Saturday, May 26, 2018

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

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is actually a repeat of one from about a year and a half ago.  I often don't participate when the topic is a rerun, but I'm still stuck on the same most recent unknown ancestor, so I figure if I post again I might get some more ideas from people!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music) 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 in a comment on Facebook or Google+.

1.  My most recent unknown ancestor is still my paternal grandfather's biological father, my great-grandfather, #8 on a standard pedigree chart and Ahnentafel.

2.  I admit that I have not looked at my research for Mr. X recently, but that's because I moved from California to Oregon in September 2017, and the house is still full of unpacked boxes.  I don't even know where my research files are right now.  But with the SNGF post from 2016 available, I have a lot of information readily available to remind me where I was with the project.

I showed with Y-DNA testing that my grandfather's biological father was not the man my great-grandmother married, who did indeed father her other son who survived to adulthood.  Two men match my father on 107 markers through the 111-marker test, and both of those men are named Mundy, so that's my hypothesis for the name of my biological great-grandfather.  Research I had done, and additional documents sent to me by the kind and generous Suzanne McClendon, found a likely candidate, Bertram Mundy, who lived in northern New Jersey (the wrong end of the state) but (1) traveled for work and might easily have gone to the Philadelphia/Burlington County area, and (2) had problems with his first marriage, and his wife divorced him.  Bertram was a name I had already been looking for, because that was my grandfather's name, and my grandfather's youngest sister told me that he was named for "a close family friend."

The number of markers in common with the two Mundy gentlemen indicate a relationship of about 6th cousins, so I was working on tracing Bertram Mundy's family tree back and then bringing lines forward to try to find someone alive today who would be willing to take a Y-DNA test (if I can find a straight-male-line relative) or an autosomal test (although that won't be nearly as helpful, since 6th cousins don't share that much DNA).  So far my research on the Mundy family tree has found no relatives alive today at all.  I also was working on tracing the trees of the two Mundy men my father matches to see if either or both connect with Bertram Mundy's family.

3.  Something that might help my research is to find a living descendant of Bertram Mundy's family just to talk about him and try to find out if there is any knowledge of him traveling to the area where my great-grandmother lived.  Although this would probably be only anecdotal information, being able to place Mundy in the right area at the right time would support my hypothesis.

I also should try to get a copy of the Mundy divorce file.  Although the newspaper article when the divorce was granted to Mrs. Mundy stated desertion as the cause, details in the file might mention that he was also a philanderer.  Ooh, wouldn't it be amazing to find my great-grandmother's name mentioned?!

As for online resources, gee, it would be great to find a newspaper article saying that Bertram Mundy was in Mount Holly attending some convention in mid to late 1902, but I don't think I'm going to be that lucky.  Besides, Suzanne did a yeoman's job of finding lots of newspaper articles about Mundy already, and nothing discovered then placed him in southern New Jersey.  But hope springs eternal!

Another online resource that I have not yet used is the Lazarus tool at GEDMatch.  I have DNA from three of my grandfather's children (from three different mothers, no less), and from my siblings and myself.  It would be interesting to see what kind of reconstruction of Mr. X's DNA could be accomplished.

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