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Uncovering the 18th Century Life of Lucy Snow Hall

Female ancestors present difficult research questions. They left fewer records than their male counterparts did. Hence the common advice to look for the men in their lives when seeking information about the lives of the women.

As I follow my path towards documenting a Mayflower ancestor this year, I realize that much of my dad’s New England ancestry lies along the female line. I must trace back to the mid-1700’s before I reach a male in his suspected Mayflower heritage.

This month I have focused on Dad’s third great-grandmother, Lucy Snow (ca. 1760-1795). She may have descended from Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins, both through his daughter Constance and his son Giles. The Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, which documents the descendants of the Pilgrims, does not mention Lucy because she would have been the sixth generation.

Lucy married Gershom Hall in 1781. I did some research on him years ago and have even visited their graves in Harwich, Massachusetts.

To find out more about Lucy Snow, I began by pulling out everything I had collected on her husband Gershom. I found her mentioned twice. The cemetery record and gravestone in Harwich, Massachusetts tell us that Lucy Hall, wife of Gershom, died 8 October 1795, aged 35 years. The Hall family chapter of The Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy gave me their marriage date.

Today I have access to several online databases of New England records that I did not have the last time I looked at the life of Gershom Hall. I turned to a couple of these to find out more about Lucy.

I located the Harwich town records wherein I found a list of the children of Gershom Hall and his wife, Lucy. One re-copied version of the record pencils in the maiden name Snow for Lucy. The town shows birthdates for eight children, a son (Daniel) and seven daughters (Rosanna, my ancestor Rhoda, Thankful, Lucy, Tamsin, Olive, and Sukey).

My personal records include that name of one more daughter not mentioned in the town record. Her name was Patience, born in September 1795. Lucy died a month after Patience was born, and the little girl lived only eight months.

As I reviewed these documents, I realized that I need to locate the Hall’s marriage record because the Cape Cod history is a secondary source. I also need to find a birth registration for Lucy. Perhaps her father left a will that would help me tie the generations together.

To find everything I can on Lucy, I must follow the men in her life. Find the records created by her husband and father, perhaps her grandfathers, and I will find Lucy.

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