Time Travel, Murder Most Heinous, and Insults


We are all time travelers.

On Monday I reminisced about my great-grandmothers. Today it occurred to me that through our fore-fathers and mothers and through our progeny, we are all time travelers.

What a thought, right? Just imagine the oldest relative you have or with whom you’ve had a relationship.  Then imagine how they lived, where they lived, the time period. What sort of amazing discoveries were made then? How did you great-grandfather make his living? Was he a farmer, an entrepreneur, a ship’s captain?

Was your great-great-grandmother an activist for women’s right to vote? Did she sport men’s pants or bloomers before her time? Could she hunt or fish?  Did she develop a recipe that is now famous and widely used? Did she raise 12 kids and die peacefully at home? Did those kids do things that are awe-inspiring?  Of course they did. They LIVED.

And in the living they have and will take you through time.

Aren’t you fortunate? Traveling through time will garner so much information. It can be a deeply personal tidbit or an historical perspective. All we have to do is ask.  Ask your relatives. Ask their friends. Ask your next door neighbor. They’ll assist with the travel plans.

My favorite personal tidbit was related to me by a distant cousin.  My mom was in poor health, and wished to make contact with some of her father’s descendants.  These people were little known to her. Her father wasn’t part of her life. We found the closest cousins still living in her home town with help from my aunt on my father’s side.  I drove her there. They were older and retired. They were happy to share pictures and stories. It was a fascinating visit.

The best story was about my great-grandfather.  He committed murder and was imprisoned. The victim’s crime?  He insulted great-grandpa’s wife. We have deliberated and speculated on the true meaning of ‘insult’ in this particular situation.  It’s been a brain tickler.

The old guy spent some time behind bars, but as the story unfolded, we were told he was sent home to die. I wonder if great-grandma was involved in any more insulting situations. The cousins were under the impression that she was quite the character, strong of will, sharp tongued, and fair with a shotgun herself.  Yup, I’ve wondered about old great-grandma.

I’m still looking for her. That whole thing about inquiring minds wanting to know applies here.

It is rather fascinating. This sort of traveling begins much as any other sort; with a phone and a computer.  It’s amazing where word of mouth and public records of birth, death, marriage, census information, and tax records can take you. I’ve been as far back as the 1700’s!

This isn’t your ordinary history class. This is time travel.

Think I’ll spend some time in the 19th century. I’d like to meet Victoria, Queen of England.

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