“Mr. John Basquill, of Hamilton, Ontario, is visiting here. He is a nephew of Mr. Nicholas Basquill, of this place.”
This may not look like much, but it is a major breakthrough in the larger Basquill puzzle. I have some evidence that Nicholas Basquill, who settled in Jackson, Ohio and married Eliza Hawkshaw, was the son of Patrick Basquill and Mary (as of yet, maiden name unknown). Patrick and Mary are part of my own tree. If Nicholas is their son, he was born in 1834 in Ayle, Aughagower Parish, County Mayo, Ireland. (Not 1816, as most everyone on Earth seems to think, based solely and as far as I can tell on the 1870 US census. Though interestingly, some folks have assigned an actual birth date to him, with AGAIN as far as I can tell no evidence whatsoever.)
So, why is this little snippet from an old newspaper interesting? John Basquill is the son of
Michael Patrick Basquill and Ellen (maiden name also as yet unknown), who emigrated from Ireland and settled in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This is an odd little family group that I have not been able to attach to anyone. None of the male children, as far as I can tell, married or had children. The lone daughter, Bridget, married a man named Thomas Raycroft and settled in the Chicago area. So aside from Bridget, this family seemed to mysteriously appear from nowhere and then disappear into nowhere.
And here he is, a-visiting his uncle, Nicholas, in Jackson, Ohio. So there is mounting evidence that not just one free-ranging Basquill clan, but TWO, may be able to be connected to my own tree.
Also lending credence to this theory is the interesting myth that I’ve seen repeated over and over (but never proved), that Nicholas emigrated with his brothers, one of whom was named John.
“John Basquill died yesterday. He was a brother of Nicholas Basquill, of this place, and was for many years in business in this place. Of late years he has been farming about a mile and a quarter North of town. He was a kind-hearted, gentlemanly man, and had a large circle of friends. He leaves a large family.”
All the while, brother John was living side-by-side with Nicholas. He was a saloon owner and then a greengrocer, and then a farmer.
This is not bullet proof, by any means, but it’s hanging together pretty nicely, and I think it will stand up to intense scrutiny.
1. This will teach me to try to piece things together when my information isn’t right in front of me. I had it stuck in my head that the Basquill who’d emigrated to Ontario was Michael. No, it was Patrick (abbreviated Patk on the 1851 Canada census form, which was then unhelpfully and incorrectly transcribed as Patth). I don’t think this changes anything. Patrick must have been yet another brother of Nicholas and John. Whether or not Michael exists is a mystery for another day.