Randy’s challenge this week was to check my pedigree chart for my first unknown ancestor. This is a person who I know the surname of but nothing else or I know the first name but not the surname.
I’d have to go back many generations on my French and Portuguese lines before I hit anyone without both names. All my problems begin with the British line. My most recent unknown ancestors are ??? Jackson and ??? ???, the parents of Harry Kenneth Jackson.
Harry was born in January of 1871 in Bristol, England. That’s the story the family tells. I can’t pin down the birth date because Harry never used a consistent one in records.
Very little is known of Harry’s childhood. His mother died when he was young. His father remarried soon after. Harry had 17 siblings, or so my Grandmother told me.
It’s a typical story. Harry’s step mother was rotten to the core. He skipped down when he was about 9 or 10 and stowed away on a ship. He worked on ships several years until he ended up in San Francisco around 1895.
Harry left no details of his parent’s names on any records. The trail to Harry’s parents runs cold the minute he stepped off the ship at San Francisco.
I wonder who they were. What were their names? Where are they buried? What became of his 17 siblings? Did anyone else make their way to the United States?
Harry could not become a citizen according to his daughter, Julie. My best bet to finding their names might be in the divorce proceedings or the prison records that followed. Harry tried to burn down his ex-wife’s house during the divorce because he felt she should get the house. So far, the divorce records have remained hidden and I’m not sure where to locate prison records.
Some day I hope to add Harry’s parents to my tree. It’s kind of sad looking out at those two blank spaces.