Sunday, October 21, 2012

Genealogy Time Machine

If you're like myself, you're constantly wishing you could speak to a long-deceased ancestor. Even just for a minute or two. This happened to me tonight and it got me to thinking.. why not blog about it? So here are my absolute top three choices of who, when, where and why I would go back in time.

Who: My 2nd-great-grandmother, Eszter Tóth Gombás
When: October 1909
Where: Ellis Island
Why: According to family stories, she brought along with her while immigrating from Hungary to America, documents on her noble heritage and family tree. Within these documents was information detailing a family connection to a king from about 600 years ago. I know much of her ancestry, but I would do anything to know what details she knew on her noble Hungarian heritage.

Who: Hiram Howell
When: 1853
Where: Tippah County, Mississippi
Why: I want to know all the details of his murder! Why did his son-in-law, Lindsey Slaughter, shoot and kill him? And why wasn't he convicted of murder?

Who: My 3rd-great-grandmother, Ellen Hovis Martin
When: Late 1830's
Where: Lincoln County, North Carolina
Why: She was an illegitimate daughter of first cousins. She lived in a house with her mother and two other illegitimate children, on land that her paternal grandfather had specifically given to her mother.. to provide for her. Ellen's biological father died when she was only 5 years old. It would be amazing to peak into the life of Ellen in her pre-teen years, to see what kind of hardships she was going through and what life was like for her, her mother and her siblings.

I would love to hear your top three choices! Share them in the comments or post the link from the blog post!


  1. Wow, Nick - I'd love to see your great-great-grandmother's documents, too! It's sad that those types of family treasures were not preserved and passed down to an ancestor like you.

    Great idea for a post. For years I've thought about questions I'd like to ask many different ancestors. My list would be very, very long. If I have some time later I'll try to write a few of them down.

  2. Wanna know the best part, Lisa? I know exactly who has the document(s) today, but the person won't share a single picture or even a piece of paper with me. My 2nd-great-grandmother would be ashamed of the family with out we've turned out. She obviously brought that information to America, for it to be preserved and known. Oh well.. maybe one day. :)

  3. I don't know if I can choose between any of them . They all hold interest for many reasons ......Hiram Howell's story may be in newspaper , although 1850's is hard for searching . Maybe self-defense for Lindsay ?? And also Ellen Martin's story sounds like a novel - North Carolina in the 1830's !

  4. What a great idea. I have shared the top three of my husband's ancestors I'd like to go back and talk with at A Jewish Genealogy Journey.

  5. I love the idea of a genealogy time machine, and wrote about my three choices at