Over the last few weeks, Randy Seaver has discussed two of his brick walls, one on Thomas J. Newton and the other Devier Lamphere. Bizarrely, these two surnames are also brick walls for my dear friend and great genealogist, Drew Bartley. Go figure that one out. Drew is the author of the English origins and definitive first three generations on the Lampheres. See NEHGR 153:131-40, 159:333-40, 160:47-59, 311 (English origins and three generation study. This is one continuous article despite the six year gap. Then see NEHGR 160:112-17 (mother’s probable identification and ancestry). He researched and wrote that article in order to see where his Lampheres fit into the larger family. He never found the "big" clue.
So Drew can't get his Lampheres out of Vermont and back to Connecticut. Randy's problem, although not insurmountable, is considerably more difficult in finding the biological parents of an adopted son in the 19th century. Likewise, the two Newtons are stuck in the 19th century. Randy's Newton is a Mass/Vermont/Maine mess whereas Drew's is a New York state/New Hampshire enigma.
Lamphere is one of the worst surnames to research that I've come across because of the variation of spelling between La (n) or (m) (ph) or (f) (ee) or (e) or (ea) r (e). Newton is one of those names that seem uncommon, but turns out to be more common than you think. And for some reason, there are no good genealogies on the Newtons of New England. Even I have two separate Newtons, both of which are 17th century. [Ellen, maiden name unknown Newton, wife of John Adams then Kenelm Winslow ca. 1598-1681 and Rev. Roger Newton ca. 1620-1683].