Lorine McGinnis Schulze has been writing about which ancestors she would like to invite to Christmas dinner and why. If only the ancestors really could attend! What brick walls could be smashed to pieces!
I would also love to invite a few ancestors to dine at the family table and, to be fair, I would invite six from the Stufflebean side of the family and six from the Sabo branch of the tree, but I would mix it up a bit and we would exchange some gifts.
My Stufflebean-Sturgell invitees would be:
- Matilda Peavler Stufflebean, widow of John Stufflebean who died in 1864, far from home, and left a fractured family behind. I would like to give her the gift of peace with the knowledge that, as difficult as her young family’s life was in the aftermath of John’s death, their descendants are many and they have thrived.
- William Sturgell of Lawrence County, Ohio. I would love to receive the gift of documentary proof of his children and his parentage.
- Mary Bandy Sturgell of Barry County, MO and Peoria County, IL. I would like to give her the gift of knowledge that the sons she had to leave behind made their own way in the world and that one, Abijah, has a large, extended family of descendants.
- Jacob Miller, Revolutionary War pensioner of Northampton County, PA and Franklin County, TN. A perfect gift from Jacob would be the story of his life, including a first hand account of Revolutionary War.
- Phantom wife of Henry Alberty of Surry County, NC and Washington County, Arkansas. From Mrs. Alberty, I have to admit that I would love to know who she was and be given a crumb trail to her family origins.
- John Hamby of Spartanburg County, SC. As with Jacob Miller, I would love the gift of the story of his life and what made him choose the Tory side during the American Revolution.
My Sabo/Kucharik-Adams invitees would be:
- Johannes Jensen of Copenhagen, Denmark. I would give Johannes the gift of knowledge – knowledge of the family before him, including his parents who he never knew – and knowledge of the descendants of the family who followed him.
- James Astle, Loyalist of New York and New Brunswick, Canada. Astle, while an uncommon name in colonial America, was not as uncommon in some areas of England. I would ask James for the gift of his English place of origin and parentage.
- Anna Murcko Scerbak of Passaic, NJ and Udol, Slovakia. I would give Anna the gift of love from all of her family in America. She emigrated and married in Passaic, but was unhappy and the family returned to Slovakia. She never met any of her many descendants born in the United States, even though she lived until 1967.
- Catherine, wife of Loyalist Robert Carlisle, of Sussex Vale, New Brunswick, Canada and Charlotte, Maine. My day would be made if Catherine, like so many other mothers in the family tree, would share the story of her life as a gift to her descendants. Not a single clue has been found as to her maiden name.
- Stefan Kucharik, aka Sabo, of Vysna Sebastova, Slovakia and Passaic, NJ. The two people whose lives overlapped both his and mine didn’t have any complimentary things to say about him, but being an orphan of peasant farmers made his start in life difficult. I would gift him with the opportunity to tell his side of the story.
- Andrej Patorai of Udol, Slovakia. As one of my earliest known ancestors in Slovakia (and no other records of any kind to name earlier generations), I would give him the gift of contentment in knowing that the many descendants who left village life at the turn of the 20th century thrived in the American dream of a better life for the next generation.
This was a fun way to take a new look at some of the ancestors in our family tree. Thank you, Lorine, for a great idea!