Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life Isn't Some Sad Country Song

So, I've been on this genealogy kick {again} since I met one of my third cousins on my dad's side last week.  I've had an interest in family history in a while, and every now and then I'll get on a "binge" where I try to uncover what I can.  Having met this cousin spurred me on to find more info.

Actually, it spurred me on to try to collect information on Ron's side of the family - we really had precious little information.  Kind of sad.  I would love to be able to pass down Moira's family history to her, but it stopped not that far back.


Source: bit.ly via Sarah on Pinterest

So I googled and binged {that is "bing"-ed...I don't have an eating disorder!} and I searched and tried to uncover whatever I could find in Ron's family history.  As luck would have it, I just happened to stumbled upon a wealth of information someone on his mother's side had posted through Family Tree Maker, which happens to be the ancient software I am using.  Well, I wound up finding a little gold mine there and managed to input quite a lot of information into Ron's mom's side of the family tree.

Then I thought...I wonder...could I actually google and bing and find similar information on the Fontenot side??  So I googled and I binged some more {ok, throw in some leftover Easter dinner and apple pie, and maybe it was more like the other "binged"} and I did, in fact, find some wonderful information.  In fact, I discovered far more information than I could have hoped for!

I busied myself for hours yesterday inputting information into my database.  Moira busied herself all day {it's her spring break} doing other stuff and seemed quite content...just in case you think I just ignored her all day {I didn't!}.

At the end of it all, I excitedly ran the "kinship report" for Ron - this report would list every single person in the database and how they are related to Ron.  I was excited to see what would come up.

{cue the record player needle scratching across the vinyl}

Well...here is what I found:

{cue some kind of sappy country song}

Ron was somehow:
his own 7th cousin once removed,
his children's father and their 7th cousin twice removed,
his father's son and his 7th cousin,
his grandfather's grandson, 6th cousin once removed, and 5th cousin three times removed.

WHAT THE WHAT????

I had been so excited to share all this information with him.  Keep in mind that Ron's been really stressed lately, so when I shared this all with him he was not the least bit amused.  I was fascinated and bewildered and wondered how this could be.  I thought, hey, I guess that's what you get when you unearth generations of family history.  There's bound to be an "oops" somewhere, right?!

Ok, so here's the thing.

When you're doing your family history, you want to make sure that somewhere along the way you go in and view the little "All In One" Tree Chart which shows all the boxes with names and the lines connecting them to their parents/siblings/spouses/children.  And when you do that, you want to make sure that way way way back in the beginning of your family you don't show the same guy being a son twice over to his parents in addition to being married twice over to the same woman, who then in turn have the same child...twice over.  Seriously.  That's what happened.

It's kind of like genealogy spell check.

Make sure you only have individuals entered once...
or you could open up a big ole can of worms.

I'm sure as with most families, there are some skeletons in some ancient closets {or not so ancient....and on both sides of the family...not just his}, but you just want to be sure that you're not making up skeletons before you share with your husband that he's his own 7th cousin once removed!

Error fixed.

We now have a nice normal looking family tree.
And no one is related to anyone more than the usual single time.
And our life isn't some sad country song anymore!
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