THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX
- Submitted by Rosie Fife
Many many years ago, when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow, who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter, Who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, And soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law, And changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother, For she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse, Although it brought me joy.
I soon became the father, Of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became, A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle, Though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter Who, of course, was my step-mother.
Father's wife then had a son, Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson, For he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother, And it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife, She's my grandma too.
If my wife is my grandmother, Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it, It simply drives me wild.
For now I have become, The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!!
A lawyer named Strange was asked what he would like to have inscribed on
He replied: "Just put 'Here lies an honest lawyer.'"
"But!" protested a friend, "that really doesn't tell who it is!"
"Certainly it does. Passersby are bound to read it and remark, "That is
If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them?
Or don't you really know?
Strange discoveries are sometimes made,
In climbing the family tree
Occasionally one is found in line
Who shocks his progeny.
If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Perhaps there might be one or two
You wouldn't care to know
Now turn the question right about,
And take another view
When you shall meet your ancestors,
Will they be proud of you?
-- Author Unknown --
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767
In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:
The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.
Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
For not rising.
Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:
Here lies the body
of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.
In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.
A widow wrote this epitaph in a Vermont cemetery:
Sacred to the memory of
my husband John Barnes
who died January 3, 1803
His comely young widow, aged 23, has
many qualifications of a good wife, and
yearns to be comforted.
A lawyer's epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange
Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.
Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in
the cowboy days of the 1880's. He's buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery
in Tombstone, Arizona:
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No More.
In a Georgia cemetery:
"I told you I was sick!"
John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:
Reader if cash thou art
In want of any
Dig 4 feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny.
On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:
She always said her feet were killing her
but nobody believed her.
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June
- Jonathan Fiddle -
Went out of tune.
Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont has an epitaph that
sounds like something from a Three Stooges movie:
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
More fun with names with Owen Moore in Battersea, London, England:
Than he could pay.
Someone in Winslow, Maine didn't like Mr. Wood:
In Memory of Beza Wood
Departed this life
Nov. 2, 1837
Aged 45 yrs.
Here lies one Wood
Enclosed in wood
The outer wood
Is very good:
We cannot praise
On a grave from the 1880's in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.
The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost a consumer
Who was fatally burned
March 21, 1870
by the explosion of a lamp
filled with "R.E. Danforth's
Non-Explosive Burning Fluid"
Oops! Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903--Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
the car was on the way down. It was.
In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.
You Know When You're An Addicted Genealogist
When you brake for libraries.
When you get locked in the library overnight and you
never even notice.
When you hyperventilate at the sight of an old
If you'd rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping
When you think every home should have a microfilm
If you'd rather read census schedules than a good book.
When you know the town clerk in every county by
If town clerks lock the door when they see you coming.
When you're more interested in what happened in 1797
If you store your clothing under the bed and your closet
is carefully stacked with notebooks and journals.
If you can pinpoint Kirkcaldy and Inverness on a map
but you're still not sure if Whitehorse is in the
Yukon or the Northwest Territories.
When all your correspondence begins "Dear Cousin".
If you've traced your ancestral lines back to Adam and
Eve, have it fully documented, and still don't want
(For Our American Genealogists, substitute Whitehorse
in the Yukon for Washington in DC
By Barbara A. Brown *
Yep -- I want ancestors with names like Rudimentary Montagnard or
Melchizedick von Steubenhoffmannschild or Spetznatz Gianfortoni, not William
Brown or John Hunter or Mary Abbott. [Or John Cummings OR William Mee!!]
I want ancestors who could read and write, had their children baptized in
recognized houses of worship, went to school, purchased land, left
detailed wills (naming a huge extended family as legatees), had their
photographs taken once a year -- subsequently putting said pictures in
elaborate isinglass frames annotated with calligraphic inscriptions, and
carved voluble and informative inscriptions in their headstones. I want
relatives who managed to bury their predecessors in established, still-extant
(and indexed) cemeteries.
I want family members who wrote memoirs, who enlisted in the military as
officers and who served in strategically important (and well documented)
skirmishes. I want relatives who served as councilmen, schoolteachers,
county clerks and town historians. I want relatives who 'religiously' wrote
in the family Bible, journaling every little event and detailing the familial
relationship of every visitor.
In the case of immigrant progenitors, I want them to have arrived only in
those years wherein passenger lists were indexed by National Archives, and I
want them to have applied for citizenship, and to have done so only in those
jurisdictions which have since established indices.
I want relatives who were patriotic and clubby, who joined every patrimonial
society they could find, who kept diaries, and listed all their addresses,
who had paintings made of their horses, and who dated every piece of paper
they touched. I want forebears who were wealthy enough to afford, and to keep
for generations, the tribal homestead, and who left all the aforementioned
pictures and diaries and journals intact in the library.
But most of all, I want relatives I can find!!!
THE BOOK OF CREATION
1. In the beginning God created Dates.
2. And the date was Monday, July 4, 4004 BC.
3 And God said, let there be light; and there was light. And when there was
Light, God saw the Date, that it was Monday, and he got down to work; for
verily, he had a Big Job to do.
4. And God made pottery shards and Silurian mollusks and pre-Cambrian
limestone strata; and fints and Jurassic Mastodon tusks and Pithecanthropus
erectus skulls and Cretaceos placentals made he; and those cave paintings at
Lascaux. And that was that, for the first Work Day.
5. And God saw that he had made many wondrous things, but that he had not
wherein to put it all. And God said, Let the heavens be divided from the
earth; and let us bury all of these Things which we have made in the earth;
but not too deep.
6.And God buried all the Things which he had made, and that was that.
7. And the morning and the evening and the overtime were Tuesday.
8. And God said, Let there be water; and let the dry land appear, and that was
9. And God called the dry land Real Estate; and the water called he the Sea.
And in the land and beneath it put he crude oil, grades 1 thru 6; and natural
gas put he thereunder, and the prehistoric carboniferous forests yielding
anthracite and other ligneous matter; and all these called he Resources; and
he made them abundant.
10. And likewise, all that was in the sea, even unto two hundred miles from
dry land, called he resources; all that was therein, like manganese nodules,
11. And the morning unto the evening had been a long day; which he called
12.And God said, Let the earth bring forth abundantly every moving creature I
can think of, with or without backbones, with or without wings or feet, or
fins or claws, vestigial limbs and all, right now; and let each one be of a
separate species. For lo, I can wake whatsoever I like, whensoever I like.
13. And the earth brought forth abundantly all creatures, great and small,
with and without backbones, with and without wings and feet and fins and
claws, vestigial limbs and all, from bugs to brontosauruses.
14. But God blessed them all, saying, Be fruitful and multiply and evolve.
15. And God looked upon the species he hath made, and saw that the earth was
exceedingly crowded, and he said unto them, Let each species compete for what
it needeth, for Healthy Competition is My Law. And the species competeth
amongst themselves, the cattle and the creeping things; and some madeth it and
some didn't; and God made dinosaurs and was pleased.
16. And God took the bones from the dinosaurs, and caused them to appear
mighty old; and cast he them about the land and sea. And he took every tiny
creature that had not madeth it, and caused them to become fossils; and cast
he them about likewise.
17. And just to put matters beyond the valley of the shadow of a doubt God
created carbon dating. And this is the origin of species.
18. And in the Evening of the day which was Thursday, God saw that he had put
in another good day's work.
19. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, which is
tall and well-formed and pale of hue; and let us also make monkeys, which
resembleth us not in any wise, but are short and ill-formed and hairy. And God
added, Let man have dominion over the monkeys and the fowl of the air and
every species, endangered or otherwise.
20. So God created Man in His own image; tall and well-formed and pale of hue
created He him, and nothing at all like the monkeys.
21. And to every beast of the earth and every fowl of the air I have given
also every green herb, and to them it shall be for meat, But they shall be
for you. And the Lord God your Host suggesteth that the flesh of cattle goeth
well with that of the fin and the claw; thus shall Surf be wedded unto Turf.
22. And God saw everything he had made, and he saw that it was very good; and
God said, It just goes to show Me what the private sector can accomplish. With
a lot of fool regulations this could have taken billions of years.
23. And the evening of the fifth day, which had been the roughest day yet, God
said, Thank me it's Friday. And God made the weekend.
GENEALOGY POX DISCOVERED IN AUSTRALIA!
The following was posted on the Australia-L last week by Jenny Brandis of
Meekatharra Western Australia.
SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to the need for names, dates, kinship and
places. Patient has blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouses and children.
Has no taste for work of any kind except feverishly looking through records at
Libraries and Archives.
Has a compulsion to write letters, swears at the postman when he doesn't
deliver any mail.
Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, remote country areas.
Makes night calls, hides the phone bill from spouse, mumbles to oneself, often
a strange far away look in the eye.
CURE: No known cure!
TREATMENT: Medication is useless. Disease is not fatal, but gets progressively
worse, needs a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.
REMARKS: The unusual nature of the disease is -- the sicker the patient gets,
the more they enjoy it.
Murphy's Law of Genealogy
The public ceremony in which your distinquished ancestor participated and
at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to be a hanging.
When at last after much hard work you have solved the mystery you have
been working on for two years, your aunt says, "I could have told you that"
You grandmother's maiden name that you have searched for for four years
was on a letter in a box in the attic all the time.
You never asked your father about his family when he was alive because
you weren't interested in genealogy then.
The will you need is in the safe on board the Titanic.
Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only on the surnames.
John, son of Thomas, the immigrant whom your relatives claim as the family
progenitor, died on board ship at age 10.
Your gr grandfather's newspaper obituary states that he died leaving no
issue of record.
The keeper of the vital records you need has just been insulted by a
The relative who had all the family photographs gave them all to her
daughter who has no interest in genealogy and no inclination to share.
The only record you fnd for your gr grandfather is that his property was
sold at a sheriff's sale for insolvency.
The one document that would supply the missing link in your dead-end line
has been lost due to fire, flood or war.
The town clerk to whom you wrote for the information sends you a long
handwritten letter which is totally illegible.
The spelling fo your European ancestor's name bears no relationship to its
current spelling or pronounciation.
None of the pictures in your recently deceased grmother's photo album
have names written on them.
No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, owned property,
was sued or was named in wills.
You learn that your great aunt's executor just sold her life's collection
of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer "somewhere in New
Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the
value of the data recorded.
The 37 volume, sixteen thousand page history of your county of origin
You finally find your gr grandparent's wedding records and discover that
the brides' father was named John Smith.
There's been a change in Grandma, we've noticed her of late.
She's always reading history or jotting down some date.
She's tracking back the family, we'll all have pedigrees.
Oh, Grandma's got a hobby - she's climbing the FAMILY TREE.
Poor Grandpa does the cooking, and now, or so he states,
That worst of all, he has to wash the cups and dinner plates.
Grandma can't be bothered, she's busy as a bee,
Compiling genealogy for the FAMILY TREE.
She has no time to baby-sit, the curtains are a fright,
No buttons left on Grandpa's shirt, the flower bed's a sight.
She's given up her club work and the soaps on TV,
The only thing she does nowadays is climb the FAMILY TREE.
She goes down to the courthouse and studies ancient lore,
We know more about our forebears than we ever knew before.
The books are old and dusty, they make poor Grandma sneeze,
A minor irritation when you're climbing the FAMILY TREE.
The mail is all for Grandma, it comes from near and far,
Last week she got the proof she needs to join the DAR.
A monumental project all do agree,
All from climbing the FAMILY TREE.
Now some folks came from Scotland, some from Galway Bay,
Some were French as pastry, some German all the way.
Some went West to stake their claims, some stayed there by the sea.
Grandma hopes to find them all, as she climbs the FAMILY TREE.
She wanders through the graveyard in search of date and name,
The rich, the poor, the in-between, all sleeping there the same.
She pauses now and then to rest, fanned by a gentle breeze,
That blows above the Fathers of all our FAMILY TREES.
There are pioneers and patriots, mixed in our kith and kin,
Who blazed the paths of wildness and fought through thick and thin.
But none more staunch than Grandma, who eyes light up with glee,
Each time she finds a missing branch for the FAMILY TREE.
Their skills were wide and varied, from carpenter to cook,
And one, alas, the records show, was hopelessly a crook.
Blacksmith, weaver, farmer, judge - some tutored for a fee.
Once lost in time, now all recorded on the FAMILY TREE.
To some it's just a hobby, to Grandma it's much more,
She learns the joys and heartaches of those that went before.
They loved, they lost, they laughed, they wept - and now, for you
They live again in spirit around the FAMILY TREE.
At last she's nearly finished and we are each exposed,
Life will be the same again, this we all supposed.
Grandma will cook and sew, serve cookies with our tea.
We'll all be fat, just as before the wretched FAMILY TREE.
Sad to relate, the preacher called and visited for a spell.
We talked about the Gospel, and other things as well.
The heathen folk, the poor and then - 'twas fate, it had to be,
Somehow the conversation turned to Grandma and the FAMILY TREE.
He never knew his Grandpa, his mother's name was...Clark?
He and Grandma talked and talked, outside it grew quite dark.
We'd hoped our fears were groundless, but just like some disease,
Grandma's become an addict - she's hooked on FAMILY TREES!
Our souls are filled with sorrow, our hearts sad with dismay.
Our ears could scarce believe the words we heard our Grandma say,
"It sure is a lucky thing that you have come to me,
I know exactly how it's done. I'll climb your FAMILY TREE."
TWENTY THIRD PSALM FOR GENEALOGISTS
Genealogy is my pastime, I shall not stray
It maketh me to lie down and examine half buried tombstones.
It leadeth me to still courthouses.
It restoreth my ancestral knowledge.
It leadeth me into the paths of Census Records
and Ship Passenger Lists for my Surnames sake.
Yea, though I wade through the shadows of
Research Libraries and Microfilm Readers,
I shall fear no discouragement, for a strong urge is with me.
The Curiosity and Motivation, they comfort me.
It demandeth preparation of storage space for
the aquisition of countless documents.
It anointeth my head with burning midnight oil,
my family group sheets runneth over.
Surely Birth, Marriage, and Death Records shall
follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the
Family History Seeker forever
GREAT GRANDMA AND THE IGI
Great-grandma was born an Anglican true,
Now, might she have had a dead faint
To know that in the year nineteen-o-two
She became a Latter Day Saint?
She‘d long gone by then, I hasten to say,
So I don‘t suppose she was worried;
But she was baptised in a rather odd way,
Many decades from when she was buried.
She‘d have thought it strange, I will be bound,
Even, perhaps, uncommonly witty;
Her body in good old Yorkshire ground,
And her soul in Salt Lake City.
But she wasn‘t alive, her opinion to ask,
And maybe it‘s really no matter;
Her life was recorded as part of the task
Of making the IGI fatter.
She ne‘er left these shores, as far as I know,
Even less imagined a computer;
How curious, then, her name should now show
On a gigantic hard disc in Utah!
Would she now spin in her lonely grave?
I‘m really not expert to say;
But I like to think that she would be brave
If it helped her descendants some way.
* From "Rhyming Relations: Genealogy In Verse" by Roy Stockdill, an 80-page
paperback of over 60 poems with a genealogical theme. Details by email from
Men once were named by their shape or estate,
[You all may from History worm it];
There was Lewis the Bulky, and Henry the Great,
John Lackland, and Peter the Hermit.
But now when the door-plates of Misters and Dames
are read, each so constantly varies
From the owner’s trade, figure, and calling, Surnames
seem given by the rule of contaries.
Mr. Box, though provoked, never doubles his fist,
Mr. Burns, in his grate has no fuel:
Mr. Playfair won’t catch me at Hazard or Whist,
Mr. Coward was winged in a duel.
Mr. Wise is a dunce, Mr. King is a whig,
Mr. Coffin’s uncommon sprightly,
And huge Mr. Little broke down in a gig,
While driving fat Mrs. Golightly.
Mr s. Drinkwater’s apt to indulge in a dram
Mrs. Angel’s an absolute fury,
And meek Mr. Lyon let fierce Mr. lamb
Tweak his nose in the lobby of Drury.
At Bath, where the feeble go, more than the stout,
[A conduct well worthy of Nero],
Over poor Mr. Lightfoot, confined with the gout,
Mr. Heaviside danced a Bolero.
Miss Joy, wretched maid, when she chose Mr. Love,
Found nothing but sorrow await her:
She now holds in wedlock, as true as a dove,
That fondest of mates, Mr. Hayter.
Mr. Oldcastle dwells in a modern-built hut,
Miss Sage is of madcaps the archest;
Of all the queer bachelors Cupid e’er cut,
Old Mr. Younghusband’s the starchest.
Mr. Child, in a passion, knock’d down Mr. Rock,
Mr. Stone like and aspen leaf shivers;
Miss Poole used to dance, but she stands like a stock,
Ever since she became Mrs. Rivers;
Mr. Swift hobbles around, no mortal knows how,
He moves as though cords had entwin’d him;
Mr. Metcalfe ran off, upon meeting a cow,
With pale Mr. Turnbull behind him.
Mr. Barker’s as mute as a fish in the sea,
Mr. Miles never moves on a jouney;
Mr. Gotobed sits up till half-past three,
Mr. Makepeace became an attorney.
Mr. Gardner can’t tell a flower from a root,
Mr. Wilde with timidity draws back,
Mr. Ryder performs all his journeys on foot,
Mt. Foote all his jouneys on horseback.
Mr Penny, whose father was rolling in wealth,
Kick’d down all his fortune his dad won.
Large Mr. Le Fever’s the picture of health,
Mr. Goodenough is but a bad one.
Mr. Cruikshank, stept into three thousand a year,
By showing his leg to an heiress-
Now I hope you’ll acknowledge I’ve made it quite clear
That surnames every go by contraries.
by James Smith
Your tombstone stands among the rest
Neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished marble stone
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.
They think that I should cook and clean,
and be a model wife.
I tell them it's more interesting
to study Grandpa's life.
They simply do not understand
why I hate to go to bed . . .
I'd rather do two hundred years
of research work instead.
Why waste the time we have on earth
just snoring and asleep?
When we can learn of ancestors
that sailed upon the deep?
We have Priests, Rabbis, lawmen, soldiers,
more than just a few.
And yes, there's many scoundrels,
and a bootlegger or two.
How can a person find this life
an awful drudge or bore?
When we can live the lives of all
those folks who came before?
A hundred years from now of course,
no one will ever know
Whether I did laundry,
but they'll see our Tree and glow . . .
'Cause their dear old granny left for them,
for all posterity,
not clean hankies and the like,
but a finished family tree.
My home may be untidy,
'cause I've better things to do . . .
I'm checking all the records
to provide us with a clue.
Old great granny's pulling roots
and branches out with glee,
Her clothes ain't hanging out to dry,
she's hung up on the Tree.
Moishe,[ the renowned family historian] ,has been lying ill for weeks. A
few days ago he slipped into a coma, and everyone feared the worst. The
family is called. The son from Miami.The daughter from Bridgewater. The aunts.
The uncles. All sit waiting for the end.
Suddenly a miracle! Moishe opens his eyes. Weakly he motions for his son to
approach so he can hear talk to him. Moishe is weak from the illness and so
his voice is very faint as he says, "I've been ill?" "Yes, papa," replies the
son with tears choking his voice, "very ill."
The papa nods and speaks again. "I had a dream. I was nearing death when I
suddenly smelled the aroma of your mother's apple strudel. I love that
strudel. As wonderful a cook as my Sadie is, that strudel is her masterpiece."
He lays back against the pillow weak from the exertion of speaking.
"What a wonderful dream, papa. But the smell is real. Mama just took the
strudel out of the oven to cool." "A miracle!" cries Moishe as he tries to
rise, and weakly falls against the pillows. He turns to his son and says, "I'm
still too weak to get up. Go to the kitchen and get for me a piece of Sadie's
The son obediently rises and leaves the room to fulfill his father's request,
only to return a few moments later empty handed. He sits again by his father's
Moishe looks at him and says, "Nu? Where is the strudel?"
The son replies, "I'm sorry, papa. Mama says it's for AFTER the funeral!"
CAUTION!....You have now entered the Genealogy Zone.
My family coat of arms ties at the back....is that normal?
My family tree is a few branches short! Help appreciated
My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
My hobby is genealogy, and I raise dust bunnies as pets.
How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE??
I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap..
I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged
I'm searching for myself; Have you seen me ?
If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help...
Isn't genealogy fun? The answer to one problems, leads to two more!
It's 1998. Do you know where your-Great-G. Grandparents are?
A family reunion is an effective form of birth control
A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots
A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away
After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted
Am I the only person up my tree-seems like it
Any family tree produces some lemons, nuts & a few bad apples
Ever find an ancestor HANGING from the family tree?
FLOOR: The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
Gene-Allergy-It's a contagious disease, but I love it
Genealogists are time unravelers
Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!
Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people
"Crazy" is a relative term in my family
A miser is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor
I want to find ALL of them! So far I only have a few thousand
I Should have asked them BEFORE they died!
I think my ancestors had several "Bad heir" days
I'm always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNE flower
Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards, as progress
Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality
Heredity:Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
It's a poor family that hath neither a Lady of the evening or a thief.
Many a family tree needs trimming
Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears.
Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
ThatS strange: half my ancestors are WOMEN!
I'm not sick, I've just got fading genes
Genealogists live in the past lane
Genealogists do it generation after generation....
Cousins marrying cousins: Very tangled roots!
Cousins marrying cousins: A non-branching family tree
Alright! Everybody out of the genetic pool!
Do I hear the rattle of Chains?
Always willing to share my ignorance....
Documentation...The hardest part of genealogy
For a reply, send a self-abused, stomped elephant to...
Genealogy: Chasing your own tale!
Genealogy-will I ever find time to mow the lawn again?
That's the problem with the gene pool: NO Lifeguards
I looked up my family tree...there were two dogs using it.
I researched my family tree......apparently I don't exist!
YOU KNOW YOU'RE TAKING GENEALOGY TOO SERIOUSLY IF...
You are the only person to show up at the cemetery research party
with a shovel.
To put the "final touches" on your genealogical research, you've
asked all of your closest relatives to provide DNA samples.
You were instrumental in having "non-genealogical use of the
genealogy room copy machine" classified as a federal hate crime.
Your house leans slightly toward the side where your genealogical
records are stored.
You decided to take a two-week break from genealogy, and the U.S.
Postal Office immediately laid off 1,500 employees.
Out of respect for your best friend's unquestioned reputation for
honesty and integrity, you are willing to turn off that noisy
surveillance camera while she reviews your 57 genealogical research
notebooks in your home. The armed security guard, however, will remain.
You plod merrily along "refining" your recently published family
history, blissfully unaware that the number of errata pages now far
exceeds the number of pages in your original publication.
During an ice storm and power outage, you ignore the pleas of your
shivering spouse and place your last quilt around that 1886 photograph
of dear Uncle George.
The most recent document in your "Missing Ancestors" file is a 36-
page contract between you and Johnson Billboard Advertising Company.
Ed McMahon, several t.v. cameras and an envelope from Publishers
Clearing House arrive at your front door on Super Bowl Sunday, and the
first thing you say is, "Are you related to the McMahons of Ohio?"
"A Loving Family" and "Financial Security" have moved up to second
and third, respectively, on your list of life's goals, but still lag
far behind "Owning My Own Microfilm Reader."
A magical genie appears and agrees to grant your any one wish, and
you ask that the 1890 census be restored.
And last but certainly not least, you read through this list of
genealogy qwips because you LOVE IT!
forwarded for your enjoyment, (but not created) by; Milton Turner
ps. I did add the last one, I couldn't resist...
Roots to Adam and Eve
I have a friend, named Adam WELLS, who claims that he has traced his entire
family from the very earliest of biblical times.... Like the rest of us, he
followed normal procedures of research by obtaining the various censuses of
1891 back each 10 years to 1841,writing away for copies birth and marriage
certificates back as far as the start of civil registration in 1837, chased up
all the wills he could find at the County Records Offices,and then diligently
extracted information from the old church registers, even learning a little
Latin along the way to be able to translate some of the register entries in
the early 1600's and late 1500's. However, like the rest of us he came to an
absolute dead end at the start of the first church register, in his case, the
village of Utter Piddle in Gloucestershire in 1589. Not to be daunted by this,
he then obtained a copy of the "Burkes Peerage World Book of Wells", which,
apart from giving him the phone number of every living WELLS in the world (and
also some where were no longer living), informed him reliably that the WELLS
family were ancient Lords in Scotland, married three times into the English
Royal family, and could be traced back to a Norman knight, Adam LeWells who
arrived in England in 5th August 1066 along with his King, William. Rumour has
it, that it was Adam LeWells who fired the fatal arrow which hit King Harold
in the eye, although this could not be proved conclusively, as it was later
reported that no less than 16,431 bowmen symultaneously fired arrows at the
English King, at least 43 of them perfectly on target. Adam WELLS was
absolutely thrilled to find all of this information in the "Burkes Peerage
World Book of Wells", the front page of which proudly states "This
certificates that the Burkes Perage World Book of Wells has been printed
exclusively for..." (followed by three blank lines where Adam could write his
name, but never got round to doing so). I would quote more from this superb
volume, except for the fact that I am limited by the statement in small print
at the foot of the first page, which states: "Copyright MCMXCV by Halbert's
Family Heritage. No part of this publication may be reprodcued in any form
without permission in writing form the publisher. This publication is not
connected to any particular Wells family and represents a compilation of
public information." Not to be daunted by the fact that the publication only
traced his family back to the Norman conquest of England, Adam WELLS decided
that it might be worth while making a few phone calls to the WELLS names
listed in the book. One of these proved extremely fruitful, as he discovered
an old lady in England, Eve WELLS, surprisingly still living in the
Gloucestershire village of Utter Piddle, who had descended from their common
ancestor and great grandfather Herbert George WELLS. He could hardly believe
the incredible information he heard from her. Amongst the family heirlooms in
her posession was a strange machine, together with a printed manual in
Taiwanese and what passed for an attempt at English, describing the
intricacies of the electronic circuits. Adam studied the instruction booklet
for three months, but still couldn't figure which combination of links and
switches which were required to set the damned thing to something called COM2
and IRQ3. In the end he threw away the book and took a guess. The machine
suddenly sprang into life! It worked! Using the machine he travelled back
into the past to 5th August 1066 to take up the story where some BURKE (alias
HALBERT) had not been able to confirm the story of Adam LeWELLS's arrow....
and here he discovered that the book had been entirely wrong. Instead of
16,431 bowmen, there were in fact only 16,430 who had fired arrows at King
Harold. One of the bowmen had a broken string on his bow, and, you guessed
it... it was Adam LeWELLS. Our modern day Adam promised Monsewer LeWELLS that
he would never reveal this important fact, after all, such knowledge could
cause a severe rift in the time line and affect all future generations of the
family line. Before he left the scene of the battle at Hastings, Adam was
able to ascertain that it was Adam LeWELLS's third cousin twice removed, Jane
LeWELLS, who had sewed on a missing button on the tunic of William the
Conqueror himself on the eve of the battle. It was real stuff like this which
would make interesting reading when he finally wrote up the family history.
Adam then decided that rather than return back to the present in H.G.'s time
machine, he would travel further back in time to trace his ancestry in greater
detail. This was too good an opportunity to miss! He hopped generation to
generation back to one Augustus WELLUS living in a village called Sorrento in
Italy, ("wellie" to his freinds, on account of his business in waterproof
footwear)... who, it turned out, had been to England in 85AD and had been
stationed in an outpost in the very furthest north of the Roman Empire, where
he had exploited a loophole in the REC (Roman Empire Community) trading laws
and had supplied the Scots with their first shipment of wellies! (Not many
people know that the humble wellie was invented by Augustus WELLUS... to think
that we had been misinformed all these years by our educators into thinking
that it was the English general WELLINGTON who invented them!).... anyway... I
digress... Augustus WELLUS was sent back to Rome in disgrace for supplying the
enemy with weapons! You see... the Scots learned very quickly that wellies
were more useful for *throwing* than wearing, and became very adept at
whanging the wellies over "Adrians" wall into the campfires of the Roman
infantry, since which, of course, it has become the national sport of
Scotland. One of the Scottish anthems originated from this time of war with
the Romans, which was essentially a chant devised to tell the Romans what to
do with their chariots. I even heard this anthem echoing around the stadium at
Twickenham this year on the day of an international rugby match with the
English, in response to the English supporters' anthem.... sung to the tune of
"She'll be coming round the mountain"... it goes something like "Ye can stuff
yer f*****ng chariots up yer a**e". The chant never seems to do much good
though ;-) We wonder what the Romans thought of it, and whether it actually
did any good then either? Once again I digress... sorry... but this is all
important stuff in putting some meat on the bones of Adam WELLS's family
history...Adam had finally traced his family origins back to the time of the
Bible thanks to his great grandfather's wonderful machine. He discovered that
the father of Augustus WELLUS was stationed in Jerusalem, and although Adam
hasn't record this part in detail in his lineage, it would appear that
Augustus had been conceived as the result of a mixed race relationship with a
young girl from an important local trader's family. From here it was plain
sailing to trace the remainder of the family origins back through the previous
centuries thanks to the discovery of some old scrolls... finally leading back
to someone called Dedan, whose father was Jokshan, the result of the second
marriage of a man named Abraham to Keturah. There is a whole list of ancestors
here who are firmly documented... leading back to Lamech, Methushael, Irad,
Enoch, (these guys lived to be incredibly old)... whose father was Cain, and
one more generation to his father Adam.
The moral of this story... if you want to trace your ancestors back further
than the late 1500's then unless they *really* were royalty or owners of the
whole parish... borrow a time machine ;-)... and don't go cheating by buying
the "Burke's Peerage World Book of XXXXXX" ;-)
substitute XXXXX above for your name... it doesn't matter, as all the other
words in the book are the same except for the list of people's phone numbers
at the back ;-)