Image by Alan Cleaver (shared under creative commons license)

Image by Alan Cleaver (shared under Creative Commons license)

When I read that today is Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day, I thought, “hmm … if I could travel back in time, what would I do?”  Well, duh.  I would ask my ancestors for some freakin’ answers, that’s what!

The first ancestor I would accost question would be my 3rd great grandmother, Eliza (or Elise or Sophie) Bourke.  I would want to know exactly where she was born, why I can’t find her family on the 1860 census, and what the heck her actual name is.

Then I would sidle up to my 3rd great grandfather, Zenophile Lanctot (husband of the elusive Eliza Bourke) and ask him why he kept [allegedly] bouncing back and forth between the U.S. and Canada, did he really come to the U.S. when he was only 16, and whether he was ever actually naturalized (and if so, where??)

And since we’re traveling back in time, I would go to September 29, 1924 Manhattan and skulk around in the shadows of the hospital until I found my grandfather’s (John Joseph Gallagher) birth parents.  Then – after discovering their identities – I would ask them why they abandoned him, whether they had any other children, and whether they ever attempted to find him later.

If you could travel back in time, who would you find and what would you ask them?


Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com

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