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The Great Conundrum — 11 Comments

  1. But, as with all ‘family tree’ research, you can only ever create one based on the documentation available. If you believe absolutely the content of such documentation, particularly that produced at a time when folk were anxious to avoid truthful admission of who did what to whom and when, then your ‘tree’ merely represents a creative fantasy that previous generations would like you to believe, rather than the truth.

    Eventually the comprehensive analysis of DNA will inject some positive truth into this process, it’s just a good job those old folk won’t be around to be belatedly embarrassed by the uncomfortable revelations they had sought so determinedly to conceal.

    • It’s very easily proved.  I’ll take a DNA sample from my left hand and one from my right.  If they match…………..

  2. Aged Mother was one of very few ‘amateur’ genealogists who could actually earn a living of sorts from their craft. One thing you learn growing up with a mother who can recite her own bloodlines, Norfolk bloodlines, back to 1542 is that you should, to quote some CSI type programme “NEVER open the fridge door at a crime scene”.Never open the fridge door of the family tree because you can guarantee there will be a severed head along with the half a dried up lemon and green coloured milk. People who think the past was a kinder, gentler time where women and men behaved with decorum and sheep were sheep, tend to be those same people who just wanted to find out about their rakish Great Great Great Uncle Jeroboam who was deported to the antipodes ,because it would make a great after dinner story to go with the charming little Australian dessert wine they discovered in a Bijou wine boutique in Chelsea. Those people tend to be shocked by discovering that Great Great Great Uncle Jeroboam’s coveting of his neighbour’s livestock wasn’t quite what their family oral history had claimed (‘wee starving bairns’ etc). Especially if their 4 bears came from Norfolk.

    • Don’t worry.  I found a few skeletons in the refrigerator and a couple of weird things.  Aparently one of my ancestors was eaten by a shark in the Carribean.  He was probaby a pirate.  I try to live up to his reputation [without the dietry end, hopefuly].

      • This reminds me of the tale of some family friends who decided to research their family name of Roper.
        They managed to trace the name back to the medieval and all of a sudden, the tales of the family Roper stopped off short. Not a word more wasever said, but by means devious and sly we eventually found out the whys and wherefores of the thing.
        They had, you see, been expecting to have descended from some manner of chandlers or seamens’ suppliers, some sort of grand mercantile past to the family. Unfortunately it was rather more prosaic; they descended from “Roger the Rope, itinerant hangman!”.

  3. If you go back far enough, we are all related to each other.

    We all, in each breath, are breathing molecules of air that were once breathed by PLATO.

    One can carry these things way tooooo far.

  4. Been there meself. ‘Same name’ crops up and leads one a merry dance until the penny drops, or the paper suggests, that actually they are two different people in different family line.

    Don’t tell K8 though.

    • Valid point from Bill there. Parents , especially those of the lower orders, tend to be somewhat unimaginative when naming their scions.Twas ever thus. Alexei’s Sayle’s song ” ‘allo John gotta new moat-tar’ being far too close to the truth , i lost count how many kids at school had ‘John’ as a first name…and that was just the girls (Norfolk!). Sure you get the odd one, the odd odd one, whose parents knew no better and named their sprog ‘Zippee Moonchild Stardust’ (Jamie eat your sauteed heart out!) and going back in history there have been ‘Blue Murder Jones’s and ‘Cheese Sandwich Smith’ but these are merely colorful flowers dotted through a landscape of uniformed supermarket cut price blooms. It isn’t until you get back as far as the C17 you get a bit more thought put into names, although I wonder how many ‘Praise God Bare bones’ s there were in a class…reading the register must have been a blast…almost a sermon in itself .  “Faith?” “Here Sir by the grace of God”, “Hope?” “Here Sir by the grace of God”, “Charity?” “Here Sir by the grace of God”, “Repent Sinner For Thine End is Nigh For Though Ye Yet  Be Plunged Into The Fiery Pits Of Hell Wherein The Flame Burns Eternally And The Worm Doth Eateth?” “Here Sir by the grace of God”….you get the drift.

  5. “…I am my own uncle… …she was either her own aunt or, if she preferred, her own niece…: All of that’s OK, as long as you keep it in the family,

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