Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Getting the Right Grandfather


In focusing this month's research on my mother-in-law's third great-grandfather, Mathias Ambrose, we did learn a few details. June's selection for my "Twelve Most Wanted" taught me some new facts about Mathias.

For one thing, he did not—as I had earlier presumed—live his entire life in Pennsylvania. In discovering his years spent across the border in a British colony to the south—Maryland—I also was led to more information on Mathias' own father, for whom he had been named. If I continue the paper trail another generation further, I'll likely be researching records in Germany, not America.

What I won't be doing, however, is researching another man who was long purported to be our Mathias Ambrose's paternal grandfather. While I am glad I didn't make that wrong turn along the Ambrose patriline, I do want to make note of it here, in case anyone else will be tempted to affix that same name to their own pedigree.

The name once claimed to be Mathias' grandfather was Pierre d'Amboise. In case I ever do continue work on this Ambrose family line, I'm glad to have found an argument against linking the French name to the German family.

The source for this mistaken parental identity was apparently once passed along to the D.A.R., back when applicant records could not be photocopied, but were viewed to verify. For whatever reason, that record was included in the Ambrose family line, according to the explanation, despite the fact that it would pre-date the Revolutionary War Patriot by two generations. After all, our Mathias Ambrose himself was listed as the Patriot.

A man during the appropriate time period, known as Pierre d'Amboise—at least according to documents accessible by 2014—actually lived in northern France, not Germany. Married in 1688, he and his wife had three children. The drawback is that, although one of those children was born after his death in 1694, none of them was named Mathias, as you by now might suspect. 

Now-accessible documents have fixed the date of baptism for Mathias' German-born father—the senior Mathias Ambrose—as February 7, 1696, according to a report on the Ambrose website I've been referring to this month. The christening took place at Brackenheim in Wurttenberg, Germany. No matter how much Pierre might have tried, he would not have been able to be the father of the senior Mathias, born nineteen months later.

The true father? According to that same website, our Mathias' paternal grandfather would again have been named Mathias—or, perhaps, the Latin version of that name, Mattheaus. But that, like all other entries on my mother-in-law's pedigree, will first need to be backed up with some documentation from a church far, far away from where this researcher currently lives.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing all these babies born years after father's deaths isn't it.


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