Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#64 William Cochrane--You Have Taken Up a Great Deal of Time

2015 is half over, so our theme this week has to do with halves.  I chose to blog about the ancestor that I feel has taken up about half my research efforts.  I am not sure that any of my ancestors has taken up half my time, but there are several who have taken up a great deal of time.  Edward Richards, my emigrant ancestor, comes to mind.  He settled in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1632.  I gathered a great deal of information about him from the town records.  Actually, it was pretty easy, but time consuming,  to get that information as the town records are very detailed.  So I decided I should blog about someone else who took time because of brick walls..

That person is William Cochrane, my great, great grandfather.  He has presented me with several
brick walls, some of which I have yet to break through and all of which have consumed time.  My first wall was to document his parents.  I had heard from my Aunt and Father that he was the cousin of Lord Thomas Cochrane, the England navel admiral. FromWilliam’s  gravestone I knew that he was born in 1810. To find his parents, I tried several things—First I looked at other people’s trees on line that contained a William Cochrane and checked the records in Family Search.  No luck.  Second I tried Burke’s Peerage, which while covering the family, but it did not list any William Cochranes in the right age range.  I knew that it was possible to order wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.  So I ordered several in the hope that a William Cochrane would be listed as an heir.  While a good idea, that did not work either.  Serendipity often is a friend of genealogists and in this case the parish records for St. Marybone were added to Ancestry.  I searched them, and there he was—William Cochrane-Johnstone, son of Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone and Ann Morgan.  Further search of the parish records located his brother, Andrew George Cobett, who I knew about, and two siblings—George, and Anna Maria, who were new to me.  Part of the difficulty seems to me to be the fact that William’s father’s last name was Cochrane-Johnstone, however, William and his brother Andrew used the last name Cochrane when they were married in England and in their lives in the United States.

While I know from the New York State Alien Registrations that William was in Buffalo New York in 1836 and was married to Emma Merrett at Saint Andrews of the Wardrobe in 1834.
Exactly when in that two year period he and Emma arrived in the United States is another brick wall.  They are not included in the passenger lists of those arriving in New York City, in Philadelphia, or in the Castle Garden records.  Since Buffalo is on our border with Canada, at times, I wonder if they came in through Canada.

So I will continue on and off to hunt for William Cochrane’s arrival in the United States, and eventually I may find that information.  If I were able to, I certainly would ask him.

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