no Lizabet, Elizabeth or even a daughter with the middle initial "E" noted in his family. He was living in New Limerick, Aroostook in the 1830 Census. Daniel Cookson was living in New Limerick in the 1840 Census and this town and Linneus share a border. David is listed as in Linneus in 1840. David's wife, Polly, died in 1845 and I believe that Lucy's husband, Daniel Noyes Cookson, died around 1839. Thus they were neighbors and may well have married. Why they weren't living together in 1850 I don't know.  It could well have been too hard for them to live on their own but their children couldn't take care of both together. So far I haven't been able to find any marriage or death records to confirm this.

     So I am left with some good guesses and a lot of ground to cover to get at the real story.  I have looked at all the probate indexes and records for Aroostook from 1837 to 1860 (online at Family Search) and found nothing but a couple of references to Daniel Cookson  having claims against the estate of William Webster and buying 4 tin plates for .26 and 1 sugar bowl for .05 at his estate sale!

Linneus, Maine

Cookson purchases at Estate Sale ca 1847

1 comment:

  1. Ouch -- losing 1,000 ancestors sounds pretty drastic! I'm glad it was only a loss because they weren't the right ones, anyway. Certainly a lot can happen in a family from one decade to the next. Census records seem to give just a bare outline to start f r om. Hope you can continue piecing things together!