Randy over at Genea-Musings has another great Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge for us tonight:
- Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.
- Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don't you scan it again just to see if there's something you have missed?
- What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?
- Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or a comment on Facebook or some other social networking site.
My MRUAs are half of my eight 2nd-great-grandmothers (no maiden names):
21. Hanna Minka Smorgonski
23. Ita Segalchik
29. Sarah Zinberg
31. Miriam Benditovich
For the first two, on my father's side, I only have my sister's roots project family tree as well as Yad-Vashem pages of testimony for their children, listing them as the mothers. I have not been able to track down any other information from JewishGen or family members about these two women.
The other two are on my mother's side and all I have for them is oral history from my grandmother. Both of them were her grandmothers, but she can not recall their maiden names. I suppose I could try my grandmother's brother, but since he is younger I don't think he will be able to help me either.
On my wife's side, I was surprised to find that her MRUA is also her 2nd-great-grandmother, Maria Kearney (also number 31 with maiden name unknown). This is obviously due to me not doing enough research on this branch. Here's what I know about her:
She was born in Ireland in January 1843 and immigrated to the US in 1847 at the age of 4. She married Thomas Kearney (born 1840, Ireland) about 1868 and had 4 they had at least 4 children: Thomas Jr. (born April 1876), James (born July 1878), Mary (born May 1880) and Margaret T. (born 27 Dec 1882). Most of this basic information was found in an interview done in 2000 with Agnes Auth, who was her granddaughter. I also found some of the family in the US Census, but it's obvious to me that with a little digging I will be able to find a lot more information about Maria.
The difference in information about my side versus my wife's is staggering. Especially because my wife's ancestors have been in the US for centuries and almost every line is well documented. I mean, if I pull up my pedigree chart, I have only 9 out of 32 people in my 6 generation chart and most of those are unconfirmed first name only ancestors. My wife, on the other hand, is only missing 8. I have done some basic research on some of her branches and they easily go back to early the 1600's colonial settlements. I also know she is descended of several Revolutionary War patriots. The next challenge is documenting all this properly and citing all sources correctly. That will take a very long time.