Monday, March 14, 2011

Mystery Monday - Who Are You William Strong?

"Who are you, William Strong?" is a question that I've been asking lately. I've only gathered a few fractured theories and partial facts thus far:
  • He was born around 1852, possibly in New York.
  • Based on Pid's recollection several years ago, his middle name was Edward. 
  • He was married to May (sometimes transcribed as "Mary") Reynolds around 1873.
  • He lived in Willsboro (Willsborough), New York for a substantial portion of his life--if not all of it.
This is where things get hazy. Pid thought that he had been born in Canada, but census records list New York as his place of birth. Stranger still, the census records for 1880, 1900, and 1910 list conflicting places of birth for his parents. 

1880 suggests that both of his parents were born in New York. 1900 places his father's birth in Canada, but his mother's in New York. And the 1910 census indicates that both parents were born in Vermont. I have been unable to find any record of William prior to 1880.

Of course, there is family legend in the mix, as well. One story insinuated that William was originally from Canada, but left under questionable circumstances. As a result, he moved to New York and changed his name to "Strong." I'm naturally going to take that bit of folklore with a grain of salt.  

So, my mystery today is: Who was William Strong? When and where was he born? Who were his parents and where were they born? 

I can only hope that my next trip to New York will yield some additional clues or, at the very least, some direction.


  1. I’ve awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award! Please visit my blog at to pick up your award!

  2. I have always been intrigued by this story! I would love to take a trip to the Paine Memorial Free Library with you (not only to help you research, but to bring back good memories of Story Hour)!

  3. Frances: Thank you very much!

    Jamie: That would be terrific-- I'd love to have a research partner!

  4. Id be curious if you found further info on Wm. He is my great great grandfather, his 8th child Noah being my great. Just started looking into family history and haven't had much luck with Wm.

  5. Cheryl-

    I haven't yet found anything new on Wm, but I will certainly post additional information if or when I find it.

    Best of luck in your genealogical pursuits!