Brick Wall


The search for our ancestors would not be complete with a few hurdles to jump as we wander through the records that help us to find the puzzle pieces together to tell our story. Appreciating our relatives and the history they share should be cherished. As we try to give life to the paper records and tell their stories, the records often do not mesh. One such ancestor is my 3rd great-grandfather, Francis Hudson Lamb. Born April 8, 1828 and Died October 16, 1865. We are immediately met with challenges. Census records do not agree on his place of birth. Most of the few census records tell us he was born in Ohio, a Civil War Draft Registration states Pennsylvania as his birthplace. He was married January 1, 1853 in Kendallville, Indiana to Sylvia Chamberlin along with five or six other couples at Bruce Tavern by a travelling minister. This is told to us through family records handed down. There is no official records of their marriage.

Francis and Sylvia had four daughters together as they traveled through Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa. We suspect their moves were as a result of his occupation as a blacksmith (traveling blacksmith). And Maxwell, Story County, Iowa is his final resting place. It seems he died of pneumonia which may have been a result of his service in the Civil War.

The incredible brick wall is the location of his tombstone…or the wall is his tombstone. We do not know with certainty who the parents of Francis Hudson Lamb were; however, there is a family of Zeno Lamb and Martha Hutson Lamb who are buried there as well. It is from this finding that the questions continue to surface.

We can trace Zeno and Martha to North Carolina. They were Quakers. Is is coincidence that Francis has the middle name Hudson? There is a question of whether they had been waiting to connect with a wagon train heading West. After the death of Francis Hudson Lamb, Sylvia came back to Ohio with the girls. We believe she wanted to be closer to her family. We don’t know anything of the relationship she had with Zeno and Martha…if there was one. Land was being granted during this period in history. We can presume that Zeno and Martha may have made the migration for the opportunity of land. However, Quaker records may provide some clues. Were they removed from the faith? So many questions.

Needless to say, Francis Hudson Lamb has been the brick wall for a number of generations. Those who knew stories, the daughters and granddaughters of Francis and Sylvia Lamb are now gone. Their voices are silent.

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