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Genealogy Journal

Some of these family trees were clearly assembled by people without basic math skills. I do not believe that my ancestor was 150 years old and had her first child at the age of 2. Eventually Scotland just turns into a morass of question marks as I refuse to trust anyone else's data, and also the only male names available are William and Lachlan, alternated as needed.

Still boggled by the triplets.

One of my ancestors was named Alantha, which seems to be a not completely unique name but still rare enough to be noteworthy.

There are a bunch of family stories about our ancestors in the Revolution. This past year, I discovered that the reason we believe we're related to those people who fought in the Revolution is that two guys met on a train to Pittsburgh, discovered they had similar last names, and *decided* they were related. And one of them was an amateur genealogist who wrote the whole thing down.

Some guys had drinks in the dining car, and my great aunt got into the DAR as a result. That is honest to god what happened.

Kevin!  Where are you?  Please? Pistachios and moonshine are not good food, albeit wonderful in moderation.  Please take better care of this precious resource living with you.

Kevin is out of town on con security duty. Thankfully Ursula's barista gave her real food today.

Is that where the Mary Stewart novel, "Touch Not the Cat," got its name? It's the only one I haven't read, I think.

If your family tree was put together by people of similar incompetence to mine, I bet your triplets are all the same person. Their names are similar enough that some great-grandchildren probably just misremembered them, and some future credulous genealogist, seeing they all had the same birthdate, assumed they were triplets. If any two of them turn out to be married to the same man, have any children with the same name, or die on the same date, be very suspicious.

That's actually what I thought at first, but they all died on different dates, one in childhood.

*ahem*On behalf of my relatives in South Dakota, I beg to inform you that The World's Only Corn Palace is not in South Dakota. It is in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Also, apparently my ancestors on my dad's side were draft dodgers who came to the US from Prussia to avoid being drafted in one war or another. And I have a friend whose ancestor apparently fell OFF the Mayflower (but was rescued).

Oh god, you're right. WHY DID SHE GO TO IOWA!?

My mom's mom's dad's side is descended from the people who founded Ashland University - aka Mennonites who loved books too much to keep farming, and that good old book-learning made them stay modern. I really was bred to be a nerd! My mom's dad's side, otoh - great-grandma's side goes back as far as her parents, Merrit and Dandelion, who we have census records for. Before that, we werent the kind of people who were important enough to show up in records, the family lore is (sharecroppers/poor farmers in Appalachia). Great-grandpa came over from Wales with his family to mine coal in a Fordville. This is all sourced from family lore, as no one really has written much down. I'm mostly Welsh though. In terms of weird names, besides the aforementioned Merrit and Dandelion, we have several versions of Ian and John throughout Mom;s side, on both branches and my great-grandpa Malcolm who was known by "Billy/Will" his whole life because his cow dairy allergy and habit of keeping a dairy goat got him the nickname as a freshman in college and people didn't realize that wasn't his actual name once he graduated.

What's really gonna confuse future geneaologists (if I have any descendants) is that my first name is the name of a country I have zero blood from. I keep getting asked about it - "Oh, are you X ethnicity?" and then have to explain that my name's origin stems from my mom having been in labor 36 hours for a kid that was a week and a half overdue, and she was high as a kite from the third epidural. My mom has zero clue where it came from but it isn't terrible, so it stuck (her original plan was to name me Arwen - being named after a country is dodging a bullet). My mom remarried to a guy of Irish descent when I was a kid, so my first name and my last name reflect ethnicities I have zero blood from. It's kinda hilariously confusing.

I have one whole side of my family who don't go by the name on their birth certificate! I only learned my great aunt's actual name at her funeral (and most people there were saying "who???"). The fact I go by something that even vaguely resembles my legal name is somewhat noteworthy in my family

Being adopted, I am alternately amused and becroggled by the amount of time people put into tracing their ancestry. If I had ever had any children, their great-grandchildren would hate me because effectively the line stops here.

Which is not to say that I don't have a few amusing anecdotes myself, but they're all borrowed from my adoptive parents. For example, there was apparently only one person with my father's last name who ever came to America -- so if you run into anyone, anywhere in America, with that last name, they're related to me either by birth or by marriage.

Part of my wife's family is sort of like your anecdote, except that ... well, there are records of two people with that name getting on boats to America at different times, and records of three getting off the boats. Her branch of the family is descended from the third. So they have no idea where he came from.

I had an ancestress named "Olivia Pickel" -- methinks her parents were rather cruel punsters ;P

Also, you are apparently related through Clan Mackintosh to my friend Marie (primarily Latina, but with some Scots ancestry) who is currently sitting next to me and singing karaoke in my living room ^___^

-- A <3

I encountered a Bush line in the family tree...and a nth x great aunt named Rose. It was unkind.

My mother complains a lot about the fact that her ancestry contains a lot of men who had more than one wife due to their first wives dying and who didn't bother to keep track of which children came from which mother. There also seem to have been a lot of widows with children marrying in and the families then not differentiating those children. All of that is potentially great for family building, but it makes genealogy more challenging.

She also complains bitterly about ancestry.com because it's apparently really, really hard to get information changed there once it's in the database, even if new evidence shows that it's not accurate.

I have a fairly unique last name (for the USA). So when a consultant at my day job stopped and asked me if I had relatives that came from a certain town in the state where I live, I said yes. It turns out his mother-in-law was descended from my great great grandfather's first wife and I came from the second wife. So I got a call from a perfect stranger about getting my dad's family's information. She sent me a care package of data to get me started.

I also have family in the military and State Department. One of my brothers and a first cousin of ours served in the Air Force. My brother kept getting asked if our cousin was his daughter (our local branch of the family is huge with all of the generational gaps that makes). Plus one of my sisters in the State Department ran into a very distant cousin (he was Army, I think) -- and not one that had grown up in or around our home state. According to his family genealogist (who had managed to make contact with the consultant's mom-in-law) we are descended from the guy who raised horses for the King of France.

I wouldnt blame the pretty moonshine, but the pistachios, who knows what kind of unknown fungus was living on those nuts? And that they attract squirrels. You know how evil they are.

I've been doing genealogy for a year or so, coupled with DNA testing. This makes it more fun. I'm an adoptee and in my natural paternal paternal line there are serial child abandoners (or custody loses.) My GG-grandmother lost 2, left 2 in an orphanage. Her son left his 8 kids in an orphange after their mother died. He later married a woman who'd had her kids in debtors prison after their father died 3, were adopted out. And then my parents lost custody of their 8 children.

This makes the story of my great great great grandpa selling his siblings into indentured servitude after their parents died seem tame.

Oh! One more amusing thing. So my stepdad's last name (and therefore mine) is a very very Irish spelling of one that has a ton of variants in the US. The issue is that we use the Irish pronunciation, and therefore hearing it pronounced right in the US is super rare. I've had people give it like 5 different tries before giving up and using my (rare, but pronounced as spelled) first name. What's funny is that it's the most common spelling/pronunciation of that name group in Australia. When the Virgin Australia flight attendant said "Welcome aboard, Miss X" and got it right, I stopped dead in my tracks of surprise. Turns out it's not an uncommon surname over there, which led me to ask my stepdad "what did your family do that so many of them wound up in Australia?" Him: "Be Irish, probably". Which is likely accurate, but also kinda boggling that this weird name variant is so common there but no one in the US can get it reliably right.

My Irish last name is definitely one that's become mispronounced after us being in the US so many generations. Honestly I'm so used to it the way we say it that the "correct" pronunciation sounds terribly weird to me. :)

My grandmother is the family genealogist. She traced one part of my heritage to someone who was married in MA in 1650... before that it gets muddy. We also have several records of people who were listed in the records as "Black Dutch or Black Irish" which was a known way to hide being amer-indian so as to not be sent to reservations.

The genealogy from the Scotch-Irish in America is terrible. It's infested with people who are quite sure they are descended from romantically exiled nobles, and if one does not appear in the course of their investigations, they will just stick one on top of the tree anyway. I had some wonderfully accurate genealogy on my English branches, I was able to identify our common ancestor eight generations back for a half-dozen people sharing a couple of distinct dna segments... but the scotch-irish branch I basically had to build from hand because it's all lies, so many lies.

Yeah, I got back into 1348 on the English side, thanks to a minor Parlimentarian who had his records carefully recorded. I stopped way before that on the Scottish side--it'd be hard enough if everyone wasn't engaging in wishful thinking, but it was obviously laird-soup.