Grandson the Younger called in the other afternoon.
He had a project to do about family trees and wanted a bit of help.
I brought him out to the gardens and pointed out the tree that my sister had planted and the trees I had planted but he said with an element of scorn that he meant grandads and grannies and that kind of stuff. I like winding him up.
So I put on my serious face and told him about his great grandfathers and great grandmothers, an even tossed in their parents too. He was delighted and wrote it all down [why do kids stick their tongues out when writing?]. However the one thing I didn’t tell him about was The Great Conundrum.
When his Ma came to collect him I told her about The Great Conundrum and she freaked out. She couldn’t get her head around it.
So what is The Great Conundrum?
Some time ago I did a fair bit of research on family trees. I was lucky enough to have pretty comprehensive documentation on both my mother’s and my father’s side. One of the things I knew about my father was that he was a cousin of John Le Mesurier, the actor [Dad’s Army and all that] and the Le Mesurier name cropped up in abundance in the tree.
But then I came into possession of my mother’s tree, so I started working back on that. And there, lo and behold was mention of the Le Mesurier family. So I cross referenced the two trees and sure enough there was a connection. Abraham John Le Mesurier lived in Gurnsey back in 1748. He was my Great Great Great Grandfather on my father’s side of the tree. But he cropped up too on my mother’s side where he is my Great Great Great Great Grandfather.
So I am descended from this bloke twice which makes me related to myself as some kind of distant cousin. However the more astute of you will have noticed that the is an extra Great on my mother’s side which means I am a generation out of step with myself. So I am either a distant uncle of myself or a distant nephew. The problem then arises as to which generation I belong to. Being my own nephew presumably means I am a lot younger that I thought, whereas if I am my own uncle I must be a lot older by a generation.
All of this of course applies to my daughter and to her sprogs. I broke it to her gently that she was either her own aunt or, if she preferred, her own niece.
That’s when she freaked out.