From Randy over at Genea-Musings:
Dear genealogists everywhere, it's Saturday Night! Time for some Genealogy FUN.
Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1) Who is your TMRUA - your Third Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the third 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.
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 TMRUA?
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 in a comment on Facebook or
1) My Third Most Recent Unknown Ancestor (TMRUA) is #26, the father of my second great-grandfather, George W. Schwalls (January 1, 1837 - January 21, 1908).
2) While I haven't searched for this information recently, I am very familiar with what I do know. Unfortunately, what I know about George W. Schwalls, "ain't much":
George was born in Germany (One document mentioned Bavaria). Sometime in the 1850's, he came to America with at least one cousin, maybe more. His cousin, George Michael Schwall, settled in Sandersville, Washington County, Georgia. George W. Schwalls (he added the "S", by all accounts, to be differentiated from his cousin) settled in Johnson County, Georgia.
There are stories that they came to this country because they had gotten into some kind of trouble and had to flee their home. The stories state that the boys were smuggled over on a ship from France. I do not know if that is true; however, I do know that I have been unable to locate their names on any ship manifest coming from Europe during the 1850's.
Thus, with so little information, I have been unable to determine where in Germany George was born and, therefore, unable to identify his father.
3) I have done exhaustive searches of ship manifests, Civil War records (George fought in the war.), actually any and all records I could find on Ancestry.com and Family Search that might have a mention of George's birthplace recorded by him. He did not even list the town on his Civil War Pension Application! I have tried in vain to find a descendant who knows the family history by using the Ancestry.com message boards and this blog to get my query out there. I have searched at the Georgia Archives, Dublin (Georgia) Public Library (which has a fine genealogy resource room for the geographical area), and NARA in Washington D.C. for any information about George's place of birth and ancestors.
I have also done numerous searches for his cousin's ancestry, to no avail.
I have come across some message board posts on Ancestry.com with names of possible parents of George W. Schwalls. However, none of those messages were sourced, and I was unable to confirm any of the information.
4) Done! I have written numerous blog posts about my elusive George Schwalls... please visit "Posts by Topic" above and search under "Schwalls."