I’m currently looking for information on the following people in my family history who, as far as records are concerned, seem rather enigmatic. If you have access to documentary evidence, photographs, stories, or other reliable sources of information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “ANCESTRY” in the subject line followed by the name of the historical person you are discussing. Thanks!
Patrick Spence (1680-?) of Talbot County, Maryland.
Patrick Spence is my eighth great-grandfather and no one knows where he came from. No mention is made of his father or siblings to my knowledge, only that he married a Phebe Sizzarson on 24 November 1713 in St Peter’s Parish, Talbot County, Maryland (listed in Pennsylvania Parish records for some reason and also in the Maryland Marriage Evidences). In 1733 Patrick is listed in the Maryland census as living in Talbot County. That’s all folks. There is a great temptation to link this Patrick Spence to any of the myriads of Patrick Spences living in the Delaware/Maryland/Virginia (“DELMARVA”) area, particularly to the Spences of Westmoreland county, Virgina. The Westmoreland Spences are attractive because (1) they are connected to Scottish nobility (the Spens clan at Fife) and (2) there is so much documentary evidence of their activities. Who wouldn’t want to be connected to them? To be honest, I do. I can see myself in a Spens tartan with a silver brooch as we speak. But nay, there is no documentary evidence linking “Patrick Spence I” (in my tree) to his forebears, whomever they may have been. There is the chance that a DNA test might link genetic markers and I could cross-reference mine with other Spence branches. I do not have the money to do that yet, so we’ll have to see if any documentary evidence comes to light.
Timoteo Mauricio (1868-1950) of Mexico
My husband’s great grandfather crossed the border into Laredo, Texas in 1911/12. It’s hard to tell exactly when because there are at least three Timoteo Mauricio Border Crossing Cards and they contain very little information. I would have to know my husband’s great grandfather’s handwriting to identify which card is his. He lived in Bexar, Texas, and I am trying to find his family from Mexico. I don’t have a guaranteed birthdate or any way of confirming what part of Mexico he was from. Timoteo trained horses and lost an eye from a hefty kick. He spent very little time at home, forcing a son to take over the management of the family. It is possible he had “another life” in Mexico or elsewhere and only visited his Bexar-based family once a year.
Mauricio Coronel (1600s? 1700s?) of Spain
There’s yet another interesting feature of the Mauricio family: the surname is made up. The tale is that a Mauricio Coronel from Spain, evading the law in some capacity, switched his first name to his last name (I don’t know what he did with the “Coronel”). According to tradition, he alone is the progenitor of the entire Mauricio family. Every Mauricio comes from him. I am looking for information on the highest and earliest concentration of Mauricio surnames in Mexico to determine a port of origin for my husband’s Spanish ancestor.
Harold Durose (1912-1989) of Birmingham, England
My great-grandfather Harold has an unbelievable history. His mother was a servant to Lady Shrewsbury (of the Edwardian Scandal’s fame). One of Lady Shrewsbury’s associates seduced or took advantage of Harold’s mother; his mother, as an unwed mother, could not afford to keep Harold and gave him to the gatekeepers of an unknown estate in Liverpool. The gatekeepers treated him rather harshly as an illegitimate child. It is thought Harold may have lived with his mother and separately with his father for short periods of time when he was older; 1921 census information would help to determine this but will not be released for another eight years. Miserable and disconnected, Harold lied about his age to join the Army (after WWI was over). Harold was stationed in India at one time and later transitioned to a Barrage Balloon unit in the Army Air Force. He met my Great Grandmother in Birmingham, married her, had one child (my Grandmother) and left for WWII. Except for two tours home of a fortnight each, Harold did not see his wife or daughter. When he returned home after the War was over, he had another daughter. I am looking for information on Harold’s military service and his parents. Harold’s father is most likely not listed on the birth certificate as the Birth Index lists him under his mother’s surname. I’m hoping it will be on the 1921 census as an older man with a different surname living with a nine-year-old Harold Durose. We’ll have to see.
More to come…