Brick Wall Case Studies #21: Finding a New Hampshire man's parents without a birth record

Ezra did not have a birth record and only his father's name was known. Studying the families with his surname in the area where he was born and using probate records, cemetery records, and census records we found Ezra's parents.

What We Knew

  • Ezra Tasker Hall died 11 May 1901 in Barrinton, Strafford, New Hampshire. His death record listed his age as 82, making his birth date about 1819 and born in Barrinton. His father was listed as William Hall and his mother was listed as Tasker.
  • There were many William Halls living in Barrington during this time period and Tasker families as well. So it wasn't clear who were Ezra's parents.
  • A marriage record had been located for Ezra T Hall to Abigail J Howe in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts on 8 December 1844. The parents of the couple were not listed on the marriage document.
  • Ezra was listed with his wife Abigail and his children in the census records of 1850 and 1870. His 9 children had been identified.

Records We Located

  • We examined the birth records for Barrington as well as the church records. The records were incomplete and Ezra was not recorded.
  • We looked for a marriage record for William Hall to a woman with the surname Tasker in New Hampshire and nothing was located.
  • We looked at the 1820 census for potential William Hall families to whom Ezra could belong. The 1820 census for Strafford County has been lost so we could find nothing. There was no William Hall in either the 1810 or the 1830 census in Strafford County though there were many Hall and Tasker families.
  • We looked at the probate records of Strafford County and found nothing about a William Hall. However, we did find a will for an Ezra Tasker in 1818. Ezra Tasker was from Barrington and was a single man. In the will, he named his mother as Olley Tasker and several of his siblings including a sister that he named as Sally Hall. He also mentioned a cousin William Hall. In this time period "cousin" was a general term that could refer to any relative. So we concluded that possibly Ezra Tasker was the brother of Sally who married William Hall and when Ezra listed William Hall as a "cousin" he was referring to a brother-in-law. Ezra Tasker died in 1818, and Ezra Tasker Hall was born in 1819, so we thought that perhaps after Sally's brother Ezra died in 1818, she named her next child Ezra Tasker Hall in honor of her recently deceased brother.
  • We looked for other records of the Ezra Tasker family. We located a tombstone for Ezra Tasker. He was buried with his father, Miles Tasker, and his mother Olive as well as a sister. The names and information fit what we knew.
  • Through the superindendent of cemeteries of Barrington, we located a William Hall family cemetery. In this cemetery was buried William Hall who died in 1857 at the age of 62, his wife Sally Tasker who died in 1842 at the age of 44, a daughter Olive T Hall who died as a young child in 1827, and Horatio Hall who died in 1829 and two young children who died in 1842. This also matched the family information that we had. Sally had a mother named Olive and named a daughter with that name.
  • We then located William Hall in the 1840 census and the 1850 census in Barrington with his wife and children. He married a second wife named Margaret Coffin after the death of Sally in 1842.
  • We examined the other William Hall families in the Barrington area and were able to eliminate the other men as fathers to Ezra Tasker Hall to due to the ages of the children and census information that we had been able to gather.


The parents of Ezra Tasker Hall appear to be William Hall and Sally Tasker. The documents and sources we gathered are found on the person page of Ezra Tasker Hall and his family members in the FamilySearch Family Tree, ID 934Y-JV4.

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