What ancestor would you want to talk with?

My great-grandmother Sadie (Walton) Sheaffer would be my ancestor to talk with

Sadie Walton Sheaffer as young girl circa 1900

Sadie Walton Sheaffer as young girl circa 1900

As family historians we all come to feel a little closer to a certain ancestor for a variety of reasons. Many of us would love to have the chance to speak with that ancestor and ask questions that burn inside us trying to figure what it was to be that certain ancestor. I’m sure most of us have more than one, I know I do! What questions would we ask?  Was it the era they lived in or the life they lived? I do have more than one interesting ancestor  but if I had to choose one particular one it would have to be my great-grandmother Sadie M (Walton) Sheaffer.

Sadie M

Sadie M “Walton” Sheaffer

Sadie died young at the age of 41 and so her beauty always was that of a young beautiful woman. the one photo that everyone in the family always had was of Sadie alone staring right at you. It is both beauty and haunting to me as I have always looked at this photo and felt as Sadie was always trying to tell me her story. I always felt a connection to her by this photo and along with the stories of her which all said the same thing and that was that she was a “saint”  I would love to go back in time and ask her about all the life story questions we as family historians develop when one researches a person’s life. I imagine if I could talk with her it would be while sitting at the large dining room table the family had while living on McCormick Island in the middle of the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania while we sip on a cup of coffee. I would imagine she would be dressed in her favorite smock that she often was described as wearing and with her trusty bible sitting nearby. I would ask her how she first met my great-grandfather, what my grandfather was like as a little boy, what her dreams were, and would love to feel what it was like to receive a hug and kiss from this wonderful woman. In talks with my grandfather as a young man myself I can recall him saying the one thing he missed most about his Mom were the hugs and kisses she doled out to him and her other children on a daily basis. I would like to think she wouldn’t allow me to leave without these famous hugs and kisses as well as saying a daily prayer as she was known to have. And of course I would also have to ask her if she were really an Indian because we all want to know! It would be so wonderful if we could have these talks with our ancestors and should only enhance our own desire to meet with our older relatives and get there life stories. Lets make the time to ask these questions now before it’s to late. 

Michael Sheaffer

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