If you could speak to one family member who has passed on, who would you pick?
Why? What would you want to ask them?
My great great great grandmother, Margaret Scott (1782-1865) came to Canada from Ireland with her six children – John, William, Thomas, George, Eliza and Mary Ann. Her husband died on the ship.
It’s her husband I’d like to talk to, because no one seems to be able to figure out exactly who he was. Or if he even existed or was on the ship at all. If we knew more about him we could trace the ancestors all the way back to who knows where. Not too many people back then cared much about a womans origins, so there appears to be nothing else to be uncovered regarding Margaret. And without a name for her husband and some dates there’s just dead ends.
Much easier to go forward from her son William to his son, Robert John, to his son, another William (my grandfather) to his daughter, my mother, another Margaret. (If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that our family liked to use the same names over and over again, kind of like the Royal Family, but infinitely more confusing because we never thought to add roman numerals to their names.)
Besides asking my great great great grandfather who he was and where he came from, I’d like to know how he died. Maybe Margaret threw him overboard. Although I can’t imagine how she thought she would survive on a different continent without a husband, raising six children on her own. She lived to be 83, so perhaps she had a plan.
Next time I go to see a psychic (I actually saw one for the first time a couple of weeks ago! It was great fun!) I’ll try to remember to ask her about my great etc. etc. no-name grandpa. Accuracy isn’t as important to me as a good story, so there’s an avenue to explore. Maybe he’ll have so much to say I’ll be inspired to write it all down for posterity. And then one of my descendants will have the fun of sorting through it all trying to separate fact from fiction. Like it matters or something.