When I closed out my first blog post about my brick wall 3rd GGF Joseph CUSHING this was my plan:
<Next steps in this mystery…
First, the only library in the country that holds the Frederick-Town Herald archives is the University of Delaware. I am pursuing a copy of the newspaper article about the name change. Perhaps that will give more information.
Second, Massachusetts has death records for the time when Mehetabel’s first husband would have died, if there is a first husband. Perhaps I can find a death record for him.>
Here’s where I am now…3 months later
The Frederick-Town Herald newspaper archives
In actuality, several libraries have the archives for the Frederick-Town Herald. After months of my local librarian going through the library’s process of searching for a library that would loan it, he was finally able to secure a copy from the University of Delaware. They were the only library willing to loan it out.
I was giddy with delight when my daughter and I went to the local library to view the microfilm. The first discovery is that I was expecting the microfilm to have only 1811 on it. Instead, it goes back to 1808 and stops in spring of 1812. What a bonus for us!
We located the article in question from 1811. This article does not say that a Joseph ABRAM changed his name to CUSHING as the anonymous narrative claimed.
The article is actually an ad taken out by a man named John DODSON. Mr. DODSON had an apprentice in his weaving business who’d run away. In the ad, Mr. DODSON offered a reward for finding this runaway. The runaway’s name was Joseph ABRAM alias CUSHING. This Joseph didn’t change his name; he just went by more than one. Below is the article.
This article ran in the newspaper for six weeks. Was Joseph found or did Mr. DODSON give up looking for him? I don’t know. There was no follow up about it.
I did determine through other records that the Howard’s Mill near where John DODSON lived was a well-known mill that was located in the vicinity of Westminster, Maryland.
What I did next
I went looking for the oldest posting of the narrative in question on that popular genealogy website. I was hoping to find the author, but I did not. Instead I found another CUSHING cousin who is actively working this line, so we shared information.
Between what this cousin and I have, we concluded there is still no conclusion that Joseph ABRAM alias CUSHING in the Frederick-Town Herald is my third GGF or not.
Also, it seems that Mehetabel (the possible mother of Joseph) has three possible surnames, not two: ABRAMS, JAMES, and ADAMS. There is documentation to support each one, although I suspect that the transcribed one is a faulty transcription job. Nonetheless, all surnames need to be researched at some point.
So what now?
My daughter, a budding genealogist, found a resource for us on the RootsWeb wiki for Maryland military records: War of 1812 Draftees from Frederick County, Maryland which is available at a library about an hour away from us. Perhaps this reference will have a Joseph ABRAM/ABRAMS/CUSHING in it. We’re planning a field trip in December to find out.
Until then (and likely after then), the microfilm of the Frederick-Town Herald is still at our local library until February. We intend to look at all of it. Who knows who or what we might find.
What brick wall is holding steady in your family research? I’d love to hear about it.
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