Amy Johnson Crow's prompt for this week is "Invite to Dinner."
Back in the dark ages I was, for a short time, a travel editor and writer. On one trip I was sitting around the dinner table with several other travel writers when one of them suggested we each name three people living or dead we would like to invite to dinner. I don't remember every name that was offered but I do remember that Jesus got the most votes. Others included Henry VIII, George Washington, Robert E. Lee and several popular entertainment stars like Marilyn Monroe.
There was no question who my #1 invitee would be -- William Gill (my 3rd great grandfather). I got puzzled looks around the table. Not a genealogist among them or they would have known why. He is my longest standing brick wall. If I could have three to dinner, the other two might be his son, William Gill, and his grandson, John Buckstaff Gill.
I know almost nothing about my 3rd great grandfather.
He was born, had to have been, but I don't know when. In fact, I have doubts his real name was William Gill. Of the Y-DNA "matches" that have been reported to me, only one has an ancestor named Gill. In the Gill DNA group, I am the only one with a haplogroup of R-Z9.
The brick-wall William's son reported in the 1880 census that his father was born in Maine. Since the son was only 5 years old when his father may have died, I'm not giving much credence to that report.
Whoever he was, the brick-wall William apparently fathered a child by Anna Brockway (abt 1806 - 1888). She was about 14 years old. No marriage record has been found. That child, William Gill, is my 2nd great grandfather. He was born 5 July 1820 in New Brunswick, Canada, was married three times, had 9 children and died 4 November 1892 in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
The brick-wall William may have died about 1825. Anna Brockway's father was named administrator of the estate.
Reuben Brockway and George McKenzie of Saint George, Yeomen, and Thomas Myer of Saint Andrews Esq. all of Charlotte County, New Brunswick, posted bond of 100 pounds for Reuben Brockway administrator "of all and singular the Goods, Chattels, and Credits, of William Gill, late of Saint George aforesaid deceased." Reuben Brockway was required to make an inventory and submit it to the Registry of the Prerogative Court by 27 September 1825 and an account by 27 December 1825. Witnesses to the bond were Colin Campbell, Edward Wilson, William Polleys and James Stuart.
No inventory was ever submitted.
Was this probate a sham to cover up an illegitimacy?
If the first son was born in 1820 and the father died in 1825, why were there no other children. Children usually came along every two years or less. Even if the family was poor. Anna Brockway married William Smart perhaps about 1826 and bore 10 children.
Or, did the brick-wall William run off or die after (or even before) the birth of his son.
If the brick-wall William Gill came to dinner, whoever he was and whatever his name was, he'd have a lot of questions to answer.
So would his son, William. He's next.