Filling the Inside Straight
Meet the Wallings.
This early American family, migrating from one colony to another, left tracks so few and far between that only an approach from both directions sufficed to “fill the inside straight” and reconstruct the family through a chain of indirect and circumstantial evidence, all pointing in the same direction. Add to the situation a move from one region of notoriously poor record keeping to another, and from a place at the junction of three colonies to another at the junction of three different ones. Mix in new spouses speaking three different languages, and let two wars pass through, each with the violent death of family members. Finally, make the linchpin individual a woman, and you have an interesting genealogical challenge.
In his 1997 NGSQ article, “Family Reconstruction by Filling the Inside Straight: Joseph Walling of Sussex County, New Jersey,” William B. Saxbe, Jr., was the one to take up that challenge.
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The man called Thomas1 Walling in the story above turned out to be the scoundrel Thomas2; His parents were Ralph1 and Joyce Walling, who arrived at Plymouth 1n 1623. See: “Thomas2 Walling and His Way with Women: Seventeenth-Century Misconduct as an Aid to Identification,” TAG 73 (April 1998): 91-100