Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Who Is Your MRUA (Most Recent Unknown Ancestor)?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has a new assignment this week. 

Here is my assignment:

1) Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number on 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 in a comment on Facebook or Google Plus.
I don’t know the parents of my ancestor, Susanna Raduntz, who is no. 19. Susanna was born about 1832 possibly in Posen, Prussia. She married Vincent Siewert in Schneidemuehl, Posen, Prussia on 10 Feb 1850.  There are not many records in this area and the researcher my cousin, Tom Manley, hired gave us names and dates of Vincent’s parents and the names and dates of Vincent and Susanna’s children. He said there was no more information going backwards. Every time I see new databases open up in the former German areas that is now Poland, I check for Siewert and Raduntz names.

I have another problem with nos. 20 and 21, who are Jeremiah Sullivan and Mary Sheehen. Jeremiah was born about 1811 in County Cork, Ireland. Mary was born about 1822 in County Cork, Ireland. They married sometime before 1 Nov 1843, when their first known child, Mary Sullivan, was born near Castletownbere, County Cork. I hired a researcher in Ireland, Riobard O’Dywer, who said one of the church books was missing (the one where the marriage and baptism of their son, John Sullivan in 1854 might be). He did find a few of the children, but not all of them. There was no indication of who their parents were.

When the Irish church records came online this past year, I looked for the church records in Eyeries Parish but the book was missing from the digitalized version, too.  Sadly, I may never find their names among the hundreds of Sullivans and Sheehans in County Cork.

If anyone knows the identity of my Raduntz, Siewert, Sullivan, or Sheehan ancestors, please let me know!

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Autograph Book Tells a Tale

The standard records told the life story of Joseph Norman Gorrell.  Census records said he lived in Blackwater, Cooper County, Missouri as a child and Webb City, Jasper County, Missouri as an adult where he raised his four children. A marriage record indicated he lived in Kansas City, Missouri because he married his wife, Matilda Pearl “Tillie” Davey there in 1900. City directories confirmed some other locations in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, where he worked in the telephone industry as a lineman.

However, an autograph book that I scanned this week, told of another tale of his life before his marriage. I have a couple of these books in my collection, where friends and family signed pages with little poems, scripture, or hopes for their future. What is so precious about these pages is having the actual handwriting of your ancestors and their friends.



Joe’s autograph book is missing the first page. I can see where it had been torn our. This might have been a page that described his receiving the book for a particular occasion. As I read the pages, it seems like a “going away” book. It is full of advice for a young man about to go out on his own.

The entries were not placed in any order. One must look at every page to find the earliest entry which appears to be in early January 1893. These entries from 1893 are from friends and family members who lived in or near Blackwater, Missouri, where Joe was born.

Jan 9, 1893 entry by Maud Hill. The torn page is seen on the left.

Entries from his family included his parents, Amos and Catherine Gorrell, his sisters, Linnie, Ada, and Lou. Missing was one from his brother, Arthur.  His father had great advice.

Sept 6, 1893 entry by his father, Amos Gorrell

Be kind to all they fellows
Be intimate only with a well chosen few
Always save up a portion of your earnings
No telling what may hapen to you
Shun evry temptation to do evil
Improve evry opotunity to do good
Don't be led astray by the Dveil
But always honor thy God
Your Pa Pa  A. Gorrell
"Be Thou strong therefore"
"And show thyself a man"
1st Kings 2nd v 2
His mother, also wrote advice in the form of a prayer:

August 30 entry by his mother, Catherine Elizabeth Gorrell

It is the later entries that tell a tale that other records  not yet found would have told. The entries in 1896, 1897, and 1898 were from Los Angeles and Pasadena. The entries from 1894 were from The Dalles in Oregon. And there was one entry from a person in Oak Lake, Manitoba!

In The Dalles, Oregon lived his step-brother, May Mansfield Sayre. It appeared that was Joe’s first trip west. It was likely that May got him a job there.

Jan 6 1894 entry of May Mansfield Sayre at  The Dalles, Oregon

Later, he was working in Los Angeles and other cities in California. The story heard by family was he worked building telephone line where ever there was work. 

Nov 7 1896 entry of Chas Spangler in Los Angeles

By 1900 he was back in Missouri, working as a lineman for the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company in St. Joseph.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Friendly Fill-Ins for Thanksgiving


Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is a great one today.



Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) This is a fun meme co-hosted by McGuffy's Reader and 15 and Meowing (thanks to Suzanne McClendon on the P.S. Annie blog for the links).

2) Fill in the blanks for these four statements:

1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is __________________________.
2. Black Friday ______________________________________________.
3. The best part about Thanksgiving Day is _______________________.
4. One Thanksgiving, _________________________________________.


3) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post. Be sure to drop a comment to this post if you write your own blog post and link to it.

Here's mine:

1. One Thanksgiving tradition I have is making cornbread stuffing. This was always the kind we had while growing up. My mother and her mother were from Texas, and I think this is truly a southern dish.

2. Black Friday is a shopping day I avoid. I'd rather go bird watching, bike riding, or watch a movie. I did go one year to the mall with my mother-in-law. Oh, what a mad house. Did get most of the shopping done, though!

3. The best part of Thanksgiving Day is the smell of the turkey cooking and the getting together with family.

4. One Thanksgiving I missed because I was in labor with my first daughter. My mother-in-law came to stay with me for a week when I got home from the hospital. She offered to cook and I requested Thanksgiving dinner. She used my mother's recipes. What was so great, was my quiet father-in-law said after tasting the cornbread stuffing was "just as I remember as a boy." He'd grown up in southern Missouri. From that point forward, my mother-in-law added some cornbread to her stuffing! (Funny how he had never complained about the soggy stuffing before.)



Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.