Via the FamilyTree Magazine newsletter, a fabulous thought-provoking and insightful conversation starter for around the Thanksgiving table this week:
Which ancestor you would most want to have sitting across from you at Thanksgiving dinner, and why would you pick him or her?
Editor Diane Haddad posted this question on the FamilyTree message board. The replies are really interesting, and quite touching.
At this point, not having dug very far into my family tree, I think I'd like to have dinner with the younger version of my maternal great-grandmother, Ella Smith. I know very little about her. My earliest memories of her include visions of her in a wheelchair at a nursing home, her eyes wide and blinking behind thick glasses, her words hard to understand in a voice gone rough with age. She was 92 when she passed away my senior year of high school - there was a lot of living in those years that are blank pages in my family history.
I'd also like to have dinner with my paternal great-grandfather (or maybe it was great-great-grandfather) - family lore hints that he may have been on the run from the law when he left Sweden for America, and changed his last name on the journey over (or perhaps at Ellis Island). While passing the platter of turkey, I'd have to ask if the story was true.
Who would you like to have at your table? And don't think these musings would make GREAT scrapbooking fodder?? :) Document not only your response(s), but those of others in your family. You might gain some interesting family insights. I know I'm curious about my mother's and my mother-in-law's responses, because they've both done some genealogy work, and know more about what interesting characters are hidden in the branches of our family tree.