Thursday, 29 May 2014

Five Minutes With An Ancestor

If I had five minutes with an ancestor, who would it be and what would we talk about?

This is kind of unfair because there are so many. The list truly is endless.

Just five minutes with my grandmother's Freda and Lilian - just because I want to hug them, tell them how much I love them and miss them every single day, and to say I am sorry.

From a purely family history perspective:

  • My great-grandmother Elizabeth Dare - to dispel some awkward family rumours and to confirm how many children she actually gave birth to.
  • My g/g-grandfather William Preston - to ask him the truth about why he was estranged from his father and his two brothers.
  • My great-grandmother Barbara Hargreaves - to ask her about her life as a Domestic Servant to a London physician and to ask her who Arthur Ward was.
  • My 4 x great-grandmother Mary Ward - to ask her why she never married and yet she gave birth to six illegitimate children, three of whom died in infancy.
  • My 4 x great-grandfather Joseph Powell - to ask him all about his life as a Thames Waterman.
  • My 4 x great-grandparents John Humphries and Ann Rogers - to ask them why they never married and to confirm where they were both born before they lived together in Hammersmith and raised a family.
But, most of all, I would definitely ask my 3 x great-grandfather Richard Humphries:

Where the heck did you disappear to after 1871? What really happened to your first wife Mary Ann and why did she die alone in a workhouse? Why did you "shack up" with Sarah Spencer, not marry her and yet have a family with her? She gave birth to a daughter in 1872, and then just four years later, she marries another man. Meanwhile, you've completely disappeared from the face of the earth. What happened to you Richard?

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