Sunday, October 7, 2012

S is for SEARCHING for Samuel

In 1859 family members were searching for "Samuel Drayton, from Philadelphia".  Over 150 years later, I am now searching for more information about Samuel Drayton from Philadelphia.


Samuel Francis Drayton is my Great Great Great Grandfather. He is one of my "Brick Walls" and the shortest branch on my tree.

According to hospital admission records, Samuel arrived in Australia in 1851 aboard the whaling boat, Sophia, which sailed from Nantucket USA in 1848.  As the crew were not listed there is no information to confirm this.

 There are many records available about Samuel since he arrived in Australia but nothing before.  
When I first started researching, I only used free sources and did not pay for certificates.  However now I budget to purchase certificates each month, which has really increased my information and provided further leads about family members.  Trove is one of my best research friends and it amazes me the information that newspapers can provide, which is not available elsewhere.  I can get lost for hours reading various stories and advertisements totally unrelated to my family.  Will and Probate records and Government Gazettes have also provided useful information.   

I use Family Tree Maker to sort and record information and photos but I also like to summarise my findings and sources in table format.   I find it is easier for me to follow and piece together the timeline and story.

The first page of Samuel's summary information
Click to enlarge
Samuel and his children seem to be the only family members of mine who have owned shares. In the early 1860s, Samuel purchased one share in the Star of Erin Gold mining company for £50.  In the late 1800s there were 20 shares held in the Ballarat Banking Corporation valued at £80.

This lead me to find information written about a high profile Drayton Family of Philadelphia (which includes a prominent banker).  Many of the names mentioned are the same as in our Drayton family.  However, I can't find a link to Samuel and it seems unlikely that Samuel was part of this family as he was illiterate, which doesn't seem to fit with such a well known and influential family.

Births in Philadelphia prior to 1860 were recorded spasmodically by the counties and have not been indexed.  So unfortunately it seems that Samuel Drayton will remain a "Brick Wall" for me.  However, I have put Philadelphia on my list of places to visit in the future!

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4 comments:

  1. Oh Sharon I think we all know that frustration of not finding that link. I have that with my own Banfield and Trewartha families both in Cornwall and in New Jersey ... the link will come eventaully. In the meantime, there's plenty more research to do.

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    1. There is always more research to do! I keep coming back to my brick walls but they are standing firm!

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  2. I like your chart. What a handy tool for seeing what proof you have and what else you might need.

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    1. Thanks Wendy. I also chart the leads I follow that go nowhere so I don't waste time following them up again in future.

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