Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Who is Your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor?

Hey geneaphiles, it's Saturday Night again - time for more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Determine who your most recent unknown ancestor is - the one that you don't even know his or her name. 

2)  Summarize what you know about his or her family, including resources that you have searched and the resources you should search but haven't searched yet.

3)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a status on Facebook.

Here's mine:

#76 on my ancestor list is the father of Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795 - after 1834).  Thomas J. Newton married before 1832 to Sophia (Buck) Brigham (1979-1882, widow of Lambert Brigham (died 1830).  Thomas J. and Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) Newton had two children, Thomas J. Newton (1832-1915) and Sophia Newton (1834-1923).  The marriage records for the two children say that their father was born in Maine, and that they were born in Cambridge, Vermont (presumably the one in Lamoille County). 

There were two known Newton families in Maine before 1800 -

1)  Nathan and Anna (Brigham) Newton who moved from Northborough MA in 1794 to Andover, Oxford County, ME.  They had a son Lambert Newton and a daughter Sophia Newton. The Brigham, Lambert and Sophia names coincide with those found in the family of Sophia Newton's mother. In addition, Sophia Buck's first husband was named Lambert Brigham.  The known children of this family appear in the Sudbury MA town records.  Anna (Brigham) Newton died in 1794, and Nathan married Dorothy Wood soon after, and she bore him nine more children, five of whom are in the Andover ME town records.

2)  Levi and Elizabeth (Woodward) Newton moved from Sutton MA in about 1786 and settled in Dixfield, Oxford County, Maine.  They had seven children between 1770 and 1787, including five sons who had children in Dixfield.   almost all of the births of the children of the five sons are recorded in the Dixfield town records from 1802 onwards.  One of the sons, Jacob Newton, had a son Thomas J. Newton born in 18i08, who died in 1852 in Reading MA.  I don't think that this is the Thomas J. Newton that married Sophia (Buck) Brigham before 1832.

Of course, there may be other Newton families in Maine in the 1800 time frame!

I have searched Maine records, Vermont records, Massachusetts records and New Hampshire records (Vital Records, census, some land and probate records, Newton family books, town histories, etc) for Thomas J. Newton. There is not a clear record for Thomas J. Newton in the 1830 or 1840 census for Massachusetts, Vermont or Maine.

The "Newton Genealogy" by Ermina Newton Leonard has been perused for hours, trying to link Thomas J. Newton with a Maine, Vermont or Massachusetts family, with no success.

There is more information about Thomas J. Newton in Mystery Monday - Thomas J. Newton of Maine (19th century), Using the FAN Club Principle - Thomas J. Newton, Father of Sophia Newton (1834-1923) - Post 1 and - Post 2.

l suggestions are welcome!


Celia Lewis said...

my paternal greatgrandmother, Catherine ARMSTRONG, b. abt 1853 in Clogher, County Tyrone, Ireland. Married to George Gillespie, she and the entire Gillespie family (George's parents, sister, 2 brothers)moved to Barrow in Furness, Lancashire, England. I haven't found a way to find her parents, to date. George was also b. in County Tyrone, fairly nearby, as were his parents. One clue: on the Barrow in Furness Census in 1901 it shows Catherine's "nephew", 19 yrs old, John Armstrong, b. in Ireland. More digging to do.

owlhart said...

My gg grandmother, Amanda Augusta Richardson, married my gg grandfather, Daniel S Hart. She was born in Dec 1847 in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin - but to whom, is the question. She was adopted by the Richardson family in the late 1850's; her maiden name is different. Wisconsin adoption records don't go back that far. I've made a list of all of the Amandas in the 1850 US Census, born in 1848. There is only one that doesn't appear again in the 1860 Census; Amanda Smith. I've looked in many places for news, etc of what became of the Smith family. Still looking.

Jen Smart said...

Here's one of my more elusive ancestors - Robert Hunter (ca1816-1888) was my great-great grandfather and I have no idea who his father was.

Unknown said...

The father of Ransom Spurlock has been hiding in Georgia or Alabama since the early 1800s.

Linda McCauley said...

I knew who this would be even before I checked.

Judi Basile Mendriski said...

In 1997, I was going through some the pictures our family has, I found 2 pictures; 1] a young girl with a big bow in her hair. I still don't know who she is; 2] an elderly gentleman, one the back is the name of the studio who took the picture. I still don't know who he is.

Tamura Jones said...

I am disappointed that neither Randy nor any of his respondent gave the correct answer.
It is so hard to leave the dogmas and misconceptions of traditional genealogy behind and become a scientific genealogist?

The scientific genealogy truth is simple: for most of you, your most recent unknown ancestors are your parents.

Neither family stories nor vital records constitute any proof of a biological relationship.
Only if a DNA test confirmed who your biological parents are, does the MRU status move from your parents to your grandparents, etc.
It may be hard to face that fact, it may be an unpopular truth, but it is not less true because of that...

Martin said...

So in order to be a scientific genealogist, one needs to dig up (literally not figuratively) one's ancestors and submit them to DNA tests? [not to mention that you just called all of our parents liars]

You're in a club of one you realize.

Anna said...

Martin, Martin, Martin,

Got out of the wrong side of the bed again?
Read again. She said nothing about having to dig people up, and did not call anyone a liar.
Those are not her ideas, but your own ideas your attacking!

Thomas Macentee was dead right to call you a snob. You cant see beyond the end of your own nose!
You seem to think only you decide how to do genealogy and think nothing of twisting other peoples words.
You can enjoy your snob club of one, or wake up and realize that others have valuable things to say.

Tamura is unmistakably right that the truth is hard to accept... :-)
Do yourself a favor Martin, go read her articles. They are very insightful.
You may learn a few things.
Humility for one.


Bill West said...

Anna, can we have a civil discussion without resorting to namecalling, please? Martin has a valid point as Randy points out himself in his followup post today. I saw nothing out of line in Martin's comment.

If we are going to start jumping on people and eternally labeling them over past incidents than people will be more hesitant to give their opinions. I'd like to think the genealogy blogging community is big enough to get over things and move on.