Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Time Travel Adventure with Rachel and Mary

Elizabeth O'Neal over at Little Bytes of Life is throwing a Genealogy Blog Party. Thanks, Elizabeth, for the opportunity to blog about April's theme, Time Travel to an Ancestor. I asked hubby who he would like to meet in a time travel adventure, and his answer was his paternal grandma, Mary. My answer is my paternal 2d great-grandma, Rachel.
MEETING RACHEL

My time travel adventure would be with Rachel Shuham Jacobs, shown at right. She was married to Jonah Jacobs and had two children, Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Joseph Jacobs.

As I always do when reaching out to a relative (or someone I think is a relative), I'm going to start by writing Rachel a letter. Of course I'll tell her exactly who I am--what great-great-grandma wouldn't want to know that she's remembered fondly by her family?

Dear GGG Rachel,

Greetings from the future from your great-great-granddaughter! The little girl you're holding in this photo from New York City grew up, got married, and became close friends with a young woman from the Farkas family. Set up on a blind date by these "matchmaker aunts," my parents fell in love, married, and had children--including me. 

So GGG Rachel, I would really like to bring you on a time travel adventure to meet my parents on their wedding day in 1946. Then you can hug your daughter Tillie, who as matriarch was in an honored position at the wedding. Also meet your grandchildren, including my grandma Henrietta and my great-aunt Mary, the little girl who became the matchmaker aunt. 

First, a few questions, please. Where in Lithuania were you born, and who were your parents? What was life like in your home town? How did you meet and marry your husband, Jonah? And how did you feel about leaving Lithuania to live in New York with your two children? 

When I come to pick you up, please wear something a little fancy to the wedding of your great-grandson Harold. Love, Your great-great-granddaughter

MEETING MARY

Hubby would like to meet his father's mother, Mary Slatter Wood, one of two daughters of John Slatter and Mary Shehen Slatter. Mary was born in a poor (really, really poor) area of London but left in the late 1800s for America, where she married James Edgar Wood and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Sadly, Mary died before her sons were fully grown.

Dear Grandma Mary,

Greetings from the future. I'm the oldest son of your oldest son. I want you to know that the musical ability you brought into the Wood family has come down through the generations. Thank you!

Grandma Mary, there are some questions I wish I could ask you. What was life like growing up in London? Do you remember your mother and father? Did you have an older brother Thomas, who died young? Was your mother's death the reason your father left for America? How did you meet and marry my granddaddy? 

It would be wonderful to meet you, Grandma Mary. My plan is to travel back in time to the summer of 1917, when you and Granddaddy James and your four sons took a road trip in your new Ford auto. It looked like quite an adventure. Let me join you and see my ancestors through your eyes. Love, Your grandson

18 comments:

hardyp3 said...

Ah, a blank comments list; an open invitation! How in the world did you narrow this to just two ancestors? I've got a zillion I'd like to visit ranging from my grandmother I grew up with (but never really questioned about her family) to my Civil War era confederate wannabe gggrandfather to an immigrant ancestor from the 1600's and all sorts of in-betweens! I'd be surprised if Mary DIDN'T have a sibling who died young. The road trip sounds fun, where did they go? Not many roads or car services in 1917!

Marian Burk Wood said...

Thank you for reading and commenting! My late father-in-law was a child when his father and mother (Mary Slatter Wood) took their 1917 Ford from Cleveland to Chicago, stopping to see relatives along the way. The photo album shows them pumping up tires too. Must have been both exciting and harrowing! They were dressed in Sunday best for visiting, too!

Lori Thornton said...

I thought my 19th century one was "recent" until I noticed yours was married the same year my parents were!

Marian Burk Wood said...

Lori, I just read and posted on your blog about your ancestor, Thomas Duke. Thanks for reading my post! Good luck getting answers to your questions about the Duke family.

Life Goes On said...

I chuckled as I read your letter to your ggg grandmother Rachel. I am sure you gave her a start.

Andrea Kelleher said...

I like the letters that you wrote. They are very sweet and I can imagine the expression of intrigue on the faces of your ancestors as they read these letters. This was a good read.

Lori Thornton said...

Thanks for posting on mine too!

Marian Burk Wood said...

You are SO right. Given GGG Rachel's life, going from a small Lithuanian village to the skyscraper-city of NY, I suspect she recovered quickly and was delighted to have a chance to meet her descendants at a happy family event!

Marian Burk Wood said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting! These are my relatives (or in-laws) and I want them to feel the love and respect. After all, if not for them, I wouldn't be here and neither would my beloved husband.

Linda Stufflebean said...

As hardyp3 mentioned, narrowing the choice down to an ancestor was tough. I liked that you wrote one letter to your ancestor and the other from your husband to his ancestor.

Marian Burk Wood said...

Linda, many thanks for visiting, leaving a comment, and writing me about eBay, which I'm going to check out more thoroughly for possible photos or other artifacts from my ancestors' past!

Nicole Dyer said...

Yes there are so many questions to ask! If only Rachel could really tell you where in Lithuania she was born!

Marian Burk Wood said...

Thanks, Nicole, for reading and commenting. So many questions, so many ancestors, so little time! It's hard to envision Rachel, coming from Lithuania, craning her neck to see the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Wish I could have met her.

Karen said...

Can you imagine going through your day as you usually do, when you get a letter in the mail from your gr-gr-granddaughter? What a lovely way to start your time travel adventure with these two lovely women! Thank you for sharing them.

Nancy said...

I really like the idea that you would write letters to introduce yourself. What a start she would have had to read a letter from a future descendant, not yet born! Her life sounds interesting, having moved from a town in Lithuania to the city of New York. I suppose that might have been as big a shock as receive a letter from a future descendant! Great post, Marian.

Marian B. Wood said...

Dear Karen and Nancy, Thank you for your comments! I hope these two ancestors would be happy to know that their descendants remember them with respect and affection, not to mention admiration. Happy mom's day to you.

Bill West said...

The letters were fun to read. Nice post!

Marian B. Wood said...

Dear Bill, Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'm looking forward to future Blog Party themes!