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.


  1. I think there are Sullivans in my ex's family, which came from County Cork.

    Have you thoroughly combed newspapers for possible mentions of the family? Sometimes deaths of family members in Ireland were reported in U.S. papers.

    1. That's a great idea. I plan to look for newspapers where the parents lived in Michigan. Sometimes, I find the immigrants themselves were seldom in the news, but their children were. Combing newspapers in Anaconda (another big mining areas) I find lots of news on the women but virtually none on the men (unless they went to a party with the wife).

  2. I hope that you will be able to find the information that you are looking for. I have some unanswered question due to missing records, too. The destruction of the 1890 census potentially holds so much information for me. I have two different birth dates for my great-grandmother Carrie Williams Pressley and her twin Emma, one before the 1890 census and one after it. This was before birth certificates were required in our state (SC). If she's on that census, then I know the first birth date is probably correct. If she isn't, then 1891 is probably correct. It might also hold the answers about the two other children I mentioned in my post.

    It seems no matter how many answers we get to our genealogy questions, we get a hundred more questions in return. But, that's the fun of it, always a hunt, an adventure. :)

    Have a blessed weekend.


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