Sunday, March 28, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Who Was Your First Ancestor Born in ...

For this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun adventure, Randy Seaver is asking us to climb up our family trees to find some of our "first" ancestors.

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission: Impossible! music!):

(1) Lorine McGinnis Schulze, in her blog post "
Who Was Your First Canadian or American Born Ancestor?", asked that question.

(2) Let's broaden it a bit to "Who was your first ancestor born in your chosen county, state, province, or country?" based on your known ancestry.

Put it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link in a comment to this post.

I'm going to make a caveat to my post:  These answers are based on what I have entered into my family tree program.  I have additional information about earlier generations, but this is the information that is accessible.

For the British colonies that became the United States, my earliest recorded known ancestor born there is my 7th-great-grandmother Ann Pharo, born about December 14, 1677, probably in the Province of West Jersey, probably in an area that became part of Burlington County, which was not officially formed until 1694.

For the Province of New Jersey, which was established in 1702, my earliest recorded known ancestor born there is my 6th-great-grandfather Hananiah Gaunt, born March 2, 1706/07, possibly in Germantown or Hananicon.

For the United States of America, declared an independent country in 1776, my earliest recorded known ancestor born there is my 3rd-great-grandfather Hananiah Selah Gaunt, born January 25, 1795 in Burlington County.  I suspect I do have someone else born earlier than that, but I can't find the info currently.

For New York State, my earliest recorded known ancestor born there is my maternal grandfather, Abraham Meckler, born July 23, 1912 in Brooklyn, Kings County.

And that's it for me and North America.  No known ancestors born in Canada or in states besides New Jersey and New York.  Now, if we go back across the pond:

For England, my earliest recorded known ancestor born there is my 4th-great-grandfather Richard Dunstan, born about 1790ish, probably in Lancashire.  I know I have ancestors born before that; I think the earliest Gaunt ancestor I know about is Peter, born about 1507 or something like that.  But I can't find that information right now. :(

For the Russian Empire, my earliest recorded known ancestor born there is my 3rd-great-grandfather Avram Yakov Nowicki, born before about 1835, likely in Grodno gubernia, now part of Belarus.

And so far those are the only countries I have prior to North America.  My family didn't move around much.


  1. Do you think you'll find more info about your Nowicki family in the Russian Empire? I think you might be able to go back at least another generation, as records in Eastern European countries are often still in existence back to 1800 - way farther back than that if you are really lucky.

    1. I might be able to, but the odds aren't good. Grodno gubernia is an area where the Nazis were very thorough in destroying historical archival material regarding Jews. There is very little to work with. But I never give up!

  2. It's cool you've gotten back that far in England. I have not had that kind of success.

    1. With parish records, you can really extend your lines further back. But there are limits!


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