Monday, June 20, 2011

If I Could Speak To My Ancestors...

Earlier today, I was analyzing all the information in my family tree (no surprise there!). I was looking at my dead-ends and trying to figure out which records I needed to persue to crack the brick-walls. I then, again, began to dream and wish that I had some way to communicate with my ancestors and ask them questions. Thinking about it all more and more, I thought if it WERE a possibility, what three questions would I ask to any of my ancestors?

1. You may ask any three questions to any ancestors from any period in time.
2. Not all questions have to be directed to one specific ancestor, you can have a single question for three different ancestors.
3. You can't repeat a question, they have to be three unique questions. Asking three different ancestors what their mother's surname was is far too easy!
4. Before each question, you must identify which ancestor you're asking the question to.
5. After identifying the answer and the question, give a little information about this ancestor that's related to your question. You never know who will stumble upon this information and contact you!

My Three Questions:
#1 Ancestor: Hiram Howell (b. about 1790, SC; d. 1853, Tippah Co, MS)
#1 Question: What complications lead to your murder?
Fact: Hiram Howell was murdered in 1853 (exact date unknown) by Lindsey Slaughter, his probable son-in-law. I believe that Lindsey Slaughter's wife, Bathsheba, is the daughter of Hiram Howell. Lindsey and Bathsheba Slaughter had a daughter named Temperance, a name extremely unique to the Howell family (the name of Hiram's daughter whom I descend from, and the name of Hiram's sister-in-law).

#2 Ancestor: Eszter Tóth (b. 1874, Tiszadob, Hungary; d. 1950, Lore City, OH)
#2 Question: What was the family information in the paperwork that you brought with you, when you immigrated to America?
Fact: Family stories from cousins all recollect that my great-great-grandmother had brought with her when she immigrated, papers about her family tree and ancestors. My cousin in Arizona (whom inherited the papers, yet won't share a single piece of information) has stated she DOES have these papers and it has a full family tree and also includes information about a King that we supposedly descend from. Hearing of this claim years ago, I knew it was at least more plausible than family stories of others.. Eszter was of nobility! A noblewoman is more likely to descend from a King than a peasant. Just in the past two years, I have researched enough to the point that I have proven that we DO descend from a King of Hungary. To be precise, we descend from the early "true" Magyar Kings of Hungary from the Árpád Dynasty. I just want those documents my great-great-grandma brought over from Hungary!!

#3 Ancestor: Martha A. Miller (b. 1836, AL?; d. 1877, Holmes or Yazoo Co, MS)
#3 Question: Who are your parents?!
Fact: According to a family bible (that no one seems to know where it is, or who had it), Martha A. Miller was born on 18 Nov 1836, married to James Andrew J. Costilow on 25 Jul 1855 and died 19 Dec 1877. No places for any of these dates were provided in this supposed family bible. There have also been claims that Martha has Native American roots. Martha truly is a brick-wall. I haven't been able to locate her in the 1850 census anywhere. Any possible matches have been disproven, so I always end up right at the brick-wall again.

What are your questions? :)