Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Who is Your MRUA?

Hey, genies, it's Saturday Night, time for some Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (where's my Mission Impossible music...drat, lost it), is:

1) 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.

2) 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?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

4) 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.

Here's mine:

Number 26 on my Ahnentafel List is Devier James Lamphear Smith. I don't know who his parents are - they are Numbers 52 and 53 on my Ahnentafel List. Here are the vital records, and a synopsis of what I know about Devier's parentage:

Devier James Lamphere alias Smith was born 07 May 1839 in Henderson, Jefferson County, NY, and died 01 May 1894 in McCook, Red Willow County, NE. He married Abigail A. Vaux 04 April 1861 in Rolling Prairie, Dodge County, WI, daughter of Samuel Vaux and Mary Underhill. She was born 28 October 1844 in Aurora, Erie County, NY, and died 11 September 1931 in San Diego, San Diego County, CA.

Based on the available personal, public and government records, this person was born with the name Devier James Lamphere, probably in Jefferson County, New York. His birth parents have not been identified to date. He was adopted by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith before 1843, when the Smith family moved from Jefferson County, New York to Dodge County, Wisconsin.

My hypotheses are that (1) Devier's father had the surname Lamphere (and variants) or (2) that his mother, with the surname Lamphere, had him out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption.

I have written extensively about my search for the birth parents, ostensibly named Lamphere/Lamphear/Lamphier/Lamfear or Lanphere/Lanphear/Lanphier/Lanfear or any other reasonable spelling of the surname, in Jefferson County, New York in the 1840 time frame. One of my posts, which links to others, is Finding Lamphears in Jefferson County, NY - Post 3.

In my search, I have exhausted the court records in Jefferson County NY that are available on FHL Microfilm, the history books, the online databases, the land record indexes, etc. I've also exhausted the Dodge County, Wisconsin records available on FHL Microfilm and online databases. That leaves unfilmed, unindexed, non-digitized records that might be found in historical societies, genealogical societies, local libraries, and state archives, and private collections.

I've sort of let this problem lapse in recent months since I'm stymied for what to do next. I think that my next step is to search for a marriage record and for newspaper articles in Dodge County, Wisconsin that might name Devier's birth parents, especially around the time that he married in 1861 and when he legally changed his name on 21 March 1866. A lady in Dodge County has offered to do these searches for a fee and I haven't written the check yet. I need to! Hope springs eternal!

If anyone has other research ideas, I would love to hear them!


Randy said...

Paternal grandfather:
Mr. Clark
might have been George
might have been born in Illinois
2 children:
Glenn b.1901 Pleasantville, Iowa
Ruth b.1905 Denver, Colorado

Carol said...

Great challenge! I gotta go hit Ancestry after dinner! LOL


Darlene said...

I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award. I see you have had it already. But I don't see in the rules you can't get it again.

Travis LeMaster said...

Still searching for my 2great-grandfather:

owlhart said...

The parents of Harry Henry Nelson. (#’s 24 & 25)

Harry’s 1909 prison record documents from Kansas State Penitentiary state that he was born Jun 6, 1873 in New Jersey. He says that he ran away from home when he was about 12 years old. Gives his parents’ names as Harry Henry Nelson & Kate Nelson. One document says Harry’s father was born in England, mother born in Ireland; another document has the birth places reversed.
All Harry or Henry Nelsons found in 1880 census can be accounted for in other families, but are not my ancestors.

I put this one on a shelf months ago, maybe it’s time to revisit.

Randy, thanks for the prod.

Keith Hart

Abba-Dad said...

I don't have to go to far to find my MRUAs:

Chris Staats said...

Great question, Randy. I had no idea who it was going to be until I ran the report. Thanks for your response as well. Great - all I need is to get side-tracked from my current project! Oh well - as my wife says, "They've been dead for 150 years. There's no rush - they'll still be there when you get around to them."

grace said...
This is what I know of my brick wall.

Jane said...

My MRUA is number 60 - my 3rd great-grandfather.

Mel said...

My most recent unknown and biggest pain in the genealogy butt is Harry Kenneth Jackson.

Mavis said...

Paternal grandfather's father: No name. Maybe I should start calling him great-granddad sperm donor. He's No. 8 on Ahnentafel List.

My post about him can be found at Conversations with My Ancestors.

Kathleen Baxter said...

I have a first and a last name for Sarah King, my gg grandmother, but she was born in either New York or Vermont roughly around 1818 (different censuses for her and her children go either way) and married my gg grandfather Robert E. Hastings, an immigrant from County Monaghan, Ireland, probably around 1835, most likely in NY. Her death certificate says her parents were James and Susan. Well good luck with that one.
She and her husband lived in Canandaigua, Ontario, NY, moved to Verona, Dane, Wisconsin in 1855 and she died in Olmsted County, MN in 1876. I know where her children are buried, or most of them, but she is not in the town cemetery. She has driven me mad since day one.

jttjnr said...

My MRUA is #4 on my ahnentafel ...