Monday, September 1, 2014

Sarah LNU (Not any longer)

Randy Seaver at GeneaMusings, for his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, asked:
How Many Sarah LNU's Are in Your Genealogy Database? If you have one that is your ancestor, have you looked recently to determine if there are more records online that might lead you to her surname? Go look for one - you might be surprised!
LNU is an acronym for "Last Name Unknown." Using the acronym, instead of leaving the surname blank, facilitates finding these mysteries in your database to research at a later time.

LNUs, by the nature of surnames in Western European culture, are almost always female.


I had one Sarah LNU - however, she wasn't related to me. She was the husband of my 2nd great grandfather's business partner, Max Wieselman. I had entered Max into my database as an "Associated Person." (iFamily chart to the left.) Max and my 2nd great grandfather, Selig Dudelczyk (he changed his surname to Feinstein), worked as horse shoers/blacksmiths together, and were co-inventors of a modification to a fire hydrant. When I first visited the cemetery where Selig and Anna, as well as several other paternal ancestors are buried, I parked a fair distance from where their plots were, planning to walk the rest of the way. At my feet, when I got out of the car, was the headstones for Max and Sarah.

I had only entered their names and dates from the tombstones, and hadn't conducted any additional research yet. While he was my ancestor's business partner for a decade, I had no other reason to conduct any research on him or his family. The first thing I did this weekend was look up their death certificates at the Missouri Digital Heritage website. They were both there, as well as the certificates for two sons. According to Sarah's death certificate, her maiden name was Ottman.

However, Max's death certificate was more interesting to me. It stated he was born in Zhitomir, Volhynia. The same town Selig's brother Julius had for town of origin on his manifest. Did Selig and Max know each other in the old country, or did they meet each other in St. Louis?

Census records indicate Max immigrated in 1884, a few years prior to Selig. It looks like at some point I may need to conduct some more research on the Wieselmans. However, the information I want is likely in Ukrainian records.

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