Saturday, November 21, 2009


This week's challenge, courtesy of Genea-Musings 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 a comment on Facebook or some other social networking site.

I've already written about my MRUAs (ad nauseam) who are my Italian great-grandparents' parents (for whom I have nothing, not even a first name for any of the four).  Since I've got a plan of attack in place for those brick walls and I've already written so much about them, I'm going to go with my next closest MRUA.

Number 32's (and actually his wife, #33 as well) parents are my next closest MRUAs.  32 is Joseph Allen and what I know about him is not much.  He was born in Ireland (but was probably Scottish) around 1824.  He came to the US at some point and ended up in Lawrence Co., PA where he was for the 1850 census.  He married Elizabeth Clemens/Clemmens/Clements and they lived in Lawrence Co. (and possibly Pittsburgh) before coming to Trumbull Co., OH some time between 1857 and 1860.  They had seven children, five of which lived to adulthood and the youngest of them being my ancestor, John Grant Allen.  They lived in the Niles and Weathersfield area and Joseph worked as a farm laborer mainly.  Elizabeth died some time before the 1880 census and Joseph died some time between the 1880 and 1900 census, probably in the Weathersfield area.  I don't know who Joseph's parents were, where in Ireland he was from, when he came to the US and why, where he originally came to the US and why, when he married, when he died and where he is buried.  I don't really know where to look for information on him.  I think he might have been in the Civil War (he named his son after U.S. Grant) but because of the commonality of his name, that would be difficult to prove. If anyone can offer any ideas as to how to go about breaking down this brick wall, I would appreciate it.

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