Another Puzzle

So I spent literally all weekend doing genealogy research. A good chunk of that was trying to sort out a couple of weird puzzles. There’s a Nicholas Basquill b. 1825 (according to 1880 US census) who married an Eliza Hogshough (b. 1842 according to 1880 US census). Now, I had an inkling that Eliza’s last name had a more standard spelling, but I couldn’t figure it out, and since I had no information about her other than an estimated birth date, there wasn’t much to go on.

That was last spring, and I put the puzzle away, because I was at a dead end.

Then, this weekend, while looking at another pocket of Basquills, I came across an Honoria Hawkshaw. The name rang a bell. Aha! So I started looking for Elizabeth Hawkshaws, and lo and behold, there she was, along with siblings, a mother, and a father. Not bad.

However, I got to looking at three different sources I found, and they all had Eliza’s husband’s birth date as 1816. That would make him 26 years older than her. Not impossible, but unlikely. It would also be an odd error to find on a census form. Yeah, some of them are off by a few years, but 26? I don’t think so.

One source also stated that Nicholas b. 1916 came to the US with his brothers Michael and John, and that he later returned to Ireland, married Eliza, and brought her back to the US. It’s possible.

Another source I uncovered states that Nicholas b. 1816 is the father of Nicholas b. 1925. Did they even think about that for a minute? It’s not absolutely impossible, but it’s so unlikely that it may as well be. So something is fishy there. I think there are two different Nicholas Basquills. I think the 1880 census is correct, and that references I’ve found listing Nicholas b. 1816 as Eliza’s husband have gotten hold of the wrong one.

And now, I’m wondering, were Michael and John brothers of the 1825 or the 1816 Nicholas? And if they are actually brothers of Nicholas b. 1816 (assuming he actually existed), could that Michael be the father Walter (my great-great-grandfather)? I wish I had enough information to connect those two chunks of Basquills, but I don’t.

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