Sunday, July 12, 2009


It's Sunday afternoon and it's time for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
over at Genea-Musings.

Okay, I'm a tad late with it but I wanted to give a little thought to this one. This week
the challenge involves time travel:

"Let's go time travelling: Decide what year and what place you would love to visit as a
time traveller. Who would you like to see in their environment? If you could ask them
one question, what would it be?"

I knew who I'd want to see, of course: my 3x great grandfather John Cutter West. But
what year should it be? At first I thought of 23Sep 1827, the day he wed Arvilla Ames.
But what red-blooded man would want to talk family history on his wedding day?

So I slept on it overnight and came back to the problem exactly 20 minutes ago after
taking a sip of coffee.(Caffeine is a wonderful igniter of my thought processes.) I was
looking at my PAF pedigree chart and inspiration smacked me up the side of the head.

It wasn't John Cutter West I'd want to visit: it was his son, my great great grandfather
Jonathan Phelps West and his wife Louisa Almata (Richardson)West. It would be at
their home at Upton, Oxford County, Maine, and probably in the year 1870. They
would have been married five years with their two oldest sons already born(including
my great grandfather Philip J. West). My question would be a simple one: "Tell me about
your parents and grandparents."

I can't imagine that John Cutter West wouldn't have told his children about his parents.
Perhaps Jonathan had even met them, and would know not only their names but their
parents and where the West family had lived before settling in Maine. And by asking
Louisa the same question, I'd break down another brickwall, my Richardson line, since
I can only go back as far her grandfather Philip (Pierce?) Richardson who married Lydia
Dow. I have no vital records at all on Philip, so Louisa might be able to tell me that

And with one question, I would bring down two brickwalls.

Maybe I should wait to ask the question until after we'd all had cup of coffee!

1 comment:

Diana Ritchie said...

Ah, who wouldn't want to have a cup of coffee with a great-great-grandparent or two? And good call about the wedding day conversation ;-)