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The "Holy Grail" of the Hamilton Family
The most priceless piece of information to our Hamilton family would be the positive identity of our William Hamiltons parents. If you are interested in aiding us you must know that it has proven thus far to be an impossible task. There are some family members who have researched extensively which has ruled out some possibilities as well as allowed some assumptions but there is no solid record yet found. I will share with you some things on this page that will be of an aid to anyone who is interested in this search which has been underway for nearly fifty years for some of William Hamilton's descendants.

BOOKS ON William Hamilton's LINE
Several genealogy books contain at least some information about William Hamilton's family. Most often such books have a very limited printing so they are difficult to locate.

1)- History of The Hamilton Family - I had the priviledge a few years back to obtain copies of Noal Hamilton's three books published on the Hamilton Family. I appreciate very much his honesty and willingness to distnguish fact from myth, legend or supposition. These books are actually a compilation which was done by Noal in which he combines much research done by various family members over many years.

2)- The L.D. McPherson Book - Lewin Dwinell Mcpherson, A.B., A.M., wrote and completed a book in 1957(C-Aug.1957) which is described as the "biographical, genealogical and historical book entitled : CALHOUN, HAMILTON, BASKIN, and Related Families." It is an extensive work covering many family lines including a section on Hamiltons. On pages 298 and 299 information is included on the William Hamilton family. On page 299, L.D. McPherson admits his contact with Eugene E. Skinner and Skinner's contribution of family information to the listing in his book. All of the information seems reliable except the first section of the listingof John Hamilton. Here it is stated that John Hamilton is the father of William Hamilton. This John Hamilton was born on board a ship en route from Ireland. He was also killed in 1813 in Lincoln County TN by a falling tree. Another researcher has traced this John Hamilton line, and being a descendant of that line, found that he is NOT the father of our William Hamilton. The naming of John Hamilton as progenitor was perhaps that result of the convenience of dates and placement but that can prove to be a very inaccurate method. The last know address for L.D. McPherson was in Tampa FL in 1957 but he was repoted to have deceased before August 1964. A copy of this out of print book is in the Dallas Texas Public Library and is on microfilm in the Mormon Library at Salt Lake City, Utah.

3)- The Eugene Skinner Book - One of Eugene Skinner's pastimes was genealogical research. Among the several lines he researched was the Hamilton family line. Mr. Skinner put together in print what he titled "The Ancestry of Carolyn Gail Skinner". He first published this in mimeograph form on June 25, 1950. The booklet contained 20 pages of which only three applied to the Hamilton family. In those three pages Eugene Skinner traces the Hamilton family from John Hamilton to William Hamilton on down to the third generation. Eugene Skinner documents the family movements with U.S. Federal census listings. Although he misidentified John Hamilton as the father of William Hamilton, the remainder of his work is valuable to any researcher. John Hamilton would have been a logical choice and there is some resource information available on him and virtually none on any other Hamilton known to be in Lincoln County TN at that time as indicated in the U.S. census. Unfortunately they are only a number in an age bracket and no other information. Many researchers including Marvin Hamilton and Noal Hamilton have long agreed that John Hamilton does not fit as the father of William Hamilton. It was discovered in 1996 that Nany A. Sicotte in California had researched the line from John Hamilton on down to the present generation and our William Hamilton and his descendants were NOT included. It should be noted that Nancy Sicotte could not find the progenitor of John Hamilton and could not preclude a tie to our Hamiltons at that point.

Did William Hamilton name a son after his father or was perhaps one of his sons named after himself ?

Facts cannot be based upon assumptions but there are a few things which we could consider if only to humour ourselves. William and Catherine had five daughters before they had a son of which two of the girls died very young. They then had two sons another daughter and then a third son. All total they had twelve children. The first three sons were named in this order.
1. James Hamilton
2. Elam Carr Hamilton
3. George Worth Hamilton

One fact is known and that is that they chose to name their second son after his maternal grandfather. Knowing this we assmue it may be possible that a son was also named after the paternal grandfather. The first son is not named after William so it leads us to wonder was James named for his grandfather ?

Our William Hamilton left us only that name "William". He used it and on his gravestone appears the name "William Hamilton". Curiously though his name appears on at least two legal documents as "G. William Hamilton". It would no doubt help our search if we knew that the G. there was a legal name and if we knew what that name was. Remember that William and Catherine named their third son George Worth Hamilton. Could William have actually been George ? But wait,,,,, even more curious concerning this initial G is the fact that William named his 5th son Gilbert Wilson Hamilton which gives him the same initials as well. This initial is something that must be considered in our search if we are to have open minds.

Oral traditions. Every time someone passes from this life they take with them a great deal of memories. If you have living aged family members please sit down and patiently discuss with them what they know of their ancestry.

A family bible or other written records in boxes, lockers or attics. It has been rumored that William Hamilton kept a family bible that contained family information. The sad possibility is though that it could be buried with he or Catherine, but it could also be sitting in someone's private collection today. If so, the information contained therein would be priceless to our Hamilton family.