52 Ancestors Week 4 - Invite to Dinner

+22 votes

AJC - This week is "Invite to Dinner." Which ancestor would you most want to invite to dinner? Do you have a story of a memorable dinner with an ancestor? Is there a special recipe that's been handed down?

Who would you invite to Dinner of all your ancestors and relatives? And WHY?

in The Tree House by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (636k points)
oops this needs to be an answer
I can think of dozens of relatives who are no longer here that I would like to sit and chat with over dinner, as I have countless questions for them. But if I had to narrow it down, I would invite my great grandparents, William Stewart and his wife Alice. I know almost nothing about their families. It would be nice to hear what tales they could tell.
I would like to invite my maternal grandmother to dinner.  She passed away in 1943 at the age of 21 when my mom was only 6 weeks old.  There aren't that many people alive today that remember her.  All of her siblings along with my grandpa are deceased.  My mom and I do have her diaries so we were able to glean a little of what she was like when she was younger.


EDIT: Is there anyway someone can move this to the answer section instead of comment?

EDIT #2: Moved to the answer section.  Thanks Robynne.
I think you can repost this as an answer. but I am still counting this.
I would invite all my brick wall relatives or those there is debate about. The table would consist of me to take notes AND My great grand mother Otillie Priebe Lange b. In Prussia in 1860d in Oregon; my great grand father way back Thomas Warren Sr. Of Maryland and Virginia To get his wives names, my great grandfather x 6 Thomas Montgomery to find out where he is buried in Ohio,  my ggrandmother x 7 Ann Bennett of PA to find her maiden name, my ggreat grandfather John Redwine to untangle my GA, AR and TX Redwine line, and finally My great grandfther x 7 Henry Collins d. 1793 of Derry Mifflin co PA to find out his wife Rachels maiden name, his Parents, her parents and all that detail needed.

49 Answers

+19 votes
OK so the prompt is - who, out of all your relatives and ancestors, would you invite to Dinner and why?

The most common answers for this week are probably going to be either BRICK WALLS so they cam be interrogated over where they come from, or NOTABLES just because they are famous.

Well I have 2 responses to this weeks prompt. One is of course a brick wall. The other is a dinner that has already happened where I found a new relative.

So my first invite to dinner is a woman named Jennifer Wilson whom I met at a dinner way back in 1996. I have written details of the dinner and what the conversation was about on her profile. She was an ex-wife of a distant cousin of my fathers, one whom I never met.
Jennifer Wilson

The second person I want to interrogate over Dinner is my 3x great grandfather John Burrow. This man has been a brick wall for me now for over 25 years!!!

John Burrow

The first place John was seen in the records is in Milverton, Somerset, England in 1817 when he married Amy Hancock. On the marriage record, he is identified as a SOJOURNER or someone just passing through. NO home location and NO parents mentioned.

I have all the children who were baptised in Milverton after that date. The first one, William was baptized 5 months after the wedding. so whether or not he was actially John's biological child, I have no way of knowing.

Anyway John and his family were forcibly REMOVED to the town of Ottery St Mary in Devonshire in 1824, under the Poor Laws Act - because John was not a skilled worker. He was usually identified as a labourer or an Ag-lab.

So in 1824, John, Amy and 5 children moved to Ottery St Mary. I have a copy of their removal orders. 2 more children were baptized back in Milverton after that date which means the family must have gone back to visit and show off the new grandchildren to Amy's family. The Hancocks had been living in Milverton since the 1600s, so they were solidly established there. It must have been a huge and upsetting wrench to Amy to be forced to move away from her home town all the way to her husbands old home in another county.

The 8th and last child in this family, was the only one baptised in Ottery St Mary.

John died in 1839 - 2 years after birth, marriage and death certificates became mandatory, but 2 years BEFORE the first census in 1841!!

I would like to interrogate him over dinner and find out WHERE he was born and WHO his parents were. Because even after 25 years, I have still found NO CLUES.

I do have a family in the parish of Ottery St Mary that I SUSPECT may have been his family. But with no solid proof, I cannot add them to the tree.See below link for details.

This is an old post about John Burrow with possibly more details that I wrote way back before Geocities closed down.

I have done everything under the Genealogical Standards of Proof, and I do beleive that this family is John's family, but without any shred of evidence, I just cannot add them to the tree no matter how much I would like to.

So my 3x great grandfather is whom I would like to Invite to dinner for a Friendly Interrogation!!
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (636k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
I have just uploaded a copy of John Burrow's Removal Order (dated 1824) to his profile.

So you can see what it looks like and how it reads.
What an interesting story. In those times, it would certainly to have been much more likely that the couple were forced to marry by the pregnancy than that a man would marry a woman impregnated by another (unless it was by a dead brother). I hope it was a "love marriage" rather than that she was forced to marry a rapist! And I hope she was happy in it, in spite of the hardships.
I couldn't say if it was a love match or not. Amy was 25 and John was 50 at least. (His YOB comes from his age at death in 1839 and if that was not correct then his Year of Birth was wrong which means his age would be wrong as well.

It could be that Any was desperate to get married becasue in those days any girl not married by the age of 20 would be considered an "old maid"?
Below is the family whom I BELEIVE is the correct family for John Burrow - but I have no proof. See the neocities link page for the details of why I think this family is correct. The names all match and the dates are right.

William Burrow

Actually, I would like to invite this family to Dinner as well, also for some Friendly Interrogation!! LOL
Well I don't know how it was in England, but many if not most of the women in my family in this country didn't marry until into their twenties, in the 17 and 1800's. We've always been a little unusual.
Oh, God. Robynne. You aren't gonna strap him down to a seat and put a hot lamp over their head are ya? Well, that's one way to get info. I'll be the bad cop. =)
LOL NO Chris I dont need a good cop, bad cop routine.

If you read the other link on my story above - the one for Jennifer Wilson -  you will see how I conduct a "friendly" interrogation!!
That is friendly. =D Nice calm conversation. Though, I do have a few persistent brick walls.  If only I could crack them open...
Wow what an interesting story.  Shotgun weddings and early births are common in many families.  Your dinner sounds like it may be very  boisterous.  Can I be a mouse in the wall?   :)
Ugh. I hate mice - but you can be a FLY on the wall, for sure!!  LOL
Update - It is possible that the conversation that I recorded on Jennifer Wilsons profile may not be accessible after 25 May 2018 due to the EU GDPR privacy laws and Wikitree's new policies.

I don't know if she has died at this point in time, so there's not much I can do about that. Until I do find a death date for her - her profile will remain unaccessible.
If he wasn't resident in that parish, quite possibly he wasn't physically present to have fathered Amy's first child several months before the wedding. He was a stranger, evidently without means, and much older than her -- it's not impossible that he agreed to marry her to spare her the shame of being an unwed mother. She was half his age and probably a better catch than John could otherwise have gotten for himself.
+15 votes

I chose my 2nd great grandfather, Samuel Prowse. I figured he'd be a great person to invite to dinner as he'd likely bring great food (he was an exporter of fish, lobster and agricultural produce from Prince Edward Island, Canada) and great conversation (he was a politician for over 30 years).

Here's his WikiTree profile - Samuel Prowse (1835-1902)

and here's the blog post I wrote for this week's challenge: 



by Leanne Cooper G2G6 Mach 3 (34.4k points)
WOW Politicians are Notables!!

Great post Leanne!!
Invite me over too, for the lobster!
I too like the idea of fresh fish and lobster.
Wonderful post.  Wow politics and good food  What a lively dinner that would be.
You're all invited!
+14 votes
I would invite my grandparents. My grandpa William Morrin passed away before I was born and my grandma Ruth Riley Morrin passed away when i was almost 2. I would love to meet them both.
A link to your grandparents profiles would be good Erin.

But here's the link to your profile, and from there, readers can get to your grandparents!!

Grandparents are special!
+16 votes

If I could invite anyone, it would require a very big table. I could never just invite one, it would not hold the meaning or comfort I would be looking for. I would want to be able to look around and see the love from each person. Beside me would be my daughter, Alicia. She had the misfortune of not knowing many of the family as they had passed before she was born. She would learn from the experience and they would all be so happy to know such a great person is part of their family. Beside her would be my mom, Connie. She gave me life and loves her grandchildren and great grandchildren and is an important step in our family line. Grandma Shirley, her girls, their girls and their girls. Great Grandma Cassie, her girls, their girls, etc on down. Cassie’s sisters,  their mom Mabelle and her sisters, and their lines of girls, are next. Their mom Delia and her sisters, would be there and their mom Sarah Malissa (Winchell) Horning. I have always felt a connection to her. I am not sure if it is because her middle name is my first (just with an a instead of e) or if it is the sense of family bonds.


Across from me would be my paternal Grandma, Estella. I never got to meet her, she passed when I was only 1. Her daughters, their daughters and granddaughters would be next. Grandma Clarabelle, her sisters, and their mom Estelle would be there. Estelle’s mom Orinda, her sisters, and their daughters, etc, would help fill up that side. Lastly on that side is my 4th Great Grandma Eliza (Brown) Gillet.


This is the list of the matriarchs and their matriarchs up the maternal sides of my parent’s family.  I would just sit and soak up the lessons, love from each of these amazing ladies.


by Lisa Murphy G2G6 Mach 6 (62.4k points)
OH what a Beautiful sight  this would be
+13 votes
I would want to sit down with my 4 greats grandmother Charlotte Taylor. The same Charlotte I mentioned in the writing a novel question. While she could clear up a couple of brick walls such as who her parents were and who was the father of her first child, I think I'm more interested in her life and what she thought about the legends that grew up around her. Life would not have been easy for a woman in 18th Century New Brunswick.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (332k points)
I wouldn't mind asking Charlotte those same questions either. Perhaps you should be inviting the author of that novel to dinner,, rather than Charlotte? What was her name? Someone Gray?  I would have thought she would know how to search English BMD records to find those answers...
The novel was by Sally Armstrong. I have asked her questions. We think we know her parents but need more info to be sure. The family always thought father was "General Howe Taylor" who doesn't appear to exist. There is a Charlotte born in London to Charles and Ann Taylor in what we believe is the correct year. They didn't live in London. The data is close. There was also a Charles Taylor who was a slave trader who went to the Caribbean regularly. We aren't sure if they are the same Charles Taylor or different ones. First husband/partner is more difficult and of some interest to me since that would be my 4 greats grandfather. In any case, more work needs to be done before I can meet the GPS. I shouldn't say brick wall on her parents. That one is not insurmountable.

What her life was like is of much interest. One consistent thread through all the myths was that she was always on good terms with the local indigenous people.
+14 votes
Warning.  This post will cause you to reach for tissue boxes. You have been warned. Get them ready. Got 'em? Good.

I would want a dinner with my grandfather, Marco.


He died when I was just four years old. I don't remember him at all. All I know of him are stories my family told me. He was a fun guy. I would ask him all these questions about Italy. My grandmother was from the same country, but, she mostly talked about her town.

My great-aunt has told me about San Pietro (their town), too. But, I just like have no memories of him.

My other grandfather passed away recently and he pulled double grandpa duty for me and my brother. I think I would have dinner with him only because I have no memories of Marco.

Sure I have New England Patriots, World War 1 heroes and people who came over during the Great Puritan Migration. It's really just my grandfather I'd want to see. I heard stories about him growing up, My brother remembers him a little. Would be nice....

Okay...now that I've bummed everyone out I will say we would have a feast fit for kings. Pasta for everyone!
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
edited by Chris Ferraiolo
Sad but interesting. Thanks Chris
No problem. Kinda made myself get a little choked up. I'll be okay. =)
Thank you for your touching words.  Grandparents are always so special in our lives
Thanks, Mel. I admit I got a little sad writing that post.  I know some people are in the same boat. But, it just doesn't make it easier.
+13 votes

The ancestors I would like to invite for dinner would be my great-great grandparents Jacob (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Stoner-636)and Polly (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cowen-683) Stoner.

Jacob and Polly Stoner

My great grandfather wrote that his parents moved his family from Pennsylvania to Indiana in the autumn of 1849 (when he was nearly 5).

My grandfather quoted him as saying that his father up and moved the family "from Pennsylvania to Indiana in the dead of winter, with 4 dollars and a cow," and that "he was shiftless and never owned a foot of land in his life". My grandfather said that his father didn't think much of his father, but my grandfather said that he thought his grandfather must have been pretty resourceful.

Anyway, I'd like to meet the guy, he sounds interesting, and his wife, "Polly" Ann Cowen (short for Mary or Mary Margaret) is a brick wall. (Father William Cowen, mother's maiden name Fox, supposedly from "up north," brother George lived nearby in the area of Morrison's Cove, PA. No records found for any of them.)

Family dinners were common in my family during the past century at least, particularly Christmas dinners, with family get-togethers. My grandparents Peter W. Stoner (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Stoner-632) and Edith Forrey (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Forrey-12) were married on Christmas, 1913, in Kuna, Idaho, where her family had gathered for the holidays.


Peter W. Stoner and Edith Hazel Forrey wedding photo.

Here is a photo of a family dinner at my great-grandparent's (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Stoner-635) in Orange, Calif., around 1913. I wish that I could join them there. My grandfather, Peter Stoner (standing, 2nd in from left), helped his mother, Rachel Annis (Winebrenner) Stoner (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Winebrenner-44) in the kitchen when he was young, and learned the family recipe for German Egg Noodles, which he taught to me: 1 egg, 1 Tbs water, 1 tsp. salt, and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Mix together the first 3 ingredients, stir in flour until it's stiffer than bread dough, but not so stiff as pie crust. Knead in enough flour for the correct consistency, but not too much, so as not to develop the gluten. Roll out thinly on a well-floured board. Flour the upper surface well, fold in half and roll out again, making sure that there is enough flour to keep the 2 sides from sticking. Then flour again and fold the dough over and over on itself to make a packet about 4" wide. Slice the packet crosswise every 1/4" to make the noodles, then cut once lengthwise to shorten them. Toss them into broth or soup and simmer 10 to 20 minutes, depending on thinness. It's not hard to make, and the noodles are so much better than store-bought.


by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 5 (50.2k points)
edited by Alison Gardner
Wow Alison - you and your Photos!!!  LOL

Thanks for an interesting post!!
+7 votes

If you want to add your ancestor to our category for this week then add this to their profile [[Category:52 Ancestors - 2018 Week 4 'Invite to Dinner']]

As usual - this is optional!

by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
Thanks Veronica!!

The category is already added to my John Burrow profile!!
+8 votes

To do my invite to Dinner would require a large table because it would be my mother's mother which is my grandmother she died when I was 2 years old and I hear that she has a lot of information on my notables that I do not know how to connect to the Leonards which are President Andrew Johnson and David Crockett who fought at the Alamo. Then there is my dad's mother who died before I got to know her she was very young when my granddad find her on the floor dead one morning. I do not have a lot of information on her family at all. Then there is my dad's grandparents, His granddad I don't have a lot also on in him and his family. But I do his wife and it is very interesting. Her mother was not married to her dad and she had siblings that he was also their father. He was already married and had kids from that wife so he couldn't marry her mother. Here is my dad's grandfather Herbert Barnett https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Barnett-3528 and here is wife Bessie Jane Honeycutt https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Honeycutt-753 and here is my dad's mother Mildred Hester Jones https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Jones-33183. Here is my mother's mother my grandmother Myra Belle Clementine Leonard she was my granddad's first cousin and they married each other https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Leonard-5581. They would help me with my brickwalls. Plus my grandmother of my mother seems to have a lot of information that would be helpful for me for information on the Leonards side.

by Linda Barnett G2G6 Pilot (413k points)
edited by Linda Barnett
That is definitely gonna be a BIG table, Linda!!
So will be I might need 2 one for my dad's side and 1 for my mother's side I also might need a month of dinners.
+10 votes
Definitely my Great Grandmother Eva (Weber) Walter  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Weber-5077

Everything I know about her is on the profile which is sparse... very sparse...

She is my brick wall.  Every other line is at least back to the 1600.  We are stuck in the 1800s with Eva  

I have tried everything I can think of short of offering a monetary incentive to find her birth information and her ancestors.  

Now, since she would be invited I would then of course expect the rest of her family to attend like her husband, children with their wives and children...  yeah, let's get at least 3 generations in on one invite!

She was married to Fred Walter who owned a 3 story steam driven candy factory where the St Louis Arch stands today (3rd and Myrtle in the late 1800s).  I have his chocolate recipe.  I also have anise cookie recipe which came from their granddaughter so it may have come from her.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (551k points)
Anise is anised, right? I love chocolate but I hate aniseed.

Your brick wall sounds like my brick wall, You know everything after she was married, but nothing before she was married.

Robynne there are actually two very different spices called Anise

Star Anise are little brittle pods that look like stars and are often used in Indian or Asian cooking.

Anise Seed is from the Italian plant and has a strong licorice flavor.  This latter is what is used in anise cookies.  


2-1/2 cups flour                                     1/4 cup chopped nuts             

 1 tbs. anise seeds                               1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 cup corn oil                                     1/2 tsp. vanilla

 2 tbs. orange juice

3/4 cup confectioners sugar                 more confectioners sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Yield about 3 dozen cookies.

1.  Sift together all dry ingredients.

2.  Add corn oil and stir until well mixed.

3.  Add sugar, orange juice, and vanilla. Mix well.

4.  Mixture will appear dry and crumbly.  Shape into small crescents. 

5.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

6.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned.

7.  Roll warm cookies in confectioners sugar.

Ok now I am hungry.  Anise Seed also makes a good tea 

Thank you for the recipe! My mother used to make anise cookies when I was a kid--we'd pick the fennel seeds off the plants in the vacant lot next door. I don't have her recipe; I'll try yours. How about the chocolate recipe?
Basically it was a commercial recipe in French.  One of my vendors was the heir to the Bissinger Candy Company which was still in operation.  Bob took it to someone he knew who gave me a contact to get the chocolate I needed that I could just melt and then mold.   It is a mix of what we think of as dark and milk so kind of a semi dark chocolate.  I get these slabs of it (because I own a spice company and am in the food industry I can buy from food manufactures in bulk who only sell to food companies and require you have a tax exempt resale number).  So I get what  need and then melt it to the right consistency by putting it into the microwave broken up into smaller pieces for 3 minutes on defrost in small unglazed stoneware batter cups.  They hold heat about 4 times longer and keep the chocolate at a good temperature for pouring into molds.  

 Something sort of similar is made by Ghirardelli https://www.ghirardelli.com/chocolate-and-gifts/baking/candy-making#facet:&productBeginIndex:0&facetLimit:&orderBy:&pageView:grid&minPrice:&maxPrice:&pageSize:&#vb6Sxlg7LkjIBblp.97in their melting chocolate but it is not exactly the same proportions.  Or https://www.chocoley.com/chocolate/couverture-ultra-couverture-chocolate/v125-indulgence-couverture-chocolate/

Basically you need chocolate made with high quality butterfat called chocolate couverture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couverture_chocolate

What his was is kind of a mixture of a dark Belgian and a semi sweet.and had about 35% butterfat
+10 votes

This is a very easy choice for me - although I never knew my mother-in-law Barbara (Eichert) Connolly, I always wished I had had the opportunity to know her.  She had a hard life, but never lost sight of her goal - to raise her sons well, while providing for their needs.  She was unskilled and poorly educated when she became the single parent of two toddlers.  She got a very low paying job and never advanced much at work, nor did her estranged husband provide any assistance at all or even take any interest in his sons.  Both sons graduated from college (one from Princeton University) and had very successful careers in addition to having "inherited" their mother's values.  I would dearly love to serve her the fanciest dinner I could prepare and bask in the presence of her greatness.

NOTE TO ANYONE WHO WOULD MAKE CHANGES TO HER PROFILE:  This was one of the earliest profiles I did on WikiTree and it uses some formatting that was included in the Style Guide then, but no longer is currently.  I will someday re-visit it and bring it to current recommended styles, but in the meantime, please consider that, as a profile of a close family member, strict adherence to recommended styles is not required and please do not make any changes.  I could have changed privacy to green, but am hoping that members who see this profile will respect my request.  Thank you.

by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (703k points)
edited by Gaile Connolly
Very nice.

My mother in law passed away some 10 years ago, but I still have memories of the 7 years I was able to see her regularly when my husband and I first got married.Whether or not my son remembers his grandmother, I don't know. He was 5 when she died.

He would not remember his Papere - my father in law. He died when my son was just 13 months old.

My own parents were back in NZ and my son has never known them in person - he has only ever seen them on Skype.

Thank you Robynne.  Like you, I have fond memories of my mother-un-law (what I affectionately called the grandmother of my children, who was my mother-in-law for 19 years).  I often joked that when her son and I were divorced, we divided everything - I got his mother and he got his father.  We were very close for the 11 years after my divorce until she died and now, 27 years later, I still miss her very much.  In some ways, it was weird - after I dated any man more than a few times, I had to bring him to meet my mother-un-law!

What a beautiful profile and story.  Love knows no family bonds  Love is just love and you loved her
+6 votes

Oh my goodness, I'd have to have a rather large table, as I have several "brick walls" who would receive invitations to temporarily slip back through that curtain which divides the quick and the dead. Plus there'd be a few people I "know" but never got to meet face-to-face that I'd love to spend some time with, and get some answers from! 

Starting from the "long ago" I'd invite the Northeast African Slave who is both my 4th and 6th g-grandfather. He had two wives, and has many descendants. I haven't yet built his profile on WikiTree, but I'm working my way back to him. He was in a Spanish slave ship bound for Cuba in 1646 which ran into a hurricane and was blown onto the sand bars off the North Carolina coasts. All aboard perished save seven Africans and a Spanish crewman. These were rescued by Tuscarora Indians and brought back to their village, where they soon integrated into village life. When a British expedition headed up by Sir Francis Yeardley, discovered them there in 1653, they were offered "rescue" and transport back to civilization. All, including the Spaniard, refused, as Yardley's agent wrote, "They all had wyves and children and were well content to remain with ye savages." 

Next would Levin Clark Sr. b c 1750 <https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clark-25461> my 3rd g-grandfather. He served as one of Daniel Morgan's Sharpshooter's in the Revolutionary War. Morgan's Unit marched with Washington, and Levin Clark was one of the men who overwintered at Valley Forge during the dreadful winter of 1778. DNA indicates his paternal roots go right to the settling of the ill-fated Swedish Colony of 1634, and his maternal roots lie with the Lenape (Nanticoke Indian) people of Sussex County Delaware. The hereditary Clark Chief's line of the Sussex County Nanticoke Tribe trace their line back to Levin Clark and his wife Esther Aydelotte Clark <https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Aydelott-51> . I spent so many years documenting his life, and Esther's life, and have *so* much information on them that I feel I know them - I'd just love to sit down with them and hear their story.  

Next in line would be the wife of Levin and Esther's son Levin II <https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clark-25383> . Young Levin II married in about 1808, whether in Sussex Co Delaware, or once he arrived in Butler Co OH we do not know. (An entire kinship group went west to Butler Co. together) The dilemma is that we do not know who he married. She is a complete mystery. She gave birth to two sons, George Washington Clark 1809 and Levin Larkin Clark 1811. She died in or about 1815 because in May or 1816 Levin II married Sarah Causner.  We strongly suspect that Levin II's wife was Nanticoke, as Sarah Causer refused to accept the boys, saying should would not allow "dirty savages" in her home. She finally relented and allowed the four-year-old Levin Larkin to stay but George had to go live with relatives of his mother. As adults the boys got together, bought property together and made up for the years they were separated.  (Sarah is not invited to my table) 

My next guest is my 3rd g-grandmother "Priscilla ?" <Smith-59441> who married my 3rd g-grandfather Lawson Henderson Smith in Hickman Co TN in 1831. After 25 years of searching I still haven't identified her. What frustration! 

I could go on, but I'll add one last guest and let it rest. I'd dearly love to spend some time with my grandfather Henry Calvin Clark https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Clark-24731 .  Granddad Clark died 11 years before I was born, but from the many stories told of him I know he was a real character. He was a highly intelligent man who spoke seven languages, and his potential was wasted as a tenant farmer, growing cotton with a team of mules. If could only pick one guest, Granddad Clark would be the one I'd choose.  



by Deb Cavel G2G6 (9k points)
THat is certainly going to need a large dinner table, Deb. And also probably a luncheon rather than dinner because you will be talking for hours!!
Ha, since Native family gatherings typically go on for days and all my guests are Native, or were adopted into Native communities, I'd guess this gathering might stretch on a bit, defying the definitions of "lunch" and "dinner". LOL
Wow! What an interesting background you have!
+7 votes

Warning, sad but not...

It is probably selfish, but I would like to invite my father, who died when I was 4, to dinner. I really need to update his profile.

I would like him to know that I still have a healthy respect for knives and remember spending time in the Red&White grocery, but that even now I would be hesitant to enter the walk in cooler with a side of beef hanging in it. I would like him to know that the red firebox from the store had a problem with the lock a few years ago and the locksmith was amazed to find the alarm batteries, best before May 1954, weren’t even corroded. I would like him to know that there is a picture of the store in the Bush funeral home in Camillus, and I have a copy. I would like him to know that I really enjoyed reading Case-a-Lean and Counter Fit, the story about running the store.

I would like him to know that I remember fishing with him, and that the Walleye population in Oneida Lake really decreased, but has come back. I would like him to know that I remember going to a coon chase with him and Blackie, the Black & Tan, but I now know it was just an excuse to drink beer and bet on the dogs. I would like to know where he went deer hunting and share my experiences.

I would like him to know that I have a copy of his 1929 valedictorian speech, and enjoy reading it. I would hope he would be proud of my grades and scholarship.

I would like to congratulate him for being the county wide high scorer in basketball, with 92 points for the 1928-1929 season. I would love to share my experiences playing college basketball, and to talk about what it was like before and after the law for equal funding of women’s sports. Geeze, I’d even like to shoot a few baskets with him.

I would also like to talk about my professional career, and learn his perspective on working women, and some of the discrimination encountered in the 70s, 80s, and later. Since my mother worked in the store with him and he took her deer hunting (camping in a tent in the snow), I imagine that he would have been supportive.

Oh, and since he was a butcher, he gets to carve the meat.

Thanks for listening to my rambling.


by Kay Sands G2G6 Pilot (236k points)
Not selfish at all, Kay. Fathers are just as much ancestors as great great grandfathers. All the more when you lost him at such a young age!!
Oh, Kay, how beautiful that is!!!  I am at a loss for any other words ... contrary to my husband's belief that could never happen.
Ok, finally updated his profile.
What a  heart warming story  Thank you for sharing this
+6 votes
For me like others I would so invite my 3X great grandfather just so he can prove to me he is really not an alien lol. About a 15 year brick wall.

The one that jumps out to me right away though Mercy Foster. I have so much respect and well just down right in aww of this woman. Her and her husband John Whitman in 1760 decided to pack up their family and move to Nova Scotia Canada. Leaving everything they knew behind, family, friends and church. They set sail on the Charming Molly and arrived in Nova Scotia in 1731. They set up a home and had 3 more children now totaling 11 children in all. John unfortunately died in 1763 leaving Mercy with 12 children to raise on her own in a new country with no real help and she did it. She did not return home to her family she stayed and raised her 11 children all under 15 with 2 toddlers and a newborn. In the 1770 Census she was still head of household. She did later re-marry Samuel Bancroft but wow in 1763 to be a single mom and do it still amazes me.


I have quite a few lines that go back to the great migration and a GGGgrandfather who was Premier of Alberta but I would pick her out of everyone else on my tree.
by Tina Ward G2G2 (2.2k points)
+8 votes

I don't want to invite someone to dinner. I want to receive an invitation to dinner. My Nashville "Rowan" family, takes great pride in it's biscuit making ability. This one has grandmothers little biscuit cutter, another has grandmother's large biscuit cutter. There was talk at one time of a Rowan Family Biscuit Bakeoff. One of my great-uncles had what they tell me is an excellent recipe. I've not tried it, but I'd like the invite, so I can try his biscuits, made by himself. Click here to see larger.

Thomas Bernard Rowan

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)

ooh, sounds sooooo yummy, but I think I'll try to improve on the recipe by adding some chocolate morsels into the dough.  Chocolate makes everything better, don't you think?

Yes, chocolate. You could frost them with chocolate frosting.
Biscuits are sacred in the south!!
+8 votes

There is no way I can narrow this down to just one ancestor so we are going to have multiple dinners. If you had asked me which historical figure I would most like to have dinner with I would say Jane Austen without any hesitation. So I'm going to make this into 2 dinners, one for my dad's side and one for my mom's side. 

Dad's Side

So the first person I would invite is my Great-Grandmother Rose (Patulski) Parks https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Patulski-3. She gets the first invite because I know basically nothing about her and what I do is her my grandmother Carol. The second person is my 2nd Great-Grandparents Morten (Pagh Nielsen) Parks https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pagh_Nielsen-1 and Clara Maria (Dyrby) Parks https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Dyrby-2Morten or Martin and Clara Maria are important because parts of their story in their 50th Wedding Anniversary newspaper article don't exactly add up and their life in Denmark is a big mystery. Morten is the one who would be the most interesting of the two due to the fact that he possibly entered the US illegally and possibly skipped out on the Danish Military.

Mom's Side

This is doing to been the bigger dinner and if I truly had my way I would probably invite whole sides to come and visit. This may sound weird but I would want a private dinner with my Grandparents Joseph Charles Frank and June Laverne (Ellingsen) Frank, my Great-grandmother Mila Francis (Porter) Jutrash https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Porter-10527and her second husband my "Uncle Al" Alphonse Bernard Jutrash https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Jutrash-1The reason for this is because one I never knew my grandparents and two is because there was so many questions I was never able to ask my great-grandma and my uncle Al. I would ask my Great-Grandmother all about her family and the bar she ran. I would also ask her to give my her peanut butter cookie recipe or show us how to make. We lost part of it a few years ago and they were the best peanut butter cookies. With my Uncle Al, I would ask him about his childhood but mostly I would like to see if he would have told me about his experiences during WWII. I know he played an important part but I don't understand it all and would love to have heard it from him. 

The second dinner would consist mainly of people from my Great-Grandmother's side. I would want to invite a few of my brickwalls, my 4th Great-Grandfather Robert Killips https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Killips-8 who was born in Ireland in 1821 and came to the US in 1839 so as far it seems all records of him right now in Ireland are gone, my 5th Great-Grandfather James Campbell https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Campbell-23062 who was born in Scotland in 1793 and died in the US, and my other 5th Great-Grandfather George Porter https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Porter-10887 who was born in 1759 in Massachusetts Bay Colony and died in Vermont. I am interested in learning more about my 3rd Great-Grand Uncle Charles Henry Killips https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Killips-9 and all he saw and went through during the Civil War. He died as a POW at Andersonville Prison. I'm sure I'm missing some people but these are people I can think of first.


by Amanda Frank G2G6 Mach 4 (48.9k points)
Wow, you sure do have BIG Dreams, Amanda. Go for it!!

I really could have gone crazy and invited the 150+ people that attended the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Martin and Clara Maria just to interrogate them about how it all went =D I would even have a start on the list.


Wow now that is a big dinner

And think they had a family dinner earlier that day. I have an article that talks about it slightly but it doesn’t give the number. It does say that attending the dinner would be their children, Martin’s brother, his wife and children, and another 5 people I don’t recognize. Think though if the spouses of Martin and Maria’s children also attended and if Martin’s brother had as many kids as Martin did then this itself would be one big family dinner too.

+7 votes

I think I'd like to attend a dinner party in 1465 at Pembroke Castle when the young Henry Tudor was in residence. Don't know if the Earl of Pembroke William Herbert, K.G., "Black William" & father of my ancestor would invite his "natural son" to the party, but so long as I'm making up the guest list, he's on it. Richard Herbert, my 13x-gr-grand, would have been about 23. His profile is in pretty good shape, but the Earl's could use a bit of polish, so he's my week 4 "Dinner Invitation".

edit - hmmm. Maybe the Earl's profile needs a bit more work. The timeline and info makes it seem Henry was in his care, but that was not the case. I need to brush up on my English history!!

2nd edit - yup. Definitely learned a bit this week. I think the dinner party I planned was ill-conceived, but it did lead to improvements on a profile (and a bit better understanding about the Wars of the Roses for me).

by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (340k points)
edited by Liz Shifflett
Are your Herberts related to The Herberts who became the Earls or Counts of Pembroke?  I seem to remember a Mary Herbert and a Mary Sidney and her brother Phillip Sidney being all mixed up there as well.

You are so lucky to be able to trace your family back that far.

yup. that's them. And I only know of them thanks to WikiTree! I have been blessed with a lot of cousins (unmet before WikiTree) who are really superb genealogists! 

P.S. The Sidneys you're thinking of are closer to 1600. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Sidney (d 1584). His sister Mary Sidney married Henry Herbert, d 1601, who was a grandson of my ancestor Richard.

Cool. Thanks Liz!!
Yea. I traced the Romingers to 1400's that married into the Leonoard's which is my mother surname.
Awesome Linda!
Holy cow  Now that would be a dinner to attend.   Think they would let little old common Hillbillies in
well, I'd be there :D
+6 votes

I would be tempted to invite a brick wall or one of my more notable connections, but no, I'm focusing on the DINNER.  My sister says my grandmother was a fantastic cook and she has her recipes.  My sister is not a fantastic cook, so I have convinced her to give me the recipes.  Or at least copies.  I would love to cook a fantastic meal for my grandmother.  Plus I miss her.  She been gone for more than 20 years.  Don't tell my other ancestors, but she is my all time favorite person.  Always has been.  Even though Grandpa was for me and Grandma was for my sister.

So I will work on my grandmother's profile here and do a blogpost with her recipes on my genealogy blog.

I just hope the dinner goes over better than when I tried to explain my religious views to her.  Also, her mind was blown when she found out what Pennsylvania Dutch meant.  Poor Gauna.

[[Williams-29754|Ada Tenny]]  

by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (350k points)
Good for you. Lucy, Brilliant idea to use a different angle for this prompt!!
The blogpost with the recipe isn't showing.
Should I not post here until after I complete?  I was just stating what I plan to do.  I've been keeping my own free space to keep track.  My favorite photo is really the only one I have completed.
You did fulfill the prompt.

You simply used an unusual angle but it is still perfectly valid IMO.

As for the profile - you did say that you WILL WORK on your grandmothers profile, which implies that the profile is not yet complete.

So when it is done, then Lucy can come back and post the link.

But as far as I am concerned - anyone can post before or after the profile is complete!!  It would be NICE to have the link, but it is not absolutely necessary.
I would be interesting in checking out the recipes, when you have them done. How would I find them?
+4 votes
It was easy to select the ancestor I want to focus on this week as I have so many unanswered questions, so I would love to 'invite Thomas Cassidy to dinner'!

He is my second great grandfather on my maternal side. My questions relate to his life in Ireland.

* What were the names of your wife and two daughters?
* Why didn't you apply to have your wife and daughters join you in Australia under the family reunion program?
* If your wife had died, why did you never marry Mary Sweeney?
* Were you involved in the sectarian events at Macken, Fermanagh in 1829?
* Did you give evidence at the House of Commons enquiry - if so, being a Catholic why were you in the company of the Protestants on the day of the Macken Riot?

This will be the subject of a future post on my blog -  https://wordpress.com/view/genemonkey25.wordpress.com.

Here's his profile on Wikitree - https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cassidy-450
by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
Irish History - The Troubles - still affecting us even now almost 100 years later....
+4 votes


The woman in question here is my 4th great grandmother, Alison Veitch Park. She immediately popped into my head as the ancestor I would most like to invite to dinner. My heart sank when I read these words. What happened? How did she become so destitute?  How did her husband die? What happened to her children? Why weren't any of them caring for her in her old age? I found out a few things. She was the forgotten woman - more back story on my blog http://www.libbyonthelabel.ca/

by Libby Park G2G6 Mach 1 (16.5k points)
Wow Libby, what a heart wrenching story!!! So sad.
She really stuck with me, it was kind of spooky to be honest. I still want to know how Alexander died. I think maybe it was suicide, just a gut feeling.
Wow what an interesting story.   Being a single mom in those days would have been so hard.  It looks as if she never remarried.  I hope you find some answers   Good luck on your hunt
Now I want to come to your dinner and find out what happened to this poor woman.
Thanks Mel. I will revisit her sad story again I'm sure.
:( Thanks Tina.  I'm not to thrilled with her children so far! Maybe she is with one of the ones I haven't found yet.

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