If given a choice …

You know the old conversational question, “If you could go back in time to meet anybody in history, who would it be?”

The bold answer would be Jesus or Abraham Lincoln or some other monumental historic figure, though we’d likely be too awed to do anything but mumble and grovel in their presence.

For me, the alternative that initially springs to mind is Orphan George, to hear him tell of the ocean crossing, his early years and later movements, and more of his wife’s background and influence.

But I realize the importance of going back yet another generation, to his father, who could confirm or correct what is now the weakest link in my Hodgson genealogy. Do I have it right, for starters, that his parents were John and Elinor Hodgson? Crucially, what were his wife’s given name and surname? Where were they married? What were her parents’ names? What was his life like? How did he view his faith?

This, even before getting into the fateful ocean crossing. What would go through a father’s mind and heart once the pirate ship was sighted? Or in the ensuing travails and terrors?