Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number on 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 in a comment on Facebook or Google Plus.
Number 31 on my Ahnentafel List is Maggie ? Williams. I do not know her parents' names as I have not been able to pin down her maiden name. Her parents are Numbers 62 and 63 on my Ahnentafel List. The obituaries of her daughters do not agree on her maiden name nor even where she was born. The maiden names listed for her on her daughters obituaries are: Robinson, Roberson, and Frazier. Birth places listed vary and are Gaston, Alabama and South Carolina.
Without a maiden name for her, I have no idea where to go. Because of the listing in the 1900 census showing a single sister living with her with the last name of Robinson, I tend to believe that Robinson is the correct maiden name. One thing that I have learned over these years, though, is that what seems the correct and logical assumption often is not.
Here is the information that I do have on her:
Born: 1 July 1863 (Gaston, Sumter, Alabama, USA)
Died: 30 May 1926 (Magnolia, Calhoun Falls, Abbeville, South Carolina)
I have a copy of Granny Williams' death certificate saved in my tree on Ancestry.com. Her death certificate lists her birth place as Gaston, Alabama, and her birth date as 1 July 1862. For the names of her parents, it says "Don't Know". I cannot fathom why my great-grandfather Julius Jared Pressley (her son-in-law and the informant on record) did not know the names of her parents, but maybe there was bad blood and she never talked about them. Who knows.
Her death certificate says that she was buried in Latimer Cemetery, in Calhoun Falls, Abbeville, South Carolina. Find-a-Grave says she is buried at Salem Cemetery, Abbeville County, South Carolina. I know that bodies get moved sometimes, and churches get renamed, as my great-grandfather was also initially buried at Latimer Cemetery.
She was married to Oliphant Williams who died in the year 1900, before the census. According to the 1900 census, she bore him six children and only four were living at the time of this census. I have the names of these four and no clue about the other two. I didn't even know there were two more until I found this census listing. I don't even know the gender of these other two children or where they fit into the timeline of the other children. Emma and Carrie (my great-grandma) were twins. Then came Sallie and Mattie. I only know what became of Carrie, Sallie, and Mattie. They grew up, got married, and were the foremothers of about a zillion other folks, including me.
If I were back home in South Carolina, our local library had quite an extensive collection of family histories in the local history room. But, that is over a thousand miles away from where I am now. I have a subscription to Newspapers.com that has helped me a great deal in finding information on other family members, but not this one, not Granny Williams. I will keep looking because they add new newspapers and more editions each day. I am always on the hunt for more information about her as well as what happened to Emma and the other two children.
The last thing that I know about my Granny Williams is that my maternal grandma, Maggie Pressley Spence, absolutely did not like her. She said that her Granny Williams was a mean, red-headed Irish woman. She didn't go into any details. Grandma was about nine years old when her grandmother died. She told me that when they told her of her grandmother's death, her response was, "GOOD!"
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