Although like most genealogists, I have more than one brick wall line, but this one has been one of the most aggravating and impenetrable genealogical walls. This week’s writing prompt brick wall gives a few suggestions as to what to write about. Write what you do know about your brick wall ancestor and their lines, how you know what you know, the proof, and how you might be able to fill in the unknown gaps.
The furthest I can take my Price line back is to my 3rd great-grandfather John Price. He was born 7 April 1783 (there is an alternate birthday for him of 11 February 1788) in Maryland, and died before 1860 in Hocking County, Ohio. He married 2 May 1810 in Washington County, Maryland to Nancy Anna Albert. She was the daughter of Johann Peter Albert and Anna Walpurgis Hoerner. Her parents were from Niklashausen, Main-Tauber-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. I wrote about them a few weeks ago. You may read about them here: Walpurgisnacht (Saint Walpurgis Night), Saint Walpurga, My Ancestors Named Walpurgis from Tauber Franconia (Germany).
Even though his parentage is unknown, many link him to various Maryland families with Welsh and English roots, but I have been unable to find documentation to link him with these well-known Maryland Price families. We believe his father was named John or James Price. The only strong DNA clues I have found are that he most likely was a brother to the following:
- George Price, born 16 MAY 1773 in Maryland, and married on 18 January 1800 in Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland, to Susannah Zilhart, the daughter of Christopher “Stophel” Zelhart/Zeilhardt and Elizabeth Erlewein.
- John Jacob (Johan Jacob) Price born 30 June 1775 in Maryland, and died 16 November 1852 in Mount Morris, Ogle, Illinois. He married on 2 May 1810 in Washington County, Maryland, to Christiana Catharina Albert, the daughter of John Albert and Anna Maria _____. For a long time, I thought that my Nancy Anna Albert Price and Christiana Catherina Albert Price were siblings, but her baptism record is found in Saint Michael’s and Zion Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There may be some Albert connection between us. Nothing more is really known about her parents John Albert and Anna Maria _____. My Nancy lists her place of birth as Maryland in the 1850 census and as Pennsylvania in 1860.
- Elizabeth Price born 22 February 1798 in Maryland and died 29 July 1877 in Funkstown, Washington County, Maryland, she married 25 January 1820 in Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland to John Wolfkill, the son of Jacob Wolfkill, Sr. and Lydia ____.
George, John Jacob “Jacob” (Johan Jacob), and Elizabeth Price all married spouses with German roots. My ancestor John Price also married a woman with strong German roots.
This led me to believe they could possibly be from a German Price family, not English or Welsh as often assumed. There are some well researched German and Swiss-German Preisch/Priess (spelled as Price within a few generations) families. Some were Mennonites. But I have been unable to link my Price family to any of these German or Swiss-German families.
Elizabeth Price and her husband John Wolfkill are buried in the Mount Zion Mennonite Church Cemetery in Mapleville, Washington County, Maryland. They lived in nearby San Mar. Mapleville is 8.9 miles from Hagerstown. San Mar is 7.8 miles from Hagerstown.
At the time Elizabeth Price was born in Funkstown, it was still known as Jerusalem with locals at the time referring to it as Funck’s Jerusalem Town. Funkstown is 2.5 miles from Hagerstown and 5.6 miles from San Mar.
Elizabeth Price and John Wolfkill named their children: Eli, Maria, Lorenzo Dow, Lawson, Lydia A., and David Wolfkill.
George Price and Susannah Zelhart only had one known child named George Price.
John Jacob “Jacob” Price and Christiana Catharina Albert named their children: Samuel, Jacob Isaac, Catherine, John A., Barbara, Christian, and Henrietta Price.
My ancestors John Price and Nancy Anna Albert named their children: John F., Sarah Ann “Sally”, James, Mary Ann, and Nancy Jane Price.
Washington County, Maryland was a hub, and many came from neighboring areas and states to marry there. It is bordered on the NW by Fulton County, Pennsylvania, to the west is Allegany County, Maryland, to the SW is Morgan County, West Virginia, to the south is Berkeley County, West Virginia, to the south is also Jefferson County, West Virginia, to the SW is Loudoun County, Virginia, to the east is Frederick County, Maryland, and to the NE is Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
My John Price may be the John Price found in the 1810 Jerusalem and Upper Antietam Hundreds, Washington County, Maryland census. As noted previously, Funkstown was originally settled as Jerusalem. Funkstown and Antietam are south of Hagerstown.
His first three children were all born in Washington County, Maryland. He is found by 1830 in the US Federal Census for Richland, Fairfield County, Ohio. His next two children were born in Richland, Fairfield County, Ohio. By 1840 he is living in Monday Creek, Perry County, Ohio. Fairfield and Perry Counties are next to each other and have some shared history. By 1850 he is living in Green, Hocking County, Ohio. Hocking County is next to Perry County. He dies before the 1860 census. His wife Nancy Albert Price is found in the 1860 census living in Green, Hocking County, Ohio, in the household of her daughter Nancy Jane Price and her husband Richard Henry Taylor and their children.
My line continues with the son James Price who married Julia Ann Mateer/Meteer, the daughter of Robert Meteer and Esther Chambers. They lived most of their lives in Monday Creek (Maxville), Perry County, Ohio but did live in Falls, Hocking County, Ohio during one census.
I have gone deep down the rabbit hole of looking at others with the surname Price living in the same Ohio counties at the same time as my ancestors. I have spent hours, probably days, doing this, but to no avail. It led me to various Price families from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and elsewhere. Some obviously had no connection to my Price family, others were plausible, maybe, but no solid connections were made or provable.
I also went through every single marriage record in Washington County, Maryland for several decades around the time of my ancestors marriage there. I was able to weed out most of them as having any connection with my Price family, other than the ones I listed above that I think are possible siblings for my ancestor. There were some Price marriage records found in Washington County, Maryland that nothing more is known about the couple or their parentage, and I found no one else researching them.
So, were my Price ancestors of Welsh or English stock? Had they been in the USA for quite a while? Or were they of a German or Swiss-German Price (Preisch/Priess) family? Did they have links to the Mennonite Church?
DNA is usually quite helpful with brick walls, especially since it’s my 3rd great-grandfather’s parentage. In some of my lines, I have close to a hundred DNA matches that share some of my 4th or 5th great-grandparents with me. My Price line has been a headache. You would think with access to viewing my DNA matches as well as the matches of my sister, my niece (my brother’s daughter), and my Kennedy/Price 2nd cousin that an obvious connection or pattern would emerge, but it hasn’t. There are no doubts that my 2nd great-grandfather was the son of John Price and Nancy Anna Albert, I do have DNA matches at that level as well as records that confirm this. It’s going back further that is a brick wall, I wish it were just a locked door, that I just have not been able to open. Maybe others looking at the information I do have will see something that I have missed.
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