Monday, July 1, 2013

Mystery Monday: A Wrinkle in the Search for Mary Ann

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers encouraging bloggers to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.
Last week I thought I was wrapping up my “Searching for Mary Ann” series until I could gather some wills and deeds for the siblings of John Ermentraudt.  Then I noticed an interesting name in the chapter called “Miscellaneous” in the Armentrout Family History by Russell S. Armentrout. 

The Miscellaneous chapter contains family lines that have not been attached to any of the seven known sons and daughter of Anna Elizabeth Hain Ermantraudt, the family that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739 and subsequently helped settle the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the 1750s. 

That interesting name is also that ever-problematic JOHN.  Nevertheless, I have hope.  Here’s why:  Even though his birth and death dates are unknown, there is a definite marriage date of May 6, 1791 to Elizabeth Lingle in Rockingham County. 

And there are children! 

The first is Maria, born May 25, 1795.  Maria? Mary? It’s possible, right?  The date is a question, but then in very old records dates are typically iffy.  My records indicate MY Mary Ann was born anywhere from 1795 to 1805. 

Other children:
Elizabeth born August 8, 1798
Linda born April 18, 1805
John born February 16, 1816

What is more interesting is that all these children were baptized at the Peaked Mountain Church like so many of the other Armentrouts as well as the children of Mary Ann and Fielding Jollett.

Adding more interest upon interest are the names of the sponsors of the Armentrout children – names like Schneider, Geiger, and Augustine Ermentraudt. 

I previously announced my gut feeling that Augustine Ermentraudt could be my Rosetta Stone. Schneider and Geiger/Kyger are also names that I identified as holding strong possibilities.  Could MY John Ermentraudt have been right here under our genealogical nose all along?  Why did no one pick up on it?

I’m trying not to jump up and down in ecstasy – don’t want to jinx myself.  But now I have another way to think about this mystery.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. It's like unravelling a thriller, several red herrings or paths to take and then - maybe just maybe, a lead in the right direction. I do hope so after all your hard work.

    1. I hope so too. I think I deserve a little bit of good news every now and then. I'm tired of dead-ends and u-turns.

  2. Ditto what Sally said. I'm just as excited as you are!

  3. We'll all cross our fingers and wait to hear where this takes you. P.S. - did you get my email or did I send it to the wrong place?

    1. Oh Kathy, yes, indeed. I got the email. I did a quick look and don't see any signs of a connection, but I feel confident if I can take my Robert back a little further there might be something. So many ancestors -- so little time. But I love the possibility that your file might open a new little world for me.

    2. That would be awesome! I haven't researched this line much myself, but let me know if I can look up anything else from what I have. You are so right about so many ancestors, so little time! We could stay at this 24/7 and still never finish. But you have done and are doing so much. I am impressed.

  4. It is like a mystery novel...on you blog!
    Happy Monday!

    1. Yeah, but until I can get to Richmond for some real digging, this novel is quickly coming to a screeching halt.

  5. Lesson to be learned here: read the whole book, including miscellaneous chapters!