Sunday afternoon Genealogy Fun

Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun – How Many Elizabeth “LNUs” are in Your Family Tree Database?

Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun.  Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week the mission was:


1)  I have many females in my family tree database without a last name.  One of those female first names is “Elizabeth.”  Do you have situations like this, where you don’t know the surname of some females? [I call them LNU persons – Last Name Unknown.]


2) How many “Elizabeth” persons without a surname do you have in your genealogy database?  How many of them are your ancestor?  


3)  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!


4)  Tell us about your Elizabeth LNU ancestors with no surname.  Perhaps someone will read it and help you out!


5)  Share your information in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.


6)  NOTE:  If you don’t have any “Elizabeth” persons without a surname, then pick another female first name.

I have a number of females in my database without a last name, and three of these have the first name “Elizabeth”.  None of these was an ancestor.

  • Elizabeth ? (b 1737-1790). This Elizabeth was born about 1737.  She died 5 March 1790 and was buried in Woburn, Bedfordshire, England.  She was married to Edward Docwra.  Both Edward and Elizabeth’s wills can be found on the UK National Archives website Wills 1384-1858-, and a transcription of their wills can be found on the Docwra Family Research Project.  The marriage of Edward and Elizabeth has not yet been found.  Both wills list their children as: Mary, John Clerke (or Clarke) Docwra, Isabella and Lydia. Pretty much all the information I have for this family has come from the Docwra Family Research Project.  Information about Edward and Elizabeth’s burial was from a message on the Docwra Message Board  (Docwra – Family History & Genealogy Message Board at ancestry.com, message board, Eileen Goodall, “Re: Edward Docwra,” >, 12 Oct 2009 (http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.docwra/mb.ashx : accessed 12 Oct 2009). )
  • Elizabeth ? (1810-). This Elizabeth isn’t in my direct line.  Her son Joshua Abram married Caroline Sarah Docwra.  In searching for Joshua’s birth details, I also found baptism records for his siblings.  As this isn’t my direct line, I haven’t done any more research to determine Elizabeth’s maiden name, or any other details – at this stage I only have an estimated birth year.
  • Elizabeth ? (1849-?). This Elizabeth was married to William Parrish (or Parish).  William Parrish was born in 1843 in Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, and was the son of John Parrish and Sarah Pearmain.  He married Susan Christmas in 1868 in Steeple Morden, and they had two sons, William and John Albert Ernest, before Susan died in 1871.  They are listed on the 1871 England census living in Steeple Morden.  On the 1881 census William Parrish appears in Litlington, Cambridgeshire, with sons William and John, and another daughter, Beatrice.  His wife is listed as Elizabeth, and she was born about 1849 in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire.  I have been unable to find a marriage record for William and Elizabeth, so her maiden name is not known.

I had another Elizabeth LNU in my tree, but after reviewing the information I had, I decided to delete this person (as well as some others), as I didn’t have enough information to be able to confirm the relationship.  My 3xgreat grandfather William Edward Ball was born about 1824 in Gottenburgh, Sweden, according to his daughter Elizabeth’s birth certificate.  His marriage also showed he was born in Gottenburgh, Sweden, and that his parents were James Ball and Esther Ericksen.  A number of years back I was sent a fair amount of research on the Ball family.  This included the following list:

William BALL                                                      b.             25 Dec 1769 (Son of James Ball was Born Dec ye 25: 1769)
John BALL                                                           b.             24? Oct 1771
William BALL                                                      m.           30 Sept 179- (eaten) was marred Sept ye 30: 179?
Ann BALL dau.
(Dafter to William BALL)                                   b.             5 Aug (August ye 5 and Dyed {died} the 19 Of the same month 179- 19 Aug of the same month 179- (eaten)

Eliz Ann BALL                                                    b.             12 May 1795
(aclock in the morning)
Jeame?/James? BALL son of Wm BALL      b. December 12 1797

James BALL of Gottenburgh               m.        30 Nov         1823 Esther Eliz.
George Joseph BALL                          b.         5 Sept           1824
William Edward BALL                        b.         3 Nov           1825
Alfred Henry BALL                            b.         1 Aug 1827
Federick Leonard                                 b.         22 April        1830
James BALL of Gottenburgh               d.         12 Aug          1834
William BALL of Herrington               d.         1 June 1841

Unfortunately the paperwork I had been sent didn’t identify where the information had come from, and was sent to me by someone with no connection to the family.  I never thought at the time to ask where the information was from. It may possibly have been from a family Bible.  The paperwork also included some additional research that had been done on the family.

Amongst this research were two baptism records from the IGI (which I have also found at Familysearch) that seemed to match the birth dates for the Eliz Ann Ball born 12 May 1795 and James Ball born 12 December 1797.

Elizabeth Ann Ball, christening date 7 June 1795 at Saint Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, England, father William, mother Elizabeth

James Ball, christening date 29 Dec 1797 at Saint Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, England, father William, mother Elizabeth

William Edward Ball’s marriage certificate had shown that his father James was a wine merchant.  William Edward Ball, before he married in Australia, had been a master mariner.  It was quite likely then that James’ father was possibly also a mariner, or associated with travelling overseas, and may therefore have lived for some time in London.

Although it is therefore possible that James’ mother was called Elizabeth, I don’t yet have enough information to be sure of this.  I haven’t yet been able to find a marriage of a William Ball on 30 September, around 1790.

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