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BigDon
2012-Jan-15, 06:23 AM
So the members of my clan on this coast ran into the East Coast chapter of my family on the internet a couple of months ago. And found out tons of stuff as both parties filled in huge gaps. We got the better deal, info-wise though.

I lost interest in the subject because I never wanted to take the time to seperate all the hokum geneology sites from the real ones. That was like trying to seperate the fake Apollo Hoax sites from the real Apollo Hoax sites*.

So the East Coasters were looking for a single missing relative they couldn't account for, who they were told was a wastrel who "rode the rails" during the thirties and forties.

On the contrary my friends, their "wastrel cousin" was my grandfather Johosaphat. (Yeah, not only did I have a Uncle Bubba, I had a Grandpa Johosaphat as well. I oughta write a story or something.) Who was a successful farmer in the Willamette Valley all that time they couldn't account for him in their genealogies. That's the opposite of wastrelness I would think.

See what happens when you lose track of just one of us? Eighty years later and we've metastasized all over the West Coast.

My surname is what's called a "Dit" name I've come to find. Which I'm told is a nickname that is so appropriette you got to keep it as a surname. In my case my surname means The Lucky One. And how did my distant ancestor aquire this nickname that stuck through the ages?

Well, my distant ancestor made the 3000 mile journey across the Atlantic from France to Nova Scotia back in the earliest stages of European colonization. Sadly, the ship he was sailing on only made 2999 and 3/4 miles of the trip before sinking. Contary to the custom of the time my forefather was a powerful swimmer and was the only survivor. But that didn't get him the surname.

So while trapping he was attacked by a solo member of the local tribe who stabbed him 17 times, stole all his pelts and left him for dead. He crawled to the cabin of an Indian woman who took him in and he survived his injuries. But that didn't get him the surname.

Several months after getting back on his feet again ol' Great great great great grandfather Pepin is in town and, Lo and Behold! He runs into his assailant! He called the man out and killed him! This was problematic on several levels. The main one being that the dead man's tribe outnumbered the entire settlement by an order of magnitude and the entire town saw it happen. So he was seized by the dead man's people and taken to their village to be brought to justice before their Chief. People had been seized before and it wasn't so much that they were never seen again as after these people were through with the abductees you didn't *want* to find them again.

And when he was brought before their Chief the Chief actually wanted to know why Grandpa Pepin killed his man and Grandpa Pepin pulled up his shirt and showed the Chief his scars.

Chief thought about it a bit and said:

"Yeah, okay, I can see it."

And let him go.

When he got back to town the whole town was so amazed at seeing him unflensed and unbarbecued that we've been LaChances ever since.

Most of that was new to me too.






*Yeah, poking a little fun at Jay.

BigDon
2012-Jan-15, 06:24 AM
How did this end up in this forum?

I thought I was posting in OTB.

pzkpfw
2012-Jan-15, 08:21 AM
Whadyya mean? This is OTB.

grapes
2012-Jan-15, 11:18 AM
.
When he got back to town the whole town was so amazed at seeing him unflensed and unbarbecued that we've been LaChances ever since.
Quato in Total Recall, Wesley Crusher of ST:TNG, Vince Larkin of Con Air, and Ethel McCormack of Footloose all played LaChances at one time. Something that has just stuck with me over the years...

Tobin Dax
2012-Jan-15, 12:04 PM
On the contrary my friends, their "wastrel cousin" was my grandfather Johosaphat. (Yeah, not only did I have a Uncle Bubba, I had a Grandpa Johosaphat as well. I oughta write a story or something.) Who was a successful farmer in the Willamette Valley all that time they couldn't account for him in their genealogies. That's the opposite of wastrelness I would think.

As would I. :)

It's good to see you around, Don. I hope you finish that earlier story for us.

swampyankee
2012-Jan-15, 01:20 PM
Interesting -- my current hometown may have one of your distant East Coast relatives. Joel LaChance used to own a bicycle shop, went into teaching, retired, and now runs a street corner bike repair business.

Tensor
2012-Jan-16, 05:47 AM
I don't have quite so entertaining a story, but it was pretty good for my wife and I, so...... A few years ago, we were working on our genealogies to try an get something together for our daughters. My side was a no problem as we lost track once we traced them to the old country*. My wife, on the other hand, has relatives from the old country**, and in one great grandmother. Her mother has three sisters and five brothers, who I've met at one time or another, except for one. Seems, sometime in the 1930s, he got tired of trying to find work in Indiana, and up and left. No one heard from him after that. While trying to fill out our trees, we just put his name, with a question mark.

A couple of months after we finished, we got a call from a Forensic Genealogy company (never heard of one before). Seems they found her long lost uncle. He had died and his estate was in probate. They wanted to know if she wanted them to represent her. We checked with our attorney (it's not as big a deal as you think, one of my friends going back 35 years) and he said that this is normal, if the estate was larger than normal. After my wife (and a large group of her extended family) had agreed to be represented, we found out that he had ended up in Houston, had worked in the oil fields, but hadn't made a fortune. The guy from the genealogy company told my wife he had some property in Harris county, some other property his trailer was on, and, then wanted to know if there was any mental illness in the family. Seems he had like $60,000 stuffed into nooks and crannies around the trailer. Just weird. It took about a year to get everything settled.

*My side's family goes back to, looking at a current map, Germany, Denmark, Poland, and the Czech Republic. If you looked at a one of the maps of the time, it would be Germany, Denmark, and the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary.

** My wife's side goes back to Germany, Switzerland, and the Alsace. We happened to get lucky and found someone who had the actual records from the town in the Alsace going back to the 1300s. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of those records, but the couple has traveled to the town in the Alsace and claim they have gotten the records from the church there. They have actual pictures of the open books for marriage, birth and death, and they really have no reason to lie, unless it's to fool themselves. They happen to have the same ancestor, just from a different route. Funny, There is no way my wife has any kind of direct chromosomes for that common ancestor, but we both acted as if we finding a long lost relative.

grapes
2012-Jan-16, 06:07 AM
then wanted to know if there was any mental illness in the family.And you said? :)

Tensor
2012-Jan-16, 06:36 AM
And you said? :)

Well, I didn't consider myself part of my wife's family, in that context, otherwise, I would have said, yes. :p

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-16, 11:53 AM
We happened to get lucky and found someone who had the actual records from the town in the Alsace going back to the 1300s. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of those records, but the couple has traveled to the town in the Alsace and claim they have gotten the records from the church there. They have actual pictures of the open books for marriage, birth and death, and they really have no reason to lie, unless it's to fool themselves.
All surviving European church records have been recorded on microfilm in a massive project sponsored by the Mormon Church several decades ago and are available to the public through relevant libraries. Some are even being made available online, this depends on the country.

Jim
2012-Jan-16, 01:08 PM
... The guy from the genealogy company told my wife he had some property in Harris county, some other property his trailer was on ...

Depending on where in Harris County, that land could be worth quite a bit.


... My wife's side goes back to Germany, Switzerland, and the Alsace. ...

Oooh, coincidence! My father's father's father was from Alsace. We're German, but at the time Alsace was held by the French. But the Prussians wanted it back. And both sides wanted him to fight on their side.

He left.

mfumbesi
2012-Jan-16, 02:24 PM
.....snip....

*Yeah, poking a little fun at Jay.
That was quite a read BigDon. Lucky guy indeed.

Tensor
2012-Jan-16, 02:55 PM
Depending on where in Harris County, that land could be worth quite a bit.
It was.


Oooh, coincidence! My father's father's father was from Alsace. We're German, but at the time Alsace was held by the French. But the Prussians wanted it back. And both sides wanted him to fight on their side.

He left.

LOL, well, we know where you get your intelligence from. When I was going through the records, it was interesting to see the name of the town, then Germany. Then, France. Then Germany. Then France. Back in the 13 or 1400s there was even a Switzerland in there somewhere.

swampyankee
2012-Jan-16, 03:04 PM
Easy to go back pretty far on my father's side: New Englanders were pretty serious about recording births, deaths, and parentage, so we can reliably go back to the late 16th Century (when great^14 grandad was born near London; he was probably somewhat well-to-do, as one of his sons paid passage to the New World). Mother's side? Not so easy; her paternal grandfather was a foundling.

Perikles
2012-Jan-16, 04:19 PM
Having an unusual surname, some relative of mine has been able to trace it back directly to about 1750. But the first record of it is in year 1222, limited to an obscure village in Bedfordshire, England, where the graveyard has plenty of the same name. A rough calculation, based on 30 years per generation, tells me that I have 67,108,864 ancestors from the year 1222, when the population of Britain was 2 million(?). This puzzles me. Inbreeding comes to mind.

Trebuchet
2012-Jan-16, 04:38 PM
Yep, the further back you go the likelier you are to learn you are your own cousin. You may not even have to go all that far back -- both my wife and I have ancestors who who were married first cousins within the past 200 years. We also have some ancestors in common, although we don't have children anyhow.

Now that I'm retired, I'm starting to think of doing some genealogy again. We were very active in it for a while but stopped about 10 years ago when we started having to take care of ill parents so much. They're all gone now so perhaps we'll get going again. Internet resources have no doubt changed enormously since we've been "away".

Grey
2012-Jan-16, 05:56 PM
Yep, the further back you go the likelier you are to learn you are your own cousin.Not far back at all for me. My father's father and my mother's mother had both died when they were relatively young. So when my parents were dating, they'd sometimes bring their parents along instead of leaving them alone at home (I think the world of dating must have been very different then...). One night my mother saw her father getting dressed up, and asked him where he was going. Turns out he was taking my father's mother out to dinner, this time without the kids along. And so, not long after my parents were married, my mother's father married my father's mother. Which makes my parents step-brother and step-sister, my father is also my uncle and my mother my aunt, and I'm my own cousin. :) That also made it easy to decide whose side of the family we should visit on holidays.

Trebuchet
2012-Jan-16, 06:08 PM
I'm my own grandpa! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_My_Own_Grandpa)

swampyankee
2012-Jan-16, 07:13 PM
In a lot of parts of Europe, marriage between first cousins was fairly common, mostly because of inheritance laws.

Trebuchet
2012-Jan-16, 09:35 PM
In a lot of parts of Europe, marriage between first cousins was fairly common, mostly because of inheritance laws.

Especially among the nobility. That even extends somewhat to the present day; Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are both direct descendants of Queen Victoria. Not first cousins but about 4th cousins. Here in this country, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were also cousins, although not particularly close.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-16, 10:02 PM
4th cousins? The only reason that's known is because someone sat down and traced the lineages, at 2nd cousin or so it's not a lot of people who know all of them.

I know for my ancestors, the great2 layer only has 14 different people in the 16 places.

Noclevername
2012-Jan-17, 12:15 AM
My mother's side of my family has been traced to a specific neighborhood in Naples. My father's grandparents came to the U.S. in the late 1800s from Calabria; in Italy it would have been a scandal for two people from those areas to get married. There are no detailed records of how the rest of my father's family came over, but let's just say it was to get away from some trouble with a few "colorful characters" and possibly involved name changes and gratuities to immigration officials.

The Backroad Astronomer
2012-Jan-18, 04:46 PM
4th cousins? The only reason that's known is because someone sat down and traced the lineages, at 2nd cousin or so it's not a lot of people who know all of them.

I know for my ancestors, the great2 layer only has 14 different people in the 16 places.
I actually know where one of great great grandfathers is buried. One of my middle names is Philip which was handed done from grandfather, who got it from his grandfather which is the great great grandfather. He is buried in a cemetary near where my road goes into town. In small towns in kind of easy to know many generations of your family. Sometimes you know them without knowing they are family.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-18, 08:51 PM
Not the point, one great great grandfather is easy, but do you know every grandchild of every sibling of every grandparent you have?

Trebuchet
2012-Jan-18, 11:23 PM
Not the point, one great great grandfather is easy, but do you know every grandchild of every sibling of every grandparent you have?

That would be all of my second cousins. Certainly not off the top of my head, but I've probably got all the data right here in this room. Perhaps even on this computer.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-18, 11:51 PM
I asked that way because it sounded more imposing. :D

Once one gets to third cousins it's hard to avoid the possibility of accidental intermarriage, fourth and it's really hard. Especially in areas with little mobility.
And I know of no legislation where marrying a second cousin is illegal and several where marrying a first cousin is legal.

Trebuchet
2012-Jan-18, 11:56 PM
If I went to third cousins, quite a few would be in your country! My parents even went over and met some of them.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Jan-19, 12:23 AM
I have a first cousin and many second and likely lots of third cousins in yours. :)

I've even met one who's something like a 13th cousin, the latest common ancestor we could identify was from late 17th/early 18th century.
Which we found out because she was visiting Denmark on a trainee-ship with an organisation I do volunteer work for and in passing mentioned going to a tiny island to look for any gravestones of the family of the guy who emigrated to America and, as I happen to know that one branch of my ancestors is from that island and that all extant church records from there were already computerized and cross-referenced by my father, it was a matter of asking him how I'm related to the guy who left.

Anyway I really posted in response to TheOncomingStorm mentioned knowing where his great2 grandfather is buried, as what looked like a response to me saying that most people don't even know all their 2nd+ cousins so talking about marrying a 4th cousin as if it was a sign of inbreeding is a bit silly.

swampyankee
2012-Jan-19, 12:44 AM
I asked that way because it sounded more imposing. :D

Once one gets to third cousins it's hard to avoid the possibility of accidental intermarriage, fourth and it's really hard. Especially in areas with little mobility.
And I know of no legislation where marrying a second cousin is illegal and several where marrying a first cousin is legal.

I remember reading somewhere ( I cannot remember where, although it was not online) that the Church had rules which forbade blessing marriages (note that the actual sacrament of Holy Matrimony dates from the 15th or 16th Century, and in many polities only nobles would get married: inheritance laws are irrelevant if neither partner has property) when the spouses were nearer than 7th order, which is something like 6th cousins.

The whole cousin nomenclature thing is somewhat confusing. Here's how it's been explained to me:

First cousins have the same grandparents, and are of the same generation.

Second cousins have the same great-grandparents, and are of the same generation.

Third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, and are of the same generation.

Children of first cousins are not second cousins (barring some confusing marital practices ;)); they are first cousins, once removed. To go beyond this, consult a site like http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/cousincalculator.html

Trebuchet
2012-Jan-19, 01:09 AM
Children of first cousins are not second cousins (barring some confusing marital practices ;)); they are first cousins, once removed.

No, that's not quite correct. Children of first cousins are indeed second cousins. "Removed" cousins are in different generations.

Unless you meant that children of your first cousins are not your second cousins. That's correct, they are first cousins once remove.

swampyankee
2012-Jan-19, 02:03 AM
No, that's not quite correct. Children of first cousins are indeed second cousins. "Removed" cousins are in different generations.

Unless you meant that children of your first cousins are not your second cousins. That's correct, they are first cousins once remove.

That is what I meant.