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October 19, 2010

If I Had a Genealogy Time Machine....

Hubby and I often play a silly little genealogy game. It's silly but oh boy it's a lot of fun - and takes some serious thinking! We call it "If I had a Time Machine..." and it requires you to say what you would do (genealogy-wise only) if you could travel back in time.

Would you save the church records from the church that burnt, the one where your family lived in the early 1800s?

Would you grab your 5th great grandparents' family bible and bring it back to the present with you?

Would you hunt for clues to your 4th great grandma's parents' names?

The rules are that you can't save a life, and you can't ask questions of your ancestors. In other words, no interaction with the people in the past. You also cannot bring a camera or scanner with you!

But you *can* rescue objects (a family bible, church records, trunk full of family documents....) and you *can* bring one item back with you to study in the present.

I am torn between a few things I want to do! One is sneaking into Joseph and Fanny (Downey) McGinnis' log shanty in Puslinch Twp Ontario in 1847 to listen in to their conversations and try to find out who their parents were. I'd also just enjoy sitting there listening to their Irish brogue! Of course I hope they aren't fighting when I arrive....

The second is visiting 1800 Niagara area of Ontario to find out if Jacob Peer has a family bible or any clues for me as to his parents! Oh gosh but I'd also like to see his marriage record to find out his wife Anne's maiden name.

I also shouldn't overlook the chance to visit my UEL ancestor Cornelius Vollick and his wife Eve Larroway anytime between 1809 and 1820 to see if my ancestor Richard is really their son!

What would you do if you had a genealogy time machine? What ancestor would you visit and in what time period and what are you hoping to find out?


Deb said...

Great post! Loved reading your choices taveling in the "time machine".

Mine was very easy, I would love to be aboard the Civl War ship "Callaloo" on July 1, 1871. This is where legend has my 2nd great grandfather Charles Henry Wakefield died at sea.

Deb said...

Great post! Love the idea of a "genealogy time machine"!

Mine wish was very easy. Family legend has my 2nd great grandfather Charles Henry Wakefield lost at sea. So I would travel to the Civil War ship "Callaloo" July 1, 1871 to finally discover what really happened.

Thank you for the time machine!

Your Growing Tree said...

What a great idea!

If I had a time machine I would probably do something simular to what you had said- I would go to my grandfather's home when he was a child to see if there are clues asto why they moved sooooo much. In the late 1800's/early 1900's it could not have be easy to move (with children) from Prince Edward Island, to CT, to PEI to ME then to RI. At least I know where I get my nomad spirit from :)

Keep Smilin

GeneBugGrams said...

What a great idea. If only I really could, I would travel to 1835 to attend the marriage/wedding of my third great grandparents, John W. Thomas and Mary Hoover in Ohio. I don't know if they had a big ceremony with family present, or if it was a civil service. I would like to see who stood up for them and to learn if either of them had brothers or sisters. No records located to date contain a word about siblings or parents. Even the census is conflicted as to where they were born. One year he is born in PA and she in OH, and the next census says she was born in PA and he in OH. And to complicate matters, in the few years before this couple married, there were no Thomas and Hoover families living near each other in any county in Ohio.

genealogical research said...

Good post!
Keep blogging!!!
Thanks for sharing!!!