Sunday, May 24, 2009

Who Is Your 'Brick-Wall Ancestor'?

I know we all have them - those elusive ancestors whose names stare at us from pedigree charts that end with that person and go no further. Who are they? Why, our 'brick-wall' ancestors, that's who! I've had one that has driven me to distraction for many years. So much so, that I finally quit looking in his direction and went on to friendlier family connections on other research lines that actually yield results.
But he's still there, lurking in my database, reminding me that one of these days I need to try yet again to figure out his family's past and put the puzzle together. Do you have one too? Don't be shy - share him or her with my blog readers by leaving a note on this post.



Michael (Mullins) Hobbs is my Gr-Gr-Grandfather on my Dad's side. When I was a teenager, my Dad told me stories of Michael's background, saying that his real name was Michael Mullins, but that he had taken the name of Hobbs because he was taken in and raised by a family named Hobbs.
According to my Dad, Michael's father was really Solomon "Money-makin' Sol" Mullins of VA, who was a counterfeiter that made coins in a cave in Virginia, before moving on to KY and then to WV to escape problems with the law. The stories of the counterfeiting are documented; the stories of my Michael being a son of Solomon are not. You see, Solomon was married to Sarah Cathey and had a family of children by her, and there is no mention of Michael anywhere with that family.

This leaves researchers to scratch their heads and wonder how Michael fits in with Solomon at all. But I'm not the only one with the same stories; I've run across other researchers who also had the same basic set of facts: Michael was a son of Solomon Mullins, raised in VA or KY by a family named Hobbs.

So WHY was Michael raised by Hobbs's? He doesn't appear anywhere in Solomon's family of children; was he illegitimate? If so, who was his mother? And why the striking efforts of Michael and his own children to 'cover their tracks' by leaving blank spots on legal documents years later? My own suspicions are that there is more to the story than just the counterfeiting. I wish I new more about Michael's background! So far, I haven't even found connections to a particular Hobbs family that might have raised him.

Michael Mullins Hobbs remains my brick-wall ancestor to this day.
For more information on Michael including census records and what information I have so far you can visit my Michael Mullins Hobbs squidoo lens

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried DNA to link your Hobbs family to the Mullins?