Archive for ‘Rhoten’

September 13, 2009

Who is your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor?

Genea Musings posted the challenge to us all to look at our charts and determine who is the ancestor with the lowest number in our Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List for whom we have not identified a first, last or any name.
I thought I would know who in my ancestors is the person who is the NUA, that is the Nearest Unknown Ancestor. You know the ones, those who seem to have sprung fully formed from the earth in Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, etc., etc. with no discernible parents, often no related people nearby, and who left few if any records beyond census! I was certain that this person was the father of Jonathan Case, at least we believe his name to be Jonathan. From the DNA of a distant cousin, who is a descendent of the my third great-grandmother Independence Case’s brother, Jackson Case, we know that Jonathan a descendant of the Connecticut Case Family, which includes John Case, b. 1616 Eng., d. 1703 CT.
Seems I was wrong. While you could argue that Jonathan (?) Case is in this batch of folks, since no direct evidence links Jonathan Case to the family he left behind in Randolph County, Illinois, he is still beaten out by another. The winner is the father of Mary “Polly” Rhoten. Her mother is Matilda Rhoten, born in Virginia, most likely in 1812-13 as the math from the 1870 census indicates. But her father is unkown.
Another interesting artifact is that this is the generation in which the Missing people start. Cassandra Grayson’s mother, Catherine “poss” Lewis probably born about 1770-1780. The parents of Sophia Poe, again, probably 1770-1780 time frame. The parents of Mary C. Griffin 1822 SC to after 1866 MS; making their birthdates about 1780 – 1800. Finally, the mother of George W. Crawford, his father is Thomas, but as she is deceased before the 1850 census, her name is unknown. The most interesting fact about all of them is that these people are all in the second great-grandparent generation. Surprisingly close to me, in terms of generations, and surprisingly a long time ago in terms of years.
The near misses of the previous generation are surprising, too. Luckily, the marriage records of Mississippi are available for the time that George Crawford and Jane Mangum were married. This provided her name and a clue to finding her family. Her marriage had been printed in several sources one problem, it was to the wrong man. Complicating the incorrect marriage record problem was that Jane had a famous father, John Mangum, “The Patriot”. Her inaccurate record was the official marriage according to the DAR, membership in which I was trying to achieve, through Jane. All the erroneous records were causing an intergenerational connection problem. You see, Jane’s mother and her brother’s and sister’s became Mormon and were part of the migration to Utah. My third great-grandmother died in Winter Quarters. Since Jane stayed in Mississippi, they lost track of her, a church record was misread and printed. Thankfully, ¬†Kerry Peterson, a true genealogical genious and a very gifted researcher in my Mangum cousins, was able to put out the word that we needed a record to verify that Jane Mangum, The Patriot ‘s daughter, was the woman who married George Crawford. Another cousin had the needed document, written by a grandson of John Mangum, “The Patriot”, in which he stated “Aunt Jenny married George Crawford”. How lucky is that?