So seriously, it is NOT my family tree that has that huge, I mean huge, research-defying brick wall. That dang wall has been staring me in the face for 7 years now…and it is not even my third great grandparents…they belong to my dear husband. So here is the scoop and the resolution.
Benjamin Haffner was born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1791. His family emigrated from Germany in 1745. His father and grandfather were deacons in the Lutheran church. Benjamin was raised on a farm…all a typical family history for that time period. Along the way, Benjamin settles in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia, where he becomes a plough maker. He marries Rebecca Beason in 1825, and they become the parents of six children. In the 1850 Federal Census, he is listed as a “pauper” which was a special notation recorded in that particular census. In the 1860 Census, there he is again in Martinsburg. In 1861, the Civil War will come to call in that part of the Shenandoah Valley. General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson will come knocking to commandeer the railroad. There will be unrest. Two years later, that western part of Virginia will join the Union and declare that they are the newly-born state of West Virginia. Benjamin and Rebecca disappear from all records…they cannot be found. They are not living with children. Their names cannot be found in any cemetery records. They are gone.
My resolution: I will find them by researching Lutheran Church records. Their two maiden daughters were buried in Martinsburg as their death notices declare. The girls’ parents are most likely buried in the same place. I will get copies of their death certificates, issued in 1912 and 1917. I will find them.