28 March, 2014

A Possible Hersey Breakthrough

Working on my maternal grandmother's side today, and I think I have made a breakthrough. We knew that Benjamin C Hersey (1802-1863) had married a Sarah, but did not know her last name, nor did we know the parents of Benjamin C. This couple was a dead-end in the Hersey family!

Hersey Family circa 1915
Doing a wide net search for Benjamin Herseys with sons Benjamin in Massachusetts, I came upon one from Hingham who had married a Sarah Punchard and had a son Benjamin at about the right time. But this was all according to another ancestry.com member's tree, there was no citation there to prove this couple were ever married. But, Sarah was from Salem, which is where our Benjamin C was born, so I dropped a note to the owner of the tree and asked how he knows that Benjamin and Sarah Punchard were a couple. Hope to hear back from him soon.

I explored a bit further to find that Sarah's parents, Benjamin Punchard and Priscilla Beckford, were both born in Salem as well. Her husband Benjamin Hersey's parents were (are you ready?) Zerubbabel Hersey and Mary Humphrey. Zerubbabel! Who wouldn't want a great-grandfather with a name like that? So, then I was really rooting for this Benjamin to pan out.

Then I took a closer look at Benjamin C's death record, which is posted on ancestry.com. His parents are listed as Benjamin and Sarah OF HINGHAM! Woo hoo!! I may be on the right track with Zerubbabel after all! That still doesn't mean that Sarah Punchard was his wife, but the fact that Salem wasn't listed as where his parents were from isn't a detraction from the theory. There was only space on the form for one city name, so I'm sure they would have put the father's home town, Hingham.

We shall see what the other member has to say about Benjamin and Sarah. I hope he has some reason for putting them together. As for now, I have her plugged in on my tree on ancestry to see what hints might pop up. Will update soon! 

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