There are repositories that contain records of business people of long ago and they can be a source of proof for your missing link. They are not necessarily in Massachusetts, either. One example is the Winterthur Museum near Wilmington, DE, which I visited this week, looking through the Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera. It contained the account records of small businesses in Bristol County, ME in the late 1700s and early 1800s, primarily craftsmen, since the museum collects craft items made for American homes over the past 350 years. Some records were logs kept by men who did odd jobs in a certain line of work, most commonly carpentry. They would write that they made a coffin for so-and-so's husband, wife, or child; or were paid in shoes that the customer made for a family member. Sometimes the items were picked up by a spouse, parent, or child and about half the time the errand-runner was named. I did find my Holmes ancestor (as "Hombs") but nothing to link him to the woman I believe to be his daughter.
The author is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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