Saturday, April 22, 2017


This is not the post I had hoped to be writing this weekend. However, I found late last night that my last post (April 10, 2017) announcing that I’ve found the family of origin of my third great-grandmother could not possibly be correct. I’ve been wrong before and had to prune my tree. It happens. But usually I manage to do it before I write up the people as a post on this blog, and it’s just a matter of deleting people and records from my tree. This time I get to print a retraction, explain how I got it wrong, and, I think, tag the prior post as NOT CORRECT (yep, in red) and link to this post rather than just delete it because I want to refer to the reasoning in that post in this one.

The first correction: My third great-grandmother, Mariah Williams Bailey Huber, IS NOT Helena Mariah Williams, the daughter of John L Williams and Ruth Welding, and the children listed in the records pictured in my post of April 10, 2017,  are NOT her siblings.

The second correction: while I’m still emotionally certain, given my great-grandmother Pauline’s family notes (quoted below) and the notation in the back of the picture (“full blooded welch” sic), that the picture is of my Mariah, I’m not intellectually sure it is of her; so I have to advise not to rely on that either.

Climbing My Family Tree: Who Are You? Are You Mariah?
Who Are You? Are You Mariah?

I’ve been up way too late most nights the last week and a half trying to figure out which of the many John Williamses and Ruth Williamses and Ruth Weldings in the Welsh Quaker tracts of Pennsylvania were the ones referred to in the records I included in the last post in which John L Williams and his wife, Ruth, were seeking a certificate of removal (to move to another meeting) for themselves and their five minor children: Lewis Welding, Lydia, Helena Mariah, Watson, and Samuel. I did discover, early on, that Ruth Welding died shortly after that removal request in 1819, in Ohio. But there were so many John Williams that I switched to tracing the lives of Lewis Welding Williams, Watson Williams, and Samuel Williams, and eventually found that Samuel Williams and his father, John L Williams had moved to Warren County Ohio, and had helpfully made it into the local history book “The History of Warren County, Ohio, Containing a History of the County; Its Townships, Towns; General and Local Statistics; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; History of the Northwest Territory; History of Ohio, Map of Warren County, Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matters, Etc., Etc.”, published in 1882, as well as the censuses, marriage records, and some land records. (You know I love all those county history books that were published in the 1880s and 1920s, and digitized by Google eBooks!) 

Last night, about 2 AM, I found John L Williams’ will in the browseable Ohio probate records on, and found out that Helena Mariah Williams could not possibly be my Mariah Williams Bailey Huber. In his will, John L Williams named all of his children and many of his grandchildren. (Thank you, John.) His Helena Mariah went by Helena and had married someone surnamed White. With a little more searching, I found that she had married Hamilton White, and she lived with him, in Illinois, the whole time my Mariah was married to and living with John Bailey in Pennsylvania; and that Helena Mariah died in Illinois, about 20 years before my Mariah did in Pennsylvania.  ....Drat.  So, my Mariah/Maria Williams Bailey Huber is not the daughter of John L Williams and Ruth Welding.

Given my GGM’s family notes on her father’s mother (Mariah)*, and the shared ancestor shaky leaf DNA hits that I mentioned in the April 10th post showing connections further up Ruth Welding’s maternal tree after updating my Ancestry tree with the (now known to be erroneous) information, I do think that I am probably descended from somebody in the Welsh Quaker tracts of Pennsylvania, and possibly even someone in these families I’ve been sorting through, albeit not this one.  Maybe my brick wall has a crack in it, even if it hasn’t fallen.

But now I’ve got to prune my tree and get this posted, and then I think I’ll take a break from genealogy, do some housework and maybe go see a movie.

If anyone reading this has some ideas for me, please leave them in the comments section below. I’ll take any help or hints I can get!

*GGM’s notes on Mariah: “Papa’s mother was a straight line descendant from the Roger Williams (who founded Rhode Island). Papa's father was Scotch-Irish. His mother was full blood Welch. Her name was Sarah Williams. Not sure of her first name. May have been Maria. Wonderful woman, Quaker by birth. Later after marriage, she attended Methodist Church.” (Sic)


  1. It has happened to all of us. Part of the challenge of the whole enterprise---making mistakes and learning from them!

    1. I know. I've made them before, and it will happen again. I guess my concern was having already posted it, to make it clear to future readers don't rely on it just because I wrote it up and put it out there. There's enough railing in the genealogy community against erroneous public trees (my Ancestry tree is set to public but I've warnings all over it as to the stuff I'm not sure of, to not rely on it), and this would seem to invite similar. But I've found I get more help and support (like you!) by working in public. I just want to be as responsible as possible while doing so. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I hate when that happens, Jo, especially if you've already welcomed them back into the family :-( And with all the repeating given names and suggestive DNA match too! Still, if you don't 'speculate' like you did, you may never get there.

    1. "Welcomed them back into the family" Yes, that's it! I'd emotionally gone there. So it's more disappointing than frustrating this time (albeit both). But I've been thinking...because of the DNA and repeating names...of taking the Weldings up as far as I can (somebody helpfully wrote a book on their family tree in the 1930s and the Weldings were part of it -- love ebooks) and then bringing them all back down to see if I can find her. I'm only considering it because they're Quakers and the Quaker records keep maiden names, as otherwise this is getting more into the timeframe when women disappear from records. Do you think that's a worthwhile use of time? Or should I just let her rest for awhile and go work another line? ...I've got plenty of intriguing possibilities awaiting me on other lines too now that I've more practice in this sort of research [1st pass through all branches I stopped when it wasn't easy anymore & moved on to the next line. In between I grew more skills and there are more databases online.] But I really want to find Mariah's parents.

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