Genealogical Puzzle Solved: City Directories

In last month’s issue, I presented a puzzle involving a city directory.[1] It was particularly tough. I won’t pretend otherwise. To put it in New York Times crossword terms, it was definitely a Saturday puzzle, the toughest of the week. If you missed it or forgot some of the details, take a minute to revisit it so the solution makes the most sense.

Here are highlights the key elements of the puzzle:

  • the subject was William Brown (abt. 1763–1827) of New York City
  • he married 27 February 1785 at Trinity Church, New York City, Mary Ball.[2]
  • their children were William, Richard, John, Benjamin Moore, Samuel Provoost, Nathaniel Marston, Eliza, James, and Mary[3]
  • his parents and siblings were unknown
  • his occupation was unknown

Who was William Brown? An exercise with city directories both created an initially unseen problem and, ultimately, solved that problem. What clue in that exercise did I initially miss?

Only NGS members have access to full articles of NGS Monthly. Please log in or click here to learn more about joining the National Genealogical Society. 

If you have trouble logging on or accessing the articles, please contact webmaster@ngsgenealogy.org 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *