which means it's time for the latest round of Randy Seaver's, Genea-Musings, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.
The challenge for this week is as follows:
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.
My Earliest Unknown Ancester (MRUA) comes to me fairly quickly, my paternal granddad's, Harry Claudius Jones, biological father. This is position 8 on the Ahnentafel List (granddad is position 4)
I know nothing about this man that contributed to my genetic makeup. Something tells me that granddad didn't even know who he was. If granddad did have that knowledge he never passed it along.
The 1900, 1920, and 1930 censuses indicate that granddaddy Jones' father was born in North Carolina (silly 1910 enumerator put born in US). I have no clue if this is what he was told or just deductive reasoning on his part. I imagine that if my granddad knew who his father was that he would have given that name to one of his son's in much the same manner that he gave his biological mother's name to his daughter, Martha.
Granddaddy was born in Hamilton, Martin, NC in 1892. Granddad's biological mother was Martha Jones. She is also a mystery but at least I know her name. From what I've been able to gather, my great-grandmother Martha was about 15 when she gave birth to granddad. Through my 21st century eyes, I've imagined every bad scenerio with regard to my granddad's conception. Did my great-grandfather even know about granddaddy?
As I've mentioned in earlier posts, granddaddy was reared by Mary and General Williams, who, as best as I can determine, never had any children of their own. I was always told and there does seem to be a possibility that Mary may have been granddad's maternal aunt. Now I'm not sure about that theory as both the 1900 and 1910 censuses classified granddad as a boarder or lodger. Surely if there were a biological connection it would be indicated.
So far, I've only found one document, granddad and grandmom's marriage license, that list granddaddy's biological mother's name and none that list his biological father. Therefore, I don't think a search of documents will benefit me in locating Mr. Sperm Donor.
Perhaps collateral relatives of General Williams might know what the story is but I'm not counting on that. From my one conversation with the one Williams descendant I came across via Ancestry, she truly believes that Mary and General Williams are granddaddy's parents. In the true sense, yes they were but biologically, no. Also, I've not heard back from her, since pointing out that granddad's biological mother was Martha Jones not Mary Williams.
I think the only way that I will be able to uncover granddad's paternal lineage is through DNA and luck. Since I refuse to believe that granddad was this man's only male child, earlier this year, I decided to have daddy's DNA tested to try to determine if there was a possible match and also to determine Haplogroup, etc. Unfortunately, I went through Ancestry.com's ancestral DNA service / program. For as great as most things are with Ancestry.com, their ancestral DNA program, as far as I'm concerned, is not up to snuff, starting with interpretation of the results. So, after doing additional research on ancestral DNA companies, and ancestral DNA in general, I decided to retest through FamilytreeDNA.com (FTDNA), which I hope to do next month (ordered the kit today).
Praying that results show a close match to someone in their database. Then I can go from there. In the mean time, I'll continue to think of other approaches.
Of course, if anyone has any ideas, please pass them along.
Until Next Time!