Saturday, April 18, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Which Ancestors Would You Like to Talk to?

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is almost too easy in some ways.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music here), is:

(1) We sometimes find we have questions we would love to discuss with our ancestors:  the who, what, when, why, and how questions that might help with our genealogy research.

(2) Which ancestors would you like to talk to?  What questions would you ask?  

(3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.

So the easy answer here is, "Every one!"  I have questions I would like to ask of every single one of my ancestors (and collateral relatives, too).  The most obvious question is parents for those end-of-line ancestors, but I'd love to know about birth dates, marriage dates, siblings, grandparents, details of their lives, and so much more.  I can't think of a single ancestor for whom I know everything, which means there's always something more to learn.

Oh, we're supposed to come up with something concrete?

Well, feh.

In that case, the first person who comes to mind of whom to ask questions is my paternal great-grandmother, Laura May (Armstrong) Sellers Ireland.  And the first question to ask of her would be, "Who was the biological father of my grandfather, Bertram Lynn Sellers?"  I have to hope she would actually know the answer, of course.

The second question I would ask is, "Who was the father of your daughter Bertolet Grace Sellers?"  (Who was born three years after her husband, Cornelius Elmer Sellers, had died.)  I think it's a safer bet that she would know the answer to that one.

And for a possible third question, I might ask, "Did Elmer know that my grandfather wasn't his biological son?"  I'm pretty sure Elmer knew, but it would be nice to confirm that.

Gee, after that, nothing else seems quite so compelling.

I do have two questions about photographs that I would like to ask of ancestors, though.

I have a photo of my great-grandmother Sore Leibe Brainin and her mother, Ruchel Dwojre (Jaffe) Brainin, with another woman and two girls.  I want to know who those other three people are.  I think they are Ruchel Dwojre's sister, Yetta Rashe (Jaffe) Michelson, and possibly her two daughters.  But I don't know for sure, and no one I know can verify or refute my hypothesis.

I also have a photograph of a photograph of a man.  It looks as though it was colorized.  The man resembles the male Gorodetsky members of my family.  My hypothesis is that he is Gersh Wolf Gorodetsky, my third-great-grandfather.  I think asking my great-grandfather Joe Gordon (originally Joyne Gorodetsky) or his father, Victor Gordon (originally Avigdor Gorodetsky), would be good options to get that answer.


  1. Aren't there so many more things we want to know about our ancestors? If only they knew how interested in their lives all the descendants would be.

    1. I don't think I can ever run out of questions I could ask them!

  2. You have great questions--important questions--about your grandfather. I have some unidentified photos, too, that would be nice to identify.

    1. I have many, many unidentified photos, but those two are the ones that get under my skin.


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