Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hallock She Is

As I have pursued my maternal side back to colonial America, it has become apparent that the desire to have “important” ancestors, regardless of the absence of facts, is nothing new.   It has caused me to develop a healthy skepticism of published family genealogies.  If they don’t cite sources, I consider them the equivalent of online trees—possibly accurate and therefore useful for clues, but not much more.  It makes me cringe when they use phrases like “tradition has it…”

The published Hallock genealogies seem to have made up an ancestor.  But before I get to that-

My 6x great-grandmother, Anna Hallock, appears on the Salmon Records in a record of her 1706/7 marriage to John Youngs.  Anna Hallock also appears in a 1698 list of inhabitants of Southold, NY.  The name appears with other Hallocks that I surmise is a family.  If so then, it is likely her father is Thomas Hallock and her mother is Hope.  However, I find nothing to confirm this is the right Anna, so I’m not officially adding them to my tree.  Just Anna.

I guess maybe I’m naïve about genealogy research.  I don’t understand why someone claims a weak link is a solid one, or worse, claims the existence of a relationship that is not supported by facts.  I don’t mean the situations where there is enough information to suggest a probable, reasonable connection.  I mean...well... to quote nearly every TV legal drama ever produced, "Objection.  Facts not in evidence."  Two published Hallock genealogies provide an example.

From A Hallock genealogy: an attempt to tabulate and set in order the numerous descendants of Peter Hallock who landed at Southold, by Lucius H. Hallock, published 1926 that quotes from A Brief Sketch of the Hallock Ancestry by William A. Hallock, published in 1866:
Peter Hallock, the ancestor of those of the name in this country, was one of thirteen pilgrim fathers, including Rev. John Youngs, who in 1640 fled from civil and religious oppression in England, and landed at New Haven (Connecticut).
And at one point it states, "the following facts, which are confirmed by multiplied records and memorials" (emphasis mine) and then proceeds to list events, land purchases, etc that are attributed to Peter Hallock.  Yet, not only are these specific facts not confirmed, later researchers have determined that Peter Hallock (supposed immigrant) does not appear at all in early Southold records.  

William Hallock, supposedly his son, is the first to appear.  William is in the 1675 tax list for Southold (the only other Hallock in 1675 is a John).  Then William’s son Thomas is in his father’s 1682 will and in the 1698 tax list.  Thomas is possibly the above-mentioned father of Anna.  Later generation Peters do appear in the 1698 tax list, perhaps causing confusion for some researchers hoping for proof of the immigrant Peter.

At least I know the name Hallock (variation of Hallyok, Holyoke, Hollioak, etc)  existed in Southold.  That’s something, I guess.

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