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Family Affair

Jeremy White

What was this person’s first name?
Solution: ARTHUR

It’s time for some genealogical research! To keep things easy, all of this information can be found using free internet resources. That being said, signing up for the 14-day free trial to Ancestry.com or finding a British monarchy genealogical chart might make things easier. To keep things hard, the bare minimum amount of information needed is provided, and various different web resources are needed to be used.

Note that lots of standard genealogical research tricks may need to be used – searching using approximate dates or regions (because they might be off a bit, or a different term might have been used.), many alternate spellings of names, dropping information such as middle names, changing of date formatting, looking up definitions of terms. Web searching likes precision, and genealogical records are full of imprecision.

This all being actual genealogical research, many of these solutions can be found on multiple websites. Below, I’ve included one free way to find each of these.

“Born in 1838 to a Gaines/Strother/Moore family, NameA’s father’s father’s father was the child’s mother’s mother’s mother’s sister’s husband and husband's brother.”

Search for [Gaines Strother Moore] immediately brings up many hits on the prominent Gaines and Strother families, who intermarried in the 1700s in Virginia; for example, at members.aol.com/bromnichol/gaines.htm. Reading above, you’ll see that two brothers married two sisters. The only time this happened with the Gaines and Strother (or Moore) families is when Thomas Gaines (1738-) married Susannah Strother and Capt. James Gaines (1743-1829) married Elizabeth Strother. So now you’re looking for the grandson of one union to marry his double second cousin, the granddaughter of the other union. (And it’s easier, because you know it’s a son’s son, and a daughter’s daughter.) John Strother Gaines married Letitia Dalton Moore.

It’s on several websites. This one has the entire chart listed:


The child on that family born in 1838 is BENJAMIN Franklin Gaines.

“Mr. NameB is surprisingly missing from an 1899 family photo featuring Mr. and Mrs. Preston Crawford and their children.”

Search for images of [ “Preston Crawford” ] shows just two family photos on the first page of hits, that lead to the same website: www.rootsweb.com/~pasulliv/sullivancountyfolk/scf1/SullivanCountyFolk.html. Look at the family photos of Preston Crawford’s family, and read the descriptions. In one, Mrs. Crawford’s mother is shown, but her father is not. This despite her father being alive, as shown elsewhere on that page. His name was Levi THRASHER.

“This Lord was a grandson of Edward II and a great-uncle to his own grandson’s wife, Anne. His Christian name was NameC.”

You’re going to need a list of British royalty for this – most genealogical charts for the British royal family will show this relationship. The Lord in question is THOMAS of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. He was a younger son of Edward III, and brother of King Henry IV. The Anne in question is Anne Neville (1404-1480). One of many sites that has her is: www.sharedtree.com/person/30943. This relationship would be hard to find if it were any grandson of Edward II. Fortunately, both of the people listed are closely related to the royal lineage.

“In the 1930s, genealogist Mr. Frederick Todd was considered the expert on the NameD family.”

Searching for: [ “Frederick Todd” genealogy ] brings up irrelevant hits. However, an expert might write a book. An out-of-print book, as it dates from the '30s. In a Bookfinder.com search for ‘Todd, Frederick,’ hit 6 of 7 shows one to be the author of ‘Humphrey HOOKE of Bristol and his Family and Descendants.’ There are no other genealogical books listed.

“NameE, grandchild of Samuel (b. 1716) and Elizabeth (b. 1714) Goodwin is remembered with a term we would consider an insult today.”

Search for [ "Samuel Goodwin" Elizabeth]. The first hit takes you to a page in: goodwins.wordpress.com. Go up to the homepage. There, you’ll see ten pictures of gravestones. One of them lists granddaughter LYDIA Johnson Tywcross as a ‘consort.’

“In 1875, a young Miss Anna NameF got married in a Congregational service in Kings Co, NY to a man ten years her senior.”

Kings County, NY is the same as Brooklyn. The first hit for [ “Brooklyn marriages” ] brings up www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/Marriage/index.html. There is a listing for 1875. Of the 10 Annas, 2 were married in Congregational churches, one to a man ten years her senior – Anna E. WILLETS.

“Living near James Haney (b. 1804) in Muscoda, Wisconsin in 1900 was a man whose family appears to have changed their surname to be NameG in English.”

To discover who lived near James Haney in 1900, try a census. [“James Haney” census] brings one to a webpage that has a JPEG of the relevant census page:


Living next to James Haney is a Mr. SMITH, a Blacksmith, whose parents were both German.

“In 1823, NameH Corrigal’s marriage in the custom of the country was recognized by the Anglican church at the Red River Settlement in Manitoba.”

A marriage “in the custom of the country” in early Canadian history was a non-church sanctioned marriage, almost always between a European fur-trader and a Native American woman. Reading up on these traditions, you’ll see that these marriages were sometimes made official in the eyes of the church.

“Mrs. Cole’s memorial notice was published in a war-time edition of the Democrat Messenger on the 27th. Her maiden name was NameI.”

The fifth hit of ["Democrat Messenger" Cole obituary ] takes you to


There, going through the Mrs. Coles, you’ll find:
Cole, Mary Ellen GANIEAR               Dec 27, 1943  DM

There is also a prospect who died in 1948; however, that is not ‘war-time.’

“NameJ is the family nickname of the man who married Nicolas Milleret’s (b. 1690) widow.”

The first hit of [ Nicolas Milleret 1690 ] (without the quotes) brings up the useful page:


There, you’ll see that his widow married Antoine Beausseron dit LEONARD. (If you research it, you’ll see that ‘dit’ signals a family nickname in French Canadian culture.)

“In 1863, James and Sarah Kelleway of the Isle of Wight, Hampshire employed in their household an 18 year old whose last name was NameK.”

Work records of people who live in houses generally don’t exist. Such things would be documented in wills, if property was left to them, or in the census, if they lived in the house. In this case, it’s from the census. There is no 1863 census, so the 1861 is used.

The 1861 Census can be searched for free at freecen.rootsweb.com/cgi/search.pl.

The 16 year old in 1861 who was working for them as a Servant was Ellen TARRANT.

“Mr. John Allen of Leicestershire married Miss Anne NameL in 1720.”

Googling for this information does not work. One must search the database of the most popular genealogy website in the world, familysearch.org.

Plugging John Allen, Anne, and 1720 into familysearch.org shows the John Allen of Leicestershire “Misterton, Leicester, England”  marrying Anne KERBY.

Final Puzzle

“We are looking for the individual who was a descendant of BENJAMIN THRASHER, a descendant of THOMAS HOOKE, and not a descendant of Mrs. LYDIA WILLETS SMITH.

This person was also a first cousin of PETER GANIEAR’s daughter-in-law, and died the same time of year as LEONARD TARRANT KERBY.

What was this person’s first name?”

Searching for [ “Benjamin Thrasher” and “Thomas Hooke”] brings up the correct family, but does not immediately bring up the answer.

The first search for “Thomas Hooke” brings up the web page with the answer:


Googling for [ Peter Ganiear ] or [ Ganiear Hook ] brings you straight to Sarah Hook, who married John Ganier (the more common way to spell the name). (colegenealogy.net/genealogy/fam/fam01053.htm) She was a first cousin of the children of Stephen Hook.

Search around the previously found website. The final answer can be found on this page:


So now we know that the child in question must be a child of Stephen Hook or one of his siblings. But of his first or second wife?

Googling for [ “Anzube Grant” and “Lydia Willets”] brings up www.wargs.com/political/dole.html which shows Anzube to be a descendant of Mrs. Lydia Willets Smith, and therefore, not the mother of our individual.

There has only ever been one person named “Leonard Tarrant Kerby,” easily found. freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~revpierrerobert/d4.htm shows he died on 15 Sep 1842.

Looking at the children of Stephen Hook by his second marriage with Marguerite Bodkin, only Arthur died the same time of year – on Sept 18.

So the answer is ARTHUR.