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Old 22-11-20, 02:54
Pinefamily Pinefamily is online now
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Default Time machine?

On a recent thread, there was mention of a time machine. It got me thinking: if you could use a time machine, but only once, where would you go?
I think I would go and rescue the Devon wills and other documents before they were destroyed in 1942.
Or draw straws and decide on the Pyne, Dowdeswell, Smyth, or Alexander/Mansell families.
Oh the decisions.....
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Old 22-11-20, 08:03
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Quote:
I think I would go and rescue the Devon wills and other documents before they were destroyed in 1942.
That's a far more sensible idea than I've ever had!

Being allowed to use it just the one time is a big challenge though! I think I'd be very torn and I always worry about whether I would actually discover anything meaningful - it's difficult enough working on living relatives without any time machine!

I would chose out of.....

Going back to some time between about 1830 and 1840 to try and discover once and for all who the parents of my 2xg-grandmother Elizabeth Saunders were.

Or...

I would go back to 1915/17 when my grandmother was working her way through a couple of stormy relationships that upset her whole family - I only have the letters she kept from one of the men - what did her replies say?

Or....

Maybe 1737 when my 4xg-grandparents, William Maynard and Elizabeth Crawley, married to try and find out more about both sets of parents and any siblings they had.

I've been stuck on these things for decades!
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Old 22-11-20, 09:24
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If we are talking about changing history....

Those Devon wills are definitely the top of my list, but I might be considering proper record keeping in Surrey as most registers leave a lot to be desired, and decent control by the bishops. BTs pre 1800 do not in general survive.

Actually, tweaking the system in the 1600s, to ensure the proper records were retained during the interregnum and the old registers not lost. That would have benefited all of us.
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Old 22-11-20, 10:28
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I think I would ask the time machine to take me back to 1825. Although I am curious about Farmbrough and Elizabeth, I dont think they are actually part of my family.

In 1825 I could ask

Thomas Brazill, my 4 g grandfather, what it was like for him to be prisoner of Napoleon for 7 years, what was life like when he came home in 1814.

Christopher Eccles and William Martin, who were your parents and where were you born?

or

Masters Linn, transported to NSW in 1817, about why he seemed to have turned to a life of larceny (from being a bricklayer in a town where there seemed to be plenty of work) and why he could not settle into a life in NSW, and how awful life was on Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour.

They probably did not live close enough to manage them all in one shot in the time machine, though, and how can I just choose one?
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Old 22-11-20, 11:21
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Would we have to do like in 'Back to the Future', taking a photo of ourselves with us to check we are not disappearing in the future thanks to our meddlings?!!

I would tell the people inventing the census to include names etc etc in those earlier ones, before 1841.
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Old 22-11-20, 11:52
Pinefamily Pinefamily is online now
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I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with tough decisions.
I was not aware that the Surrey BT's had not survived. Was due to poor record keeping or another bombing?
And I hadn't thought of the disappearing photo either. Ha!
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Old 22-11-20, 12:28
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If we're talking about saving documents, I guess I would go back to the Second World War and save the First World War military records, or back to 1922 and save all the Irish records.
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Old 22-11-20, 13:25
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Surrey is complicated. It was in the Diocese of Winchester ie Hampshire until 1877. It looks as if part (the London bit) then became part of the Diocese of Rochester (Kent) and then the Diocese of Southwark (1905) and the southern bit covered by the new Diocese of Guildford from 1927. Whenever records change hands, there is the possibility of loss.

Unsurprisingly, Hampshire looks as if it is similarly poorly served.
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