This week in his regular post ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun’ Randy Seaver asks “Who Is Your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor (MRUA)?”

The mission:
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?

The starting point for my ahnentafel list is my children, the list formed by combining my tree with that of my husband Greg.

I know all the names of our children’s 3rd great grandparents.

In the next generation, however, I don’t know the parents of George Young (c.1826-1890), Greg’s great great grandfather. George is number 32 on the index; I don’t know the names of his parents, numbers 64 and 65.

There’s no help from his death certificate; the informant does not name his parents. Other information about him is scanty. From his death certificate I know that he was born in Liverpool, and this corresponds with details that he provided on the birth certificates of his children, but I have not found his marriage certificate. The reason may be that he and his wife Caroline Clarke were married before compulsory civil registration was introduced in Victoria in 1855, or perhaps they never formally married. I have not found a shipping record for him, and I have no evidence that he had any near relations in Australia. Land records, and I have several that concern him, give no relevant information. George did not leave a will. Frustratingly, the name Young is too common to identify George from the many other births in Liverpool about the same time or from people with the same name listed on the United Kingdom 1841 census.

I feel my best hope in identifying George’s parents and finding out more about his life before he emigrated to Australia is through DNA. Several of Greg’s cousins descended from George have tested their DNA. I hope that DNA will lead me to one or more of the descendants of George Young’s siblings.  Their research might get me past the dead end I have come to with George himself.

Greg has a number of shared DNA matches (shown in green on the chart). I have not yet identified anybody descending from a brother or sister of George Young.

Young DNA tree

I do have some DNA matches from people with the surname Young who were born in Liverpool, descendants of Philip Young (1840-1910). I have not yet found the parents and grandparents of Philip to allow me to make the connection between our two trees, although we have several DNA matches. However, having an additional line to search, which appears to be connected by name, place and shared DNA, gives me a better chance of finding the family of George Young.