I come from a long line of, well,…….people.

I’ve never thought of myself as having an addictive personality (notwithstanding my odd dependence on Klondike bars). Generally, when some new fad comes along I partake for a while, then move on to the next mind-numbing craze. But I’m hooked forever on this.

Just one word (no, not plastics), Genealogy.

“My great, great, great grandparents just before their sentencing.”

Yes, I am now irretrievably joined at the hip to Ancestry.com in all its tedious, fact-finding glory. I would have been happy if I could just have learned more about the bejeweled great-grandmother who, it is said, bore an uncanny resemblance to Lilly Langtree. Or the unmet wealthy uncle who for some obscure reason, left me out of his will. The board game was named after him, you know.

"I hereby bequeath to all my future descendants, except Big Al,........"

But no, Ancestry.com (now affectionately known as my “auntie”), their greedy mouths salivating at my every click, deign to send me “hints” about each relative who pops up. Not clicking on a hint about your relative is somewhat akin to trying to stop smoking (or Klondike bars) cold turkey. You can’t do it. Who knows, Jack the Ripper may appear on the very next limb of the tree. That gives you some idea of how desperately I want to be related to somebody famous.

"Uncle Jack, is that you?"

This genealogy thing is not for the faint of heart. It is time-consuming and frustrating to the max. Like the time I traced the “Francher” lineage back to the 1300’s, only to realize it was actually supposed to be “Fancher”. I’m glad though. Those Franchers were major players in the Spanish Inquisition and word is the descendants of their victims are still out for blood.

"What say ye, a Fancher or a Francher?"

But I digress. Anyway, one hint leads to another, leads to another and well, you get the idea. Before you know it, you are knee-deep in Smiths, Joneses and Browns. But that in no way means you are average or uninteresting. Why, did you know that my great, great, great, great something or other, William Jones, was “kilt” by an indian? I didn’t even know he was in India.

"Never again shall this white man call the tech help line!"

But I must admit, it is fascinating to find out how many different names are in your past. I now regret making fun of Englebert Humperdink (we’re 3rd cousins-in-law on my wife’s side). I once worked with a man named (and I am not making this up), Lionel Lillicrap. If he shows up on my family tree, I will call him to apologize for all those weird thoughts I had. After all, I have a few funny names in my family.





Well, thanks for reading this blog. I fully realize that enduring recitation of someone’s family tree is only marginally less excruciating than hanging wallpaper.

"I didn't realize how much fun this could be until I tried reading Big Al's blog."

As a reward for your indulgence, I am sending each of you a free 3 month subscription to my auntie. Be afraid, be very afraid!