Randy Seaver’s latest mission for us is to locate our Most Recent Unknown Ancestor. The mission instructions are:
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 a comment on Facebook or some other social networking site.
My most recent unknown ancestors are numbers 56 and 57 on my Ahnentafel chart. They are the parents of William H. Ward, who is number 28 and my great-great-grandfather. I have found the names Harvey Ward and Ann or Jane Tucker online as his parents, but there were no sources, so those names may or may not pan out.
I haven’t done any research on this line in quite a while. However, I did stumble across an entry in the Georgia Deaths index on Ancestry (gotta love those shaking leaves) a few weeks that I’m pretty sure is William. I’ve ordered the death certificate from the Georgia Vital Services department and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I have high hopes that his parents will be named.
William married Mary Lourania Forrester on 09 Sep 1888 in Fannin County, Georgia. He appeared on the census in Fannin County in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930. Each of those censuses reports that he and both parents were born in Georgia. He died in 1933.
I don’t have names for any siblings of William, which adds to the search difficulty.
If the death certificate sheds no light, then my next step will probably be to visit Fannin County for some onsite research. The library may have newspapers on microfilm – an obituary would be a great find. I think that the courthouse records were destroyed sometime in the 20th century, but one never knows – I may be able to find probate records that name some of William’s children as beneficiaries. I don’t know where William was buried; perhaps the death certificate will lead me to a cemetery that has other Wards. I’ve put queries out on some of the message boards, but it may be time to follow up. I also need to locate census records for all of William’s children as adults – maybe Grandma or Grandpa can be found living with one of them.
2/13/10 – Follow-up: I received the death certificate yesterday and it confirms William H. Ward’s father as Harvey Ward and reports his mother as Mary Tucker.