12/12/12 – 12 Genealogy Mysteries I’d Like to Solve

Since 12/12/12 is the internet craze of the day, I figured I would jump on it and name the twelve genealogical mysteries I’d love to have answers to.

  1. Who murdered John Witt in Pittsburgh in 1942? My aunt Mary Catherine told me the murder was never solved. A request for information to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police received no response (as expected). Perhaps a request to the city’s Open Records Officer will help.
  2. Who is Michael Lowry’s (1830 – 1928) father? His death certificate lists the father as Thomas Lowry, born in Ireland. He would be one of my 4th great grandfathers. I’ve not found any additional information on Thomas.
  3. While I’m at it, did Thomas Lowry ever emigrate to the U.S.?
  4. Who is the wife of Thomas Lowry? Their son Michael’s death certificate lists his mother as ‘Mary Giggore’ with a birthplace of Ireland. That name doesn’t sound remotely Irish and searches have turned up no information.
  5. Was Michael Lowry (1830 – 1928) one of the Molly Maguire’s as someone postulated in an email to me? Michael was a coal miner in central Pennsylvania in the 1860’s when the Molly’s were active and a ‘Michael Lowery’ was reported as a Molly in several secondary sources. I’m just not sure it’s the same guy.
  6. Did John Foy (1841 – ) ever emigrate to the United States? He is one of my 3rd great grandfathers and was born in Ireland. His daughter Bridget arrived in 1892, but I have no record that he ever made the leap across the pond.
  7. What is the maiden name and who are the parents of Sarah Price? She is my 4th great grandmother (a grandmother to Helen Bixler Witt). I believe she is buried in Four Mile Run Cemetery in Austintown, Ohio, which coincidentally is administered by her great, great, great granddaughter’s husband.
  8. Before he came to the New World, who was George Soule? George is *probably* my 9th great grandfather (twice actually, thanks to some cousin’s who married) and arrived here in 1620 aboard the Mayflower. I haven’t taken much time researching my line to him. That said, his life in England is relatively unknown. It has taken many professional researchers and genealogists years to figure this man out and questions abound. I won’t be cracking any brick walls with him, but I’m curious to know more about him.
  9. Did any of my ancestors fight in the American Revolution? The chance isn’t great; of my eight great grandparents, only one has descendants in America in the 1770’s and 1780’s. The rest were immigrants themselves or their families arrived after the Revolution. As someone with an interest in this period and many German ancestors from the Hesse region, I’d like to know if any of them fought for either side.
  10. Who were the wife and parents of Jacob Bahle (about 1850 – ?)?
  11. Why did any of my ancestors emigrate? I would love to find some primary sources detailing why they chose to leave Ireland, England, Germany, Austria, Wales, or Russia. I’m new at this so maybe some day 50 years from now I’ll find something.
  12. Who were Mathias Porubsky’s (1856 – 1929) parents? I have some names but they aren’t confirmed and requires information on both dates of birth and death.

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