John Stevens, our hard-to-find Irish immigrant from County Mayo, still remains a mystery. Despite finding several Stephens men listed in the Tithe Applotment books for that particular Irish county, I still have nagging thoughts battling with themselves in my mind. I simply have no connection between the records in Ireland and John's sudden appearance in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, after 1850.
Time to look to collateral lines and the genealogical F.A.N. Club for clues. There are several possible resources for these friends and family connections, but even there, I find conflicting leads.
This week, we'll review what I've been able to find on possible connections and examine why they were helpful to find—or, in some cases, why they re-introduced those doubts about John Stevens' supposed Irish roots.
We'll begin tomorrow with an examination of another Stevens man who arrived in Lafayette, Indiana, after having followed the same itinerary John, himself, had reported in his naturalization papers. Following that, we'll launch into exploration of the extended family of John's second wife—a family whose surname made them sound more Scottish than Irish.
True, using collateral lines to help clarify genealogical details may seem more prone to inference than confirmation. Lacking more solid resources, perhaps my only alternative is to see whether I can tease out any leads from what can be learned about these other immigrants. As we close out the month, we'll give this last attempt a try.