Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three More Ancestry Questions

Randy Seaver told us last week that he was splitting up this little genealogy quiz into two parts, so we were expecting this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun to be the final three questions, and indeed it is:

1) My friend and colleague Linda Stufflebean posted JUST FOR FUN – 4 X 6 = 24 FAMILY TREE QUESTIONS on her blog last week, and I thought we could answer half of the questions last week and half this week.

2)  Here are the last three questions:

Name four places on my ancestral home bucket list I’d like to visit:

*  What are the four most unusual surnames in your family tree?

*  Which four brick walls would you most like to smash through?

3)  Answer each of the questions based on your own ancestors, not the collateral lines.  If you didn't answer the first three questions, you can include them this week.

4)  Share your answers with us in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this post, in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.  Please provide a link to your response if you can.

So here are mine.  The hard part again was restricting answers to my own ancestors.

D.  Name four places on my ancestral home bucket list I'd like to visit.
This one was tough, because how do I narrow it down to just four?  But I decided to choose:
• Kamyanets Podil's'kyy, Ukraine (formerly Kamenets Podolsky, Podolia, Russian Empire)
• Kamyanyets, Belarus (formerly Kamenets Litovsk, Grodno, Russian Empire or Poland)
• Krustpils, Latvia (formerly Kreuzburg, Courland, Russian Empire)
• Porazava, Belarus (formerly Porozovo, Grodno, Russian Empire or Poland)

E.  What are the four most unusual surnames in my family tree?
• Brainin from Kreuzburg, Russian Empire
• Coleclough from Lancashire, England
• Winn from Lancashire, England
• Yelsky from Pororozovo, Grodno, Russian Empire

F.  Which four brick walls would I most like to smash through?
First I have to state that I don't have any brick walls.  "What??!" I hear you ask?  "How can she possibly not have any brick walls?"  I only count a research question as a brick wall if I have tried every possible avenue, and I haven't done that yet with any of my thorny problems.  My choices below are those where I have exhausted most possibilities and have only a couple left.
• Find out what happened to Raymond Lawrence Sellers (1945–??), the son that my 90-year-old aunt gave up for adoption.  He was born in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey and was placed for adoption in that county.  I hope he is still alive and is amenable to meeting her.  My aunt has tried twice to do the Ancestry DNA spit test, and neither was usable.  Now she's going to do the Family Tree DNA swab test.  I hope, hope, hope we find a close match once she's in the database.
• Determine the biological father of my paternal grandfather, Bertram Lynn Sellers (1983–1995).  I only recently proved via Y-DNA that this was not Cornelius Elmer Sellers.  I'm hoping autosomal and Y-DNA will help me solve this problem.  (This one was a no-brainer for my short list.)
• Learn something (anything!) about my great-great-grandmother Beile [unknown maiden name] Meckler (??–??), mother of Moishe Meckler.  She was born, lived, and died in the Russian Empire, probably all in or around Kamenets Litovsk, Grodno gubernia.  I have nothing but a given name.
• Make contact with some cousin from my Jaffe/Michels line.  My great-great-grandmother was a Jaffe, a very common Jewish surname.  Her sister married a Michelson.  Their son, Bere-Leib, was the only person I know from the Jaffe side of the family who immigrated to the U.S.  He changed his name to Barnet Michels and married Rose Yudelson; they had three children.  One died young but had surviving children, whose names I don't know.  The other two siblings refused to talk with me.

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