Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Guess who's coming for dinner?

I couldn't resist this title for the 41st Carnival of Genealogy submission
The challenge

If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why? Here's a chance to exercise your imagination... Would you have dinner in the present day or in one of their eras? Would you dine out or opt for a home cooked meal? What would you discuss at the dinner table? What would you most like to share with them about your life?
Who would be there?
  1. My 4th great grandfather -- John Nicholas Stiver (born Johan Niclaus Stőber [Stoeber]) in what is now Germany around 1745. He came to Canada in 1794.
  2. My great-great grandfather Thomas Love. Thomas came to Canada with his wife in the 1840s
  3. My great grandmother - Emily Iles nee Pugh. She came to Canada with her family in 1905
  4. My great grandfather - Josiah Dudley. Josiah lived all his life in England.
Although it would be interesting to visit them in the past, I think I will invite them all to join me in the present time. They would come dressed in their clothing of their era.
I would invite my sister and brother and their children to come to the meal. I would invite everyone for a home cooked meal, but I would not be the one who prepared the whole meal. I would ask my brother (who is a great barbecuer), my nephew (who is a chef) and my sister to prepare one of her delicious recipes. In addition to a barbecue with a great assortment of food, I would make my mother's recipe for macaroni and cheese and also the casserole that I made most Saturday afternoons in my teens.
Discussion - lots of questions for each of these folks. Perhaps, they would share some of their adventures with each other.
1. John Stiver - How did your name evolve? Who were your parents? Where were you born? What did you do in Germany? What was your wife's maiden name? Did you leave any family behind in Europe and what were their names? Why did you join up with William Berczy and the other travellers? Were you the "Stubbe with wife and five children" referred to in the Pennsylvania German Pioneers listing of those on board the brigantine vessel, Catharina that sailed from Hamburg in 1792 and arrived in Philadelphia 3 August 1792? We know of only four children. Was there another child or is that an error? What were your feelings as you left your homeland? What was the voyage like? Did you help with clearing roads in the United States and Canada? Did you learn to speak English? Did you have any regrets about coming to Canada?
2. Thomas Love - We don't know much about you. Where were you born in Scotland? How did you meet your wife Agnes Hamilton? Tell me more about life in Scotland. Why did you come to Canada? How did you hear about this country? What was the voyage like? Where were the children born? What did you do in Canada? Where were you living when you died?
3. Emily Iles nee Pugh. Did you ever know your father and do you know what happened to him? What did your mother tell you about life in the workhouse (poor house)? Did your mother re-marry? How did you meet George? What was it like moving from place to place? Were you happy with the decision to come to Canada? Did George come the year before? What brought you to Owen Sound? What was your voyage like?
4. Josiah Dudley - Were you born in the workhouse? Did you have any siblings? What happened to them? Did your mother ever talk about your father? The story that has been passed down to us that you had Spanish ancestry. I was told that you were born in Spain but that is not what is said on the census. Was there a Spanish connection with your mother's father? Her father was Thomas according to her marriage later in life. I found a Thomas Dudley living in the area that was British Subject born in Spain. Was that her father? Who did you learn your brick laying trade from? Were you a lay preacher? What was it like to be part of the Salvation Army in the early days?
What would I like to share with them about my life? - an interesting question. To help all my guests understand how we are all interconnected, I would show a family chart. Perhaps, I would prepare a DVD to give them an idea about their descendants and the areas that some of them lived. - with lots of photos. I would take them for a ride around my region. Emily would be interested in seeing the changes in the places where she lived here. It would be interesting to hear their reactions to all these changes. Would they like to live in these times?


  1. I wish I'd read your title before I chose my title! LOL I guess "Great Minds Think Alike."

  2. Yes, I too loved your title!

    You certainly have the mind of a fascinated genealogist! Wouldn't it have been interesting to hear their answers. Perhaps someone out there reading this will send back some answers to you. I think you arranged a very thoughtful and pleasant afternoon for your ancestors and they must have been delighted to have met you and their other descendants. They would have been fascinated with seeing them on film as well!

    I am hoping this idea will stimulate the Grey-Bruce Writers to do a writing exercise based on this idea. What fun! Paula Niall, President Grey-Bruce Writers. b

  3. I'll be coming to dinner if
    its home cooked. Thank you a
    very well thought out look
    into your ancestors lives.


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