Friday, December 5, 2008

How many John Besticks were there?

I don’t know for sure but I count at least 5. And that’s just in the eastern United States in the 1800s. One of my genealogical goals is to discover which, if any of the John Besticks in the United States is John, who was baptized on 11 June 1803 in Longford, Ireland, whose parents were James Bestick and Catherine Farrell, and whose brother was my ancestor Timothy Bestick

Here are the John Besticks I’ve found so far.

John1 was born about 1805 in Ireland. He lived in Bridgeport, CT in 1840, 1850 and 1860. His occupation was carriage painter. He married Lucy Wogan and had several children including John2.

John2 was, born in CT in 1847. He was baptized in Newark, NJ in 1847. His parents were John1 and Lucy Wogan. His godmother was Ellen McSorley Bestick, wife of Timothy Bestick. John2’s probable occupations were brass finisher (1869-70 Bridgeport directory) and core maker (1874-5 Bridgeport directory).

John3 was born in Ireland in about 1819. He arrived in New York with Francis Bestick in 1837. His occupation was saddler. Could he be the same as the John Bestick who lived in New York City and worked as as hoemaker (1857 & 1869 NYC city directories).

John4 was born about 1846 in Ireland. He married Ann McCarmick on 29 June 1866 in Brooklyn, NY, They were married by a Justice of the Peace. His occupation was plumber. His parents names were John Bestick and Bridget Gannon.

John5 was born in about 1857 in Ireland. His occupation was laborer. He was at Castle Garden, NY when the 1880 census was taken.

My theory is that John1 was the same person as John Bestick who was baptized in Longford in 1803. I don’t have proof yet, but I have several pieces of supporting evidence: 1) The ages from the U.S. censuses for John1 are close to what John Bestick’s of Longford would be. 2) John1 had a son baptized at the church that Timothy Bestick’s family attended in Newark, NJ. Timothy’s wife was the son’s godmother. 3) Of John1’s 8 children, two are named James and Catherine, the same as the parents of John in Longford. Three of the children have names that are the same as the siblings of John of Longford. 4) When Timothy Bestick’s daughter Mary died in 1908, one obituary requested that Bridgeport newspapers “please copy.” This indicates that Mary had family or friends in Bridgeport. (Additional source details are available upon request.)

None of these items are sufficient by themselves to prove that these two John Besticks are the same person, or that John1 is a sibling of Timothy. But all the items are consistent with my theory. I have not found any evidence that contradicts my theory. I still hope to find an obituary or other source that will provide direct evidence to prove or disprove my theory.

So, what do you think?