Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who are Elizabeth Lighthall's parents?

I have started my newest brick wall, trying to prove who Elizabeth Lighthall’s parents really are.

Known facts, according to her Gravestone, she is the wife of John Sponable and died March 20, 1861 at the age of 85 years 8 months.

I used John Sponable’s father, Johannes Spanknable on my DAR application and this was accepted because someone else had supplied the necessary proof of this relationship. Plus, since my DAR application was on the Sponable side of the family, I didn't have to prove who Elizabeth’s parents were.

I have seen many on-line trees that seem to be leaning towards a George Sponable born about 1740 and his wife Margaret Cunningham.

In the book, “Early Families of Herkimer County New York; Descendants of the Burnetsfield Palatines” by William V.H. Barker, on page 166 has a little of this George’s ancestry.  It list 5 of his children but no more. My Elizabeth was born abt 1775-1776 and the book lists his first child as Maria born 1777. This doesn’t rule out Elizabeth but it doesn't confirm it either.

Next I turned to the Online Resource, Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century: Chapter XXIV: Genealogy of the Lighthall Family located at http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/resources/yates/gen-lighthall.html. This site is based on the book by the same name by Austin A Yates, pages 278-279. However, it doesn't mention George only his father and siblings from the first book I used.

Next I found the book “Compendium of Early Mohawk Valley Families, Volume 1” by Maryly B Penrose at my local genealogical society.  On pages 485 & 486 starts the Lighthall family and it seems to be centered on George’s family and does list him briefly as serving in the Tryon County Militia. Plus it has the birth of George & Margretha’s child Maria born 6/21/1777 which matches the first book. Also, I found a little paragraph describing George’s service in the Revolutionary war and list his birth as 1747.

Finally I turned to Ancestry.com to see what records I could find on the Lighthall clan and I am currently using the U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1660-1926. From the books and this baptism and marriage records I am constructing a tree on George’s Family. I didn't want to put them into my main family tree since I haven’t found the connection, but I also wanted to go through the records and see what I could find.  I am hoping that once I find the connection I can merge this tree into my main family tree. I have found that many of the on-line trees seem to have his brother Nicholas listed as his father.  I haven’t come across a record showing that Nicholas had a son name George yet.

I left a post on Ancestry’s message board asking for how people came up George as Elizabeth’s father. I haven’t tracked down a death certificate yet or even marriage record for my Elizabeth. I have read that the records from 1775-1778 are missing and this might be why I can’t find what I am looking for. Finally, I have had my AncestryDNA done and perhaps I will match someone via our trees and see if I match any of George’s other children or perhaps through one of his known brothers.

If I find out anything more, I will make sure to post it here!