I've spent the morning writing a report summarizing my research of the Gillespie surname in NY before 1830. (The report is found in the Library on my research website.) The bottom line is that I am no closer to figuring out Gillespie connections in NY. Well, maybe I'm closer and I just don't know it; that happens sometimes..... I have chased most of the collateral surnames that also show up in the Michigan family, and even though they also appear sporadically in Orange County, NY - the actual TIES are nothing more than speculation. Ugh. Where to go when you think there's nowhere else to go?
I need a plan. I thought I had one, but when a plan yields zero results, a new plan is called for. Hmmmm.
1. Look for immigration and/or naturalization records.
2. Research what resources might be available at the NY State Archives.
3. Look again for land records in NY. The purchase of land in Michigan Territory was for CASH SALES ONLY. Only one Gillespie made a cash purchase in Oakland County, Michigan (there were other purchases by Gillespie's in other MI counties, but Oakland is here the focus), and that was Elizabeth Gillespie, whose probate record was found a year ago. On the other hand, there were no fewer than 19 purchases in Oakland County by Greer's all from Orange County, NY. They bought ALOT of land with ALOT of cash. So where did that cash come from? They either brought it with them from Ireland and saved it, it was given to them (sent or inherited), or they earned it, presumably in NY. I *think* I would be looking for Greer's who are selling land in Orange County, NY - and I did spend a fair amount of time looking at land deeds in my last trip to FHL. Maybe that's the next step - just to organize and analyze that information so I might better know where NOT to spend time in the future.
And so not all research is fun, right? Or maybe that's not exactly right. In the balancing act of choosing where to spend the hours of my energy, would I rather be spending time elsewhere? Nah, not really. Not unless it would be writing the book that tells how all this turns out.