Friday, April 22, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party - Time Travel to an Ancestor

Elizabeth O'Neal has started a monthly meme - a Genealogy Blog Party - see her post Join the April 2016 Genealogy Blog Party! (posted 13 April 2016) on the Little Bytes of Life blog.


The theme for April is to Time Travel to an Ancestor. For this task, we are to answer these questions:

*  Who is the ancestor you will meet?
*  What question(s) do you need him/her to answer?
*  Is there a problem you can help your ancestor solve?
*  Will you reveal your true identity to your ancestor? If so, how will your visit impact the future? (Remember what happened to Rose when she went back to meet her father.)
*  Will you bring your ancestor to the future to meet his/her descendants? What will be the outcome, if you do?

So put your time travel headset on and we're off:

1)  Who is the ancestor you will meet?

I had a wide choice of ancestors to meet because so many seem to be interesting people, or are real mystery people, or I have so many questions for them.

I am going to choose my third great-grandfather, Thomas J. Newton, born in Maine about 1800, who purportedly married Sophia (Buck) Brigham (1797-1882), probably in Massachusetts, in about 1834.

Almost everything I know about Thomas J. Newton is in my blog post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 31: #38 Thomas J. Newton (ca 1800 - ????) (posted 1 August 2014).

 I'm going to assume that I meet him in about 1840, probably in Westborough, Massachusetts.  The biggest problem might be finding him!  I know where he was in 1832 and where Sophia was in 1834 when Phineas Brigham, her husband, died.  I would need to study up and practice on New England social norms, mannerisms, speech and accents in the early 19th century.

2)  What questions do you need him/her to answer?

I have so many questions for Tom! 

*  What is your birth date and birth place?
*  What is your middle name?
*  What are the names of your parents, their birth and death dates and places, and their marriage date and place?
*  What are the names of your grandparents?
*  What are the names of your siblings?
*  What is your marriage date and place with Sophia (Buck) Brigham?
*  What are the names, birth dates and birth places of your children?
*  How did you meet Sophia?  How long did you romance her?
*  What happened to her two children with Phineas Brigham?
*  Were you married before or after you married Sophia?  Did you have other children?
*  What is your occupation?  Where have you worked for a living?

3)  Is there a problem you can help your ancestor solve?

I sincerely doubt it, since I don't know a lot about his life.

4)  Will you reveal your true identity to your ancestor? If so, how will your visit impact the future?

Probably not until after the interview is over, and only if he asks me.  I think that I would pretend to be a distant Newton cousin and have enough information about my pretend ancestors that I could answer the same questions as I ask him.

I cannot imagine revealing who I am in his presence unless he is on his death bed and alone.  I would not want to share with Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) Newton or her daughter, Sophia Newton (my second great-grandmother) what would happen later in their lives.   It would be great fun to meet them, talk to them, see their living conditions, etc.

5)  Will you bring your ancestor to the future to meet his/her descendants? What will be the outcome, if you do?

I really don't think so.  Would I have to send him back?

What else should I ask Thomas J. Newton?  

I hope that other geneabloggers will take part in this Genealogy Blog Party!  

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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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3 comments:

Lori Thornton said...

I see you picked one of your 19th century ancestors too. I thought most people would choose ancestors from older time periods, but I think we all want to find solutions that will get us further back on some of the other lines. I saw a post earlier that had a mid-20th century ancestor. Suddenly I did feel I was really doing time travel!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Thanks for joining the April #GenBlogParty, Randy! I hope you get the answers you need one day, without requiring a time machine. Please be sure to add your link to the collection by visiting http://bit.ly/1QqlJHK. Great to have you on-board as a time-traveling companion for this journey! :-)

Nancy said...

I like the fact that you thought about learning what the social customs, accents, mannerisms, etc., would have been during Thomas's time, Randy. We wouldn't want to stick out like sore thumbs if we're travelling back in time, would we? I hope you can eventually learn the answers to your questions.