Sunday, November 22, 2009

SNGF--Most Recent Unknown Ancestor

Randy at Genea-Musings has presented this Saturday Night's challenge. 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.

Saturday Night on Sunday Morning for Flipside

After checking my chart, the winner is # 24, my maternal great great grandfather--Unknown Stark. There are two reasons for this mystery person. First, my maternal Great Grandfather, Charles (listed as Carl) Stark, emigrated from Germany, arriving in the U.S. on September 15, 1860. He was a young man of 18 and came to the U.S. alone. I do not speak German and have not searched for German records. The most information I have about him is his Civil War pension file. From it I am able to determine where in Germany he was born--Dasseldorf, Prussia.

I have his death record from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, there is no record of his parentage on it.

Now for the second issue--my great grandfather was declared a lunatic, sent to the city home in April, 1890 and died there on April 26, 1895. Apparently no one discussed him in the family. Various cousins who I network with have conmunicated that their grandparent (Charles' child) never spoke of him. My own mother (his grand daughter) had no idea who he was or that he was in the Civil War, even though we have a tin type of him in uniform. His wife and widow never spoke of him to her grandchildren.

A couple of leads that I have not followed:

1. When Charles (written as Carl) Stark and Wilhelmina Catherine Schwarz married in St. Louis on February 6, 1878, it was a Rev. Charles Stark that officiated. Was this a relative? Why did Charles and Wilhelmina travel from Pittsburgh to St. Louis to marry? There is also information as to where my great grandparents came from on the marriage documents. Charles from Elberfeld in Prussia and Wilhelmine from Wurttemberg, Germany

2. I have been told that there were relations living in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when Charles arrived in 1860. An educated guess it that they were his relations and not Wilhelmina's. On the flipside, she might also have had relatives in town as she supposedly was a woman who came from Alsace-Lorraine in 1877 to marry Charles Stark and she was in the Pittsburgh area before the marriage took place. Frankly, her parentage is also shrouded in mystery and I do have her death certificate!

What I have gleaned from this SNGF--I need to pursue the German ancestry of my chart as numbers 24, 25, 26 and 27 are all unknowns.

1 comment:

  1. Linda, You can learn to read the German records enough to gleam the necessary facts. I did, it just takes some practice. No, I cannot read German, but I can pull names and dates and such from Lutheran church records. Find a copy of "If I Can Read German, So Can You". Believe that is the name of it, don't have it with me here in Tana, so the name may be off a bit. Great examples of handwriting, etc.

    Love your enlistment document! Very cool!