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Carm_88

If you could question a dead ancestor...

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Giddy
Carm_88

If you could ask any ancestor a question; who would it be and what would you ask them? For me, it would be my 3x great grandfather, I'd ask him what his parents names were. Seeing that I can't find him. I'd also love to ask where in Ireland he as born and when. :) So many questions! 

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Tired
clueliss

The first thing that comes to my mind when I see this question - is that I want to go back in time to 1970 or 80 whenever that my crazy aunt sat at a table with a person in the extended family known as 'Big Dot'  was talking to my Crazy Aunt and Grandmother.  I want to position the tape recorder the crazy aunt is using so that later in time I can actually hear ALL of what Big Dot is saying and not a vast wealth of background noise.  And then I want to be there and ask more detailed questions and take detailed notes.  (Big Dot is a first cousin of my mother and the crazy aunt but was friends with my grandmother growing up because they're only a year apart.  Big Dot is the daughter of my grandfather's big sister - hello wonky generations).  

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Antipatriarch
25 minutes ago, Carm_88 said:

If you could ask any ancestor a question; who would it be and what would you ask them? For me, it would be my 3x great grandfather, I'd ask him what his parents names were. Seeing that I can't find him.

Ah, those brick walls! My most notorious one is my 3x great grandmother, who lived to be 100. (I have a couple cool "4 generations" and "5 generations" pictures with her in them.) Unfortunately, she lived so long that when she died, it was one of her granddaughters who gave the info for her death certificate, and who apparently didn't know her parents' names. The only clue I have is that she was born in Louisiana -- if accurate, that's the only relative I've found so far from that state. I have three different spellings for her maiden name. etc. etc. -- I've spent a lot of time trying to get one generation back, so far with no luck!

So yes, I'd ask for her parents names, but I'd also love to get to interview her and ask about her early life. What brought her to Indiana, how did she meet my 3x great grandfather, etc.! She married into a pretty prominent family in that area, and I have lots of information from her marriage onward, but her early life is still a mystery.

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Tired
MadameOvary

There are so many! I spend far too much time fantasising about a time machine for this exact purpose. Forget visiting Jesus, Aristotle, Shakespeare or whoever, I would be so happy to meet these ordinary people, my grandparents.

If I had to pick just one, I would go to my grandmother's grandfather and ask him if he really painted a certain picture himself, like he claimed he did. And where did he hide the original! I have a copy, it has his initials, but how to know for sure?!

My second most pressing question (or two actually) would be to an 18th century ancestor who was an actress: what roles did she play? And who were her parents? I have names of her supposed parentage several generations back, but I have not been able to verify and I have major doubts.

Edited by MadameOvary
typo

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JordynDarby5

So many of them! Starting with my 3rd time great-grandfather who was born in Montreal how did he end up in the really tiny town in the West? Did he just keep going west until he ended up there? Same with his wife who was born in Dublin. Its such a small town that it doesn't seem a place people would have heard of it. Yet both ended up there, met and married.

 Another ancestor would be a man who was married twice. He married a girl, she died and he married her sister. Except no one knows how many children he had with his first wife. Was it one? Two? Or none? The woman who named her daughter Cinderella, why did she chose that name? Was she a Grimms fan? Did she just like it? Especially since she gave normal names to all her other kids? The ones who moved from Sweden and Norway who were their parents and where did they live in those countries?

It would be really cool to talk to them and find out what they are like. 

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Dizzy
Blahblah

I would visit a 4th great grandfather who appears to have beamed down from Mars in 1809. I have found (on boards) other people who are searching for information on him and everyone has hit brick walls. Who are your your parents Isaac? Where did you come from? 

Or I would find a different 4th great grandfather and ask who his parents are so that I can track my surname back further than 1781.

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MayMay1123

i would ask my grandfather if all the stories about him are true...or what the real story is. i can't find him before he enlisted in the navy. it was rumored that his mother was a prostitute and when he joined the navy he changed his name because he didn't want to be associated with her. the story goes that when he was in line to be enlisted, the guy in front of him gave his name, and then he said 'yeah, that's my name too'. or maybe he was raised by his grandmother and took her name when he came of age. i'm afraid i'll never know though...i'm thinking of doing dna testing just to see if i can find family from that side

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Satan'sFortress

1.  My great-grandmother.  I need specifics about dates---everyone in your area of Nova Scotia has the same 3 or 4 last names and I cannot find 100% proof of YOUR family.  What was it like living in Nova Scotia in the late 1800s?  Why did you move to Boston? 

2.  My paternal grandfather. As a man from the deep South, from a family that had been there for generations, what caused you to move to Boston and impregnate (and later marry) my 1st-generation Jewish grandmother? It looks like you had been married and divorced once before this---tell me about that.  And why were you such a brute?

 

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tabitha2

Why my Mothers Father acted like my mother and siblings never existed after my grandmother took them to Houston from NY and why he was such a wonderful,loving dad to his new set of children he had with my Aunts teenage best friend?  

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Giddy
Carm_88
On 1/19/2018 at 3:54 PM, Satan'sFortress said:

1.  My great-grandmother.  I need specifics about dates---everyone in your area of Nova Scotia has the same 3 or 4 last names and I cannot find 100% proof of YOUR family.  What was it like living in Nova Scotia in the late 1800s?  Why did you move to Boston? 

I can maybe answer the why! Just because I'm from Newfoundland and I know why many of my relatives moved to Boston. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were strictly fishing/mining/farming; yeah in Halifax and St. John's you might find something else but you are never going to be wealthy. Rural Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the 1800s was pretty primitive and anyone who dreamed of a better life, left. So likely, your great-grandmother left her home in Nova Scotia to make a better life for herself. 

Also can I say that Boston and Nova Scotia have been great friends since the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Boston sent aid and every year since then their massive Christmas Tree comes from Nova Scotia as a thank you! :) 

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Satan'sFortress

She married a mail carrier and they had 9 children together.  She worked hard her whole life, but sounds like they were better off than they would have been.  The children did pretty well, and the grandchildren still better.  My mother adored her and she was a huge influence on her life.

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DaisyD

I'd ask my ancestor that stowed away on a ship at 10 in 1710 about his parents and siblings. I've got nothing on him before he was discovered during the voyage and made cabin boy.

I'd also like to ask his son who the woman of color he left land to was (That's actually how it's worded, if I recall correctly. It was odd for the time wording, anyway). There's a family story about him owning a single slave when he left to fight in the revolution (There's a story about how he attained said slave that makes him sound like a hero for it too...). While he was gone, his wife died and "Old Jack" took care of the farm and raised his children. When he got back, he freed Jack and moved to his land grant. Apparently, years later, Jack showed up at the house and lived with them for the rest of his life.

I am strongly inclined to believe this is some revisionist history based on the fact that it came from a book published by his grandson who fought for the Union. The only thing that makes me half believe it is the will. Was she Jack's daughter? I'm so curious.

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Sobeknofret

"Who's your Daddy?" Quickly followed up with "Can you spit in this tube, please?" :lost:

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TheOneAndOnly

I think I would like to find Joshua Stephens (1785-1855) and ask him who his wife's people were.  Hell, even who she was since I can't find any two people who agree on it's spelling. Temperance? Tempy? Timpy? Last name Dupree? Dupuy? What the hell.

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Giddy
Carm_88

@TheOneAndOnly Spelling mistakes suck. I was tracing what I thought to be a ghost, because the census listed her name as Hannah. Turns out her name was Honorah or Nora or Honora; 3-4 spellings for the one person.

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Nervous
LittleOwl

I fell down a family history rabbit hole today.   I have spent a lot of time researching my mother's family history because very few people bothered.  Anyway today I looked into something on my father's side.  I stumbled across a death certificate for my great grandmother's sister, aged 12.  Died in 1911 of heart failure in a workhouse infirmary.  The rest of the family in the same census are listed as boarders in a notorious slum area of Nottingham. 

I would love to talk to my great grandmother who was about 8 at this time.  What happened?  Did you think of your sister? 

I found a picture of the courtyard in 1910... did you know these children?  Are you in this photo?

I guess your story is my new mission.  I look forward to discovering more about you.  

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