I am attempting to locate the parents of my 3x Great Grandfather.

There is no birth certificate as he was born in 1820 in New York, New York. That birth date and location comes from this 1850 Census Record:

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQ2-KP8 : 9 November 2014), Thaddeus Birch, Waynesfield, Lucas, Ohio, United States; citing family 210, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

His given name was Thaddeus S. Birch, however there are several different spellings of his first name that I have found.

"United States Census, 1840," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHYN-LSN : 24 August 2015), Thadeus S Birch, Seneca Falls, Seneca, New York, United States; citing p. 216, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 339; FHL microfilm 17,206.

He served in the Civil War, and died in Ohio in 1871. There is also no death certificate. His headstone simply has T. S. Birch on it, no name. This is my brick wall.

How can I find his parents' names?

  • Welcome to G&FH SE! What is the evidence for him having been born 1820 in New York? I think it would be useful to include in your question a timeline of each event (and the source for it) that you believe relate to this same man.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 3:49
  • I added a FamilySearch sources for the 1840 and 1850 censuses. If that is not him then just say so and edit it out.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


If you haven't already, I would research the John Birch and Thomas H. Birch also living in Seneca Falls in the 1840 census. John is old enough to be a father, but he could also be a potential brother. Thomas is a good age to be a brother.

I would also get his civil war record, if you haven't already, as it could include names of family members. My ancestor's civil war record included a handwritten statement from his father, cousins, and friends.

On his daughter Lois' death cert, it lists his birth place as Vermont. You know it's NY, but Vermont could possibly be where the Birch's were before NY, and something got confused in the family history for the death cert (or it could just be a simple mistake, but it's always a clue worth considering).

This Mariann Birch family is interesting too. She is living next door to Thadeas, and has a Powers living in the household (Sarah's last name) and young Birch children, so possibly a sister in law to Thaddeus.

If you can narrow down a place of birth, you can try the local historical society. His death record said New York City. His kids were born in Seneca, so those would be two places to start, to see what church records are available as far as births, or what marriage records are available between him and Sarah, as that may possibly name his parents as well.

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