The Family Tree

by JL Beeken on 9-12-2011

A woman wrote a few months ago asking me (in no-nonsense terms) to remove her mother’s name from my family tree because she was NOT related in that line.

And I thought, How odd. Because I could swear she was, being fairly closely related myself and the point wasn’t really up for contention. She wasn’t the average fifth-cousin-4-times removed where I might have made a mistake.

So, I wrote her back and said, Didn’t you know that [so-and-so] is your 3rd great-grandmother? Expecting her to say, Oh, of course, it just slipped my mind.

But she said, No, I didn’t.

And again, I thought, How odd. Doesn’t everyone know who their 3rd great-grandmothers are?

So, of course, I gleefully volunteered a short history going back 250 years, (hors d’oeuvres if you will) fully expecting her to say, Oh, my goodness, how fascinating, I had no idea, tell me more.

And then off we’d go into a deep friendship that would last the rest of our lives during which she’d scan and send me all her old photos. And all the old family diaries and letters and everything.

Nope. Never heard from her again.

As it turns out the only interest she had in all this was to get her mother’s name off the Internet because she had bad credit and, unfortunately, the identical name. I guess she was too busy going from site to site trying to exorcise this devil.

You never know what’s going to bring a cousin to you and maybe it’ll work out.

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