In the genealogy world, the words “brick wall” bring shrieks of horror from researchers. I have been fortunate that most of my brick walls came about from ancestors who immigrated here. I have names to go off of, but knocking down the wall requires traveling to those countries to look for records. I don’t have the money for that right now, so I have cast those aside for the time being.
I did have one brick wall on my maternal grandmother’s side. Louisiana (Noble) Evans was the woman in question. I had known from census records she was born in Mississippi in the early 1800’s, but didn’t know what town or who her parents were. She had revealed in 1880 that her parents also hailed from Mississippi. For a while I had ignored this wall because fellow researchers had told me brick walls in the South for 1800’s and back were a hard nut to crack. Feeling defeated and out of answers I turned to my colleagues at r/genealogy on reddit. I have always shouted this from the rooftops as my go to resource for asking questions related to genealogy and sharing information with others.
I asked my query and only got one bite, from a user named phronimost. He or she had found Louisiana’s daughter Hattie’s death record, which stated her mother had been born in Natchez, MS. Unfortunately this information was not enough to give any leads. Phronimost was not ready to give up and I wasn’t either. Still hungry to find answers, phronimost found more Nobles who lived in Adams County, MS, specifically Henry Noble, whom he or she believed was the grandfather of Louisiana. He or she also noted that Henry had many children and that someone on Ancestry believed his song Solomon to be the best candidate for Louisiana’s father. Solomon Noble had married Lucy Ann Soujorner in Adams County, but I had nothing to prove he was her father.
Even the will of Solomon Noble was a dead end. Louisiana was nowhere to be found in the list of names bequeathed Solomon’s possessions. I was feeling defeated, but then another day later with no ideas left, Phronimost came through again. He had found mention of Lousiana’s husband William Evans in a historical book about Bond and Montgomery counties in Illinois. Under a section about Bois D’ Arc Township, it told the story of prominent farmer William Evans and in it detailed a blurb about Louisiana (Noble) Evans being the daughter of Solomon and Louisiana Noble.
Finally, we were able to connect her and find out her origins. It all made sense now! Louisiana shows up in a few census records as “Lucy,” which I hadn’t put two and two together that she and her mother’s names were one in the same. This was the first time I had recruited help from r/genealogy for a brick wall, and certainly won’t be my last. I had seen countless other users have their walls broken down with the help of others. Sometimes it just takes a fresh pair of eyes or someone who can look at a resource you missed. I am so grateful to my community of helpers on r/genealogy. The help I received has only made me hungry to break down more walls and has renewed my interest in genealogical research. I can’t wait to visit Germany, Ireland, and Scotland someday to do more research.
For now, happy hunting!