Question of the Week: If you could time travel, where/when would you go?

+14 votes
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in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
edited by Eowyn Langholf
Actually, on second thought, I'd head for the great American prairies of the early nineteenth century and find a good hiltop to sit and watch one of the great bison herds passing by while migrating.
That or maybe a time when I could remember to click the answer instead of reply!

23 Answers

+9 votes
As long as I could have the knowledge I have now, I would go back to my childhood, about 5yr old and tell that janitor where to go! And then I would return to now and concentrate on my little family.
by Marion Poole G2G6 Pilot (587k points)
+15 votes
I would travel back to 1768, in NC for the wedding of my gggggfather, and ask where he came from, how did he get here, who are his parents, and same answers please from your bride Anne, standing there, veiled in so much secrecy.
by Patricia Roche G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
+18 votes
I would go back to 1837 and insist that my ancestors registered Every Single Baby...
by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (767k points)
Why am I picturing you shaking your fist at them?
And every death
+15 votes
If i could travel in time, I would go to Hong Kong and meet my

Grandparents, and great grandparents. My granddad emigrated first to USA then Hong Kong where he married my grandmother who’s parents was from Scotland and China

I have at last found out about them, but I would love to have meet them in real life. Around 1908
by Susan Laursen G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
edited by Susan Laursen
+22 votes

Because I am such a empathetic genealogist: 

1. I would go back to Dec 1920 and save the 1890 census!

2. I would go back to June, 1973 and prevent the military records fire

Oh wait... I only get one?

3. I would go back to 1838, Knightstown Indiana and find out how my GGGF John Driver and GGGM Abigail Mills died and who fostered my GGF Elisha Sample Driver. I would also ask about John’s parents. This is my triple brick wall!!

Can I do more? Please??!!!!

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 1 (13.8k points)
edited by Lyn Sara Gulbransen
And I would save all those Irish records...
Great thoughts!

I was waiting for someone to say something about the 1890 Census! laugh

What if that's a fixed point in time? Need to be careful with time travel.
Wow Lyn - didn't realize you had family down the road from me. If there's anything I can do for you that involves local records and it's a trip for you, just give me a shout and I'll see what I can do.
I*m with you
I woke up this morning and realized I should have chosen: I would go back to Exodus time and add an 11th commandment!

Thou shalt label all photographs!
Can I go with you
It will take more than one of us!!! :)
I would go with you and help - let's save those records!!!
Damn the IRA
+10 votes
I would go back to the 1870s and find out my ggggrandfathers past.  Our 90 years of reunions have been based on the memories of his son, Charles, who gave them to his own wife, Susannah,  who wrote them up as a family based history.  His memories were of his father dying before his mother had her last child and the mother died in childbirth.  Supposedly the children were orphaned, taken in by family, went to work early to support themselves, etc.  He remembered building fires in apartment houses to support himself from the ages of 5 to 10 when he became a cabin boy on a ship, out of Detroit, on the Great Lakes.   Now digital census records show him actually
living with his mother and siblings and attending school in 1870 and the last sister born was one year old.  His mother actually died about 1873.  We assumed his parents had come from France, through Canada to USA and settled.  Some of the family have found records that indicate the family had lived in Canada
for several generations and the names were much different than what we were given.   I'd like to solve the mystery to
find the truth of the family's past.
by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (201k points)
+11 votes
If I could just quick visit and not stay there I would go to the future and see if we have been wiped out.
by Sue Hall G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
+10 votes
I would love to visit Rapides Parish Louisiana about 1850 when my 2xgreat-grandparents met and married. I would ask Henry Butter all about his family in England (and possibly Scotland) - his mother's name, his grandparent's names. I would ask Susan O'Neal who her mother was and where in South Carolina her parents came from. They are my eternal brick walls!!!
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (246k points)
+17 votes
I'd go back to the middle of the 17th century and insist that the clerics must name the mothers in the birth book, not just the fathers. And they must name the individuals in the death book, not just whose child, wife, widow or mother-in-law they were.

Might be best if I could just appear to them in a dream, in the guise of the arch bishop - or I might be taken for a witch.
by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (319k points)
+14 votes
I’d go back to some time between 1780 and 1850 in the place where I grew up. I already know these people, in a way, but would like to meet them in person.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Just watch that reentry in the delorean, Pip. All I can tell ya. I'll be with the madman/woman in the blue box if you need me. =)
Gotcha! (Heehee)
Careful when you get there, Pip, don't blow my cover!
Let’s go together, Art!
Soon as the Tardis is repaired!

Careful or you might run into Beeblebrox. Never know just where that fellow might show up wink

+12 votes
Deloreans are such rubbish ways of time travel, Eowyn! I mean the reentry is dodgy. The starts are always faulty. Sigh....

Give me a type 40 Tardis any day. At least she's bigger on the inside and takes you to where you are needed. Plus she can help with any language issue.

That said, I would like to go to late 19th century and early 20th century San Pietro a Maida, Italy. I would also like to visit my grandfather.
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (269k points)
+12 votes
I would go back to the early eighteen hundreds, to Cirigliano, Italy. I would rescue my great grandfather, Pio Natale, who was abandoned at the church, two days before Christmas. I have a copy of his birth certificate. He was given the name Pio Natale which means Holy Christmas.
by Rosemary Dill G2G6 (7.3k points)
+6 votes
I would travel back 2 million years to Africa and teach our ancestors to care for each other and the planet.
by Leslie Cooper G2G6 Mach 1 (15.5k points)
How virtuous of you.
+11 votes
Who needs a Delorean when you "have towel, will travel"?

I would go to 1658 in Charlestown, Massachusetts and ask John Matthews and Margaret Hunt to whom are they related.

"John are you French or English? Help me out here please. Your second great grandson noted you were of French descent in his diary. Many others think you may be English. How did you get to America?"

"Margie, honey, who is your family? Are you a poor relation of the Hunts who move to Marlboro? How did your son get  to Marlboro where he married so well? Who paid for his education as a doctor?"

*bam, bam* With that double brick wall broken, I'd hop back on my towel and head to about 1815 in Anacarty in County Tipperary.

Has Thomas White met Catherine Reilly yet? Guess I'll hang around the Cashel and Elmy diocese until they appear. I'll settle in the parish as this may take a while. I probably won't find them until their second son Patrick is baptized in 1822. But...maybe I'll get lucky and catch them when their first son is born in 1817. I also need to stay to find out when this family migrated to the USA.
by Diane Hildebrandt G2G6 Mach 3 (38.9k points)

Going to Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1658 in just a towel!!?? I foresee scandal!

Thanks for the laugh! laugh

+6 votes
I would go back to between 1500-1650 Norway, and about every 20-30 years or so take my spy camera and photograph every single church record and record them for all posterity, paying special attention to any Volkertszen, Veile, or otherwise potential patronymic name that might pop up that could take me a bit further back.

And while I'm at it, I might pop in to around 1638 and take some video of ol' Dirck Volkertszen in New Amsterdam taking a fence post upside the head of dirtbag Jan Damen when he dragged my ancestor Christina Vigne out of her home by her hair. Apparently Jan's ancestor was Fred Flintstone in a former life, although if Fred had done that to Betty, Barney would have given Fred a whopper of a headache, too.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (648k points)
+3 votes
I would go to Farrel St, Glenelg South Australia an disappear myself
by
+2 votes
i would travel back to 1979
by
+2 votes
I'd travel to Las Vegas on February 2, 2014, and place a $10,000 wager on the Seattle Seahawks to win the Superbowl.
by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (245k points)
+1 vote
I would go back to right before I was a thought in anyone’s mind.
by
+2 votes
The Problem is that if you go too far back they won't speak a language that you actually recognize. Plus I live in New Zealand and the early days here were very hard on women and children as my recent family tree research sadly showed. So while I am a huge fan of Outlander and dreamed of going back in the past to the age of Knights in Shining Armor etc, truth is your presence in the past could change the future and negate your existence, if you change too much.
by Sarah Jenkins G2G6 (6.3k points)

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