Tuesday, April 07, 2009

One Foy too many...

Part of the fun in finding your ancestors means running into others you didn't know existed. For example, my 5G grandfather MAY be named Samuel FOY, born in Vermont sometime around 1760. For many years, I have been trying to identify the elusive grandfather FOY by connecting him to my 4G grandfather, uncles and aunt. This is easier said than done.

It seems that the name Samuel is a popular one from this time period, not to mention the last name of FOY/FAY/FOYE. I have found 3 Samuel Foys in Vermont between 1790 and 1820. We have Samuel Foy from

1) Calais, Caledonia County, VT or
2) Lyndon, Caledonia County, VT or
3) Bennington County, VT.

By process of elimination, I was able to show that the Samuel Foy from Bennington County, VT, if not likely related. The process was tedious, but I used the 1810, 20, 30 census records coupled with the Foy sibling birth dates.

For those unfamiliar with the census records, prior to 1850, the US Federal enumerators were instructed to collect the name of the household, and count the number of males/females living in the household, based on age. For example, Samuel FOY of Bennington was listed as head of household in 1820 and the information listed for those living in the house was as follows:

Age: 00-09 10-15 16-18 16-25 26-44 45-99
Male 1 1 1 1 - 1
Female - - - 1 2 -

It is hard to tell who is whom, so knowing WHO to look for and their birth years helps, but it is still speculative. So why do I think this family is not related to me? Here are the reasons:

1) Some of the known William FOY sibling births do not match in census 1810,20,30
2) Family continues to live in VT, past 1820
3) Additional persons living in household post 1820, 30, and 40.

This process of elimination will be done on the other "FOY" contemporaries until I find the "best" match... then it remains to finalize the research by locating 1st or 2nd source reference documents, such as marriage certificates, obits, wills, etc.

Shouldn't be long before we can start calling them "grandma and grandpa".

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