Saturday, 19 April 2014

My Brick Wall Continues to Haunt me.

When I first started researching my family history, I asked my father, where did his grandfather come from?  His answer was "He came across the Mississippi River and he lost his wife and child while crossing.  My mother never talked about it."  I was also led to believe they were from Oklahoma...
How I began my journey back was written here on my blog.
Levi Edwin Gildon was my great grandfather.  His father was Charles R Gildon son of Charles Gildon born 16 Feb 1773 in Norwich Twp,New London,Connecticut to Richard Gildon and Issabelle.  I had found Charles R early on in Texas and found that he was born in Connecticut researching the censuses.  The birth I first found on the old IGI files.  The data is now found in the Indexed records "Connecticut, Births and Christenings, 1649-1906," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Apr 2014), Charles Gildon, 16 Feb 1773; citing ; FHL microfilm unknown.
There are several researchers who think his middle name could be Rawles... no rhyme nor reason for this. Why not Richard after his dad?  Which brings me to my mystery man, Richard Gildon.
Richard Gildon, as I said above, was first found on Vital Records in New London County, Connecticut as father to Charles. The next record I found was in "Record of service of Connecticut men in the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War", Connecticut. Adjutant-General's Office; Johnston, Henry Phelps, 1842-1923 Hatford, Connecticut 1889 Page 6.
Found now on;
Richard was a responder from Canterbury to the call for defenders at the battle of Lexington. He was one of the minutemen.
Fold3, Revolutionary War Rolls, Connecticut, Chester's Regiment of Militia (1776 - 77) folder 201 page 58 
Then in the book, "Old Houses of Antient Norwich" Mary E Perkins, Norwich, Connecticut, 1895 pages 331 - 332, and 462, Richard is mentioned again.  He had a shop/home which is later identified as Charles Gildon leather shop, making fine saddles, gloves, etc.  Many wondered where Charles apprenticed.
After the revolutionary war, Richard does not appear in any records found so far.  His wife is the head of household in the first census. No notation in the books as to his possible demise or where he came from. I have kept an eye open to Virginia and the possibility of him traveling north from the Northern Neck of the land where a Charles Gildon b about 1750  married a Mary Dixon in 1771.
I dug around in old newspapers and found a possibility in a Pennsylvania Newspaper on; Page 63 Richard Gilding, John McIntire 12/15 1768, English 25 breeches maker 4 days, Sunday, 2 pounds, 5'4-5.The Pennsylvania Gazette.  Gilding is an alternative spelling for Gildon and the leather working would work.
Then I found an advertisement in 1766 for letters waiting in Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, USA for a Richard Gildon.
My hopes are up that I will be able to prove these are my Richard, but much work is needed for proofs.  It was hoped by first researchers that his son Charles would tie them to Charles Gildon the writer, who wrote against the Pope.  A possibility, but I have never seen any children for Charles Gildon and his brother, Joseph, became a priest.  I would say the connection would more likely be that my Richard was a dissenter too and wanted to honor the writer.
There is also the possibility that his beginnings are hidden by misspelling of the last name as Gilden or Gilding.  All these variables keep me going back every once in a while with hopes for a break through that will take me across the pond to tie Richard to the many Gildons in England.
I am traveling again. Hailing from Idaho, US this time.


  1. isn't it frustrating when we hit these brick walls Fran? What you have been doing would be a lesson for novice researchers to learn from: testing your assumptions, searching widely but within logical boundaries, and revisiting the data and the available resources. Good luck pinning down day it will happen.

    1. Thank you Pauleen Hope and belief are part of it too. :-)

  2. Those darn brick walls! I made a major breakthrough regarding the wife of my great grand uncle. So I'm sending good luck and wishes your way.

  3. Wow! Good luck. I hope you do have a breakthrough


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