our cousin - Hampton Wilmot!!
has done an amazing job of tracing his ancestry (both his Colby line
and his other lines) and has put together information on his site:
The Brandt's Town Crier. This site is the History of the Alta
Siddall Brandt Family; but one of the family histories that he has is
broke through the brick wall of who the parents were for that poor
John Colby who had perished in a snow storm while looking for his
lost cows in November, 1817. There had been some guesses about
that John Colby's parentage; but nothing conclusive.
Hampton had some success with the descendants of John who were known
to Hampton's direct ancestors. John's widow, Miranda Comfort
Fuller married again and her descendants, oldest son to oldest son,
retained some letters that provided really good clues. Then a
probate record from 1878 was discovered that connected the children
of Poor John with Dr. Moses H Colby and other prominent figures whose
Colby lineages are known.
The hunt was on!
the whole fantastic story at http://brandtstowncrier.com/ by pulling
down the Family Histories tab and clicking "The Colbys".