Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chasing Grandmama....

By Jeanne Adams

I've been chasing my husband's Swedish grandmother. Now doesn't that sound exciting?

Relax, people, she's been dead since the 1960s. I mean that "chase" thing metaphorically. You know. Genealogical chasing. I know, I know, it's one of those crazy things I do when I'm supposed to be doing important things like laundry, or paying bills, or taxes.

Hunting the dead. Pretty serious. The Internet has made this brain-frying pasttime a lot easier, but it's still frequently a puzzle. Take Grandma Adams, for instance. She imigrated from Sweden. Her name was Linda Carlson.

Yeah, you guessed it there were hundreds of Carlsons that came to the USA. Literally, hundreds. They came from all over Sweden. Lots and lots and lots of Carlsons. And Andersons. And Dahlstroms. And Olsons. And they named their children Gustave and Olaf and Linda and Emma.

Guess what? Those names I listed? They're all kin in some way to Gramma Carlson Adams. And did any of them leave any trace of who they were or where they were from? Ohhhhhh, no. They came here and got jobs and got married, but they changed their names to Roy, and John, and Elle.

So, it's kind of a puzzle. Truth be told, I actually like puzzles, which is why I do genealogy research. Of course, it's also why I frequently tear my hair out over the aformentioned research.

Ironically, when you get to the whole Adams side of thing? Pretty easy. Just head north on I-95 to Boston. Hang a left, go to Quincy, Massachusetts and pick a graveyard. Can't swing a dead...ancestor...without hitting an Adams relative. Lots of documentation. We genealogy buffs love that documentaiton stuff.

Of course, we have to give a nod of thanks to the Mormons too. They are wicked crazy about preserving genealogical data. They've almost single handedly worked to save all the Ellis Island records.

Problem is, they just store it. They don't authenticate it or check it. There are no genealogy police, at least I don't THINK there are.... (Of course, there supposedly are no fashion police either, but given my atavistic inability to wear white shoes after Labor Day, I believe they do exist.)

Ahem. But I digress.

Here's the problem. People go to Ancestry DOT com, they find their family tree and voila! they import hundreds of years of data, stuff other people have posted.

Geeee, isn't it great?

Not so much.

You see, they don't check the facts. (Remember Joe Friday? Just the Facts?) Well, there are a ton of entries in one of my family trees where people have added "facts." Problem is, those facts - usually extra children no one had ever found before! Wow! - aren't cross-checked. Like, did that kid's birthday fall before the mother turned sixty? What about the four kids on one family tree I just ran across that were born...(drum roll...wait for it...)after the mother was dead!

Miracle birth indeed.

Fact checking is important. Source documents are important. Really. Really. Important.

So, despite the temptation to accept that Lovisa Carlson who came on the ship Chrisitana out of Stockholm is Gramma, as several people have tried to suggest, I've resisted. I know better. I checked the dates. I checked the parents names (which, miraculously, I know!) So, nope. She's not the one.

Its hard to reisist in writing sometimes too. You know, they show stuff on TV - surely THOSE folks did their research right? They got the science right, surely? - or someone writes something in a book and other writers copy it because, well, surely THAT author did his research, right?

Seriously, now. You don't believe that, do you? When I was researching stuff for Dark and Deadly, I had to call my local arson investigator. After I convinced him I wasn't a psycho - hey, it wasn't easy, I was calling to ask him about bombs! - or a firebug, he gave me some interesting info. You can start a fire with a molotov cocktail, but you can't really blow something up. Not really.

Hmmmmm. Not at ALL what I expected. I mean, I'd seen the shots on the movies where someone throws the lit bottle full of gasoline and BLAMMO! Turns out, you get a big whammo, but its all show. Fire. No blammo.

And that bit where someone shoots at a car and it blows up? It so doesn't work that way. Really. You actually have to hit the battery to get that effect. Guess what? That means you actually have to know where the battery IS. I had to go look under the hood of my car to remember where it is on my car. Got another "guess what" for you. It isn't the same on every car.

So, if you wanna shoot one? You gotta know where the battery is on that make and model. Same thing with the gas tank, which, I've been told is just as hard or harder to hit than the battery.

So no blammo with a bullet unless you're really, really, really good and you have to know your cars.

Who knew?

But like the kids that get added to the Family Tree Maker and AncestryDOTcom lists after the poor woman's dead, if you don't check your sources, you get it wrong.

Of course, there's also the issue of getting it totally right, but no one believes it - ask me sometime about the helicopter in the beginning of Dark and Dangerous sometime! - which is a whole different blog. Snork.

One of these days come soon, I'm going to figure out the whole Gramma Adams riddle. The information, as the X-Files likes to say, is out there. I'm pretty good at research. I'm gonna find her. And her brothers and sisters. Allllll fifteen of them. Yep. And hey, they're dead, it's not like they're going anywhere! Haha! (Sorry, genealogical humor there. Oh, the other one is the bumper sticker: I brake for Graveyards, which I do)

So, what about you? Where do your people hail from?

Are they long time Americans (1600's for my family)?

Are they Swedish? Grins.

Or, are they Irish, Scotch, Indian, Latvian or Persian? Or something entirely different?

And have you ever caught a writer in a research mistake?



limecello said...

Yes! (Ok srsly - goodbye GR)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lime! You nabbed da boide! And yet your saying goodbye?

Donna MacMeans said...

Oh Lime - you beat me!

My mother's line is actually pretty easy to trace. My mother's grandparents came over from Ireland and wrote out the ancestry for their 10 children. Both of my father's parents, though, were adopted. My father's sister - the only one left of that generation - has provided some clues and information I never knew while my parents were alive, but still it's difficult to track when names change in adoption form orphanages that have burned down. My daughter has done some tracking. We have a lot of history and checking on my husband's side of the family. I was frequently told that his family has a direct line to a president. Nope - can't find it. I think that was wishful thinking on their part.

Just thought I'd add that I did some fact checking on cars when I was writing my romantic suspense. I discovered the air bags don't go off the way I wanted them to - darn - had to rewrite that scene.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, you gotta answer the question too...where do your people hail from, and ever caught a writing in a mistake?

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Jeanne -

Your post made me think of that commercial where the father and son go to Ireland to celebrate their heritage only to discover their ancestors were from Sweden. Love that commercial.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Donna! Yeah, adoptions are really tough. And the burned down thing? The Southern courthouses burning in Sherman's march to the nemesis.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I love that one too, Donna. I love the "and we got new sweaters..."


Dorthy said...

My family hails from. . . well I know that some generations back my Maternal Grandma's side is from Chile. And my Maternal Grandpa's side I think haled from England.

But we also have ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and a few other places.
Everytime I used to ask I'd get "your a Hinze 57"

I have a 2nd cousin (I think she's a second cousin, she's my moms cousin) who is trying to research that side of the family, from what I understand she has gone back a looooong way. I know she said that she hit a break when she found that one of our ancestors had done some of the research themselves, which got her back quite a few more generations.

The same cousin has been tracing my maternal grandfather's side of the family too. Someone said that side was done and traced back to biblical times, but I dotn' know for a fact, I haven't looked into it.

I do know that my Hubby's Maternal side is Swedish. But I haven't researched his family too much. Don't really get along with my MIL and I'd have to go to her with my questions.

I haven't read Dark and Dangerous yet, but when I do, I'll remember to ask you about that helicopter

Good luck catching your husband's Swedish grandmother, and her 15 siblings!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Dorothy! I'd have to say you know a lot on the genealogy front. So many people don't even know where to start, but you do. :>

Happy Reading too! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Off to dream about chasing crazy aunties and grannies in 19th century dresses, who are avoiding me by communicating with their iPhones.

Yes. I really did dream that once. I'd been doing too much chasing the dead. I put it away for a month or two. Wrote a book. Felt better.

So...I digressed again. Off to bed!

Helen said...

Congrats limecello have fun with him

Great post I have never done any family tracing myself but someone has put up The Urry family tree on the internet and it goes back to William The Conquorer this is the web page it is very interesting there is a coat of arms and all, a lot of work went into it
I have emailed Mark who did the work a couple of times and sent him some information.
This is from my fathers side I have yet to find anything from my Mothers side. I do know that most of my ancestors came from Scotland and England
As for catching a writer out on facts no not yet I haven't but that is because I probably don't know enough about the things they are writing about LOL.

Have Fun

PinkPeony said...

Hi Jeanne! Congrats, Lime!

On catching a writer's mistake...sometimes if the locale of the book takes place in the SF Bay area, I'll catch a few, like Mr. Gorgeous drove across the Bay Bridge to Sausalito. And there was was a heroine who was in San Francisco..the scene took place during the wee hours of the evening during the summer and she was wearing a slip dress, no wrap...and I thought geez, she must be freezing to death because even in the summer, SF is cold at night.

My cousin researched my father's side of the family for her senior project in college. It took her two years and we're still not finished, but we found out that our great-great grandfather came from China in 1852 to SF and made his way to the Idaho basin. He was a successful miner and parlayed his money into a mercantile and restaurant. Today, the Idaho Basin Chinese Museum, displays photos, letters and artifacts that belonged to our family. In 1906, my great-great grandfather took the entire family, six grown children, all the grandkids, and his fortune of $90K USD back to China for a visit. Since his children were born and schooled in the U.S., he wanted them to experience living in China. Unfortunately,two-thirds of them perished from small pox upon their arrival in Hong Kong. A photo of the entire family, which was taken just before the ship set sail from Seattle, graces the cover of Iris Chang's book, "The Chinese in America". I own the book but it wasn't until I saw the original photo did I realize it was my family.

Jeanne, have you checked out the National Archives? They have a lot of info on ship arrivals, passenger manifests, etc. My cousin visited their location in Sf and they pulled all of the ship's records, interrogation files, and immigration documentation for her. Here's the link:

Sorry to be so long winded!

Renee said...

Oh, let's see. Hmmmm, well, Great, great grandpa William Williamson (could they be a little creative) came to America in 1848. He came from Galway, or was it Glasgow? Too bad my grandmother couldn't spell (she could have at least listed a country). And things get better. Good ol' g-pa settled in a county that no longer exists where that county existed. Sure the name of the county exists, it's just clear across the state.

With my Garrison side there are tons of them all over, and with records that go back to the beginning of time (okay maybe that's stretching it a bit), but not mine. Nope, nobody has even heard of Aaron Hannigan Garrison (isn't that Irish?). His name sticks out like a sore thumb, you'd think someone had heard of him.

Ah, then there is my mother's side. Her father is a Jerome, his grandfather was half American Indian, some story about being the half-brother of Jenny Jerome, which means he would have been illegitimate. Yeah, unlikely, but if you see pictures of one of my aunts, I'd say it is possible. And my mother has similarities as well.

Now, granny's (she'd tan me a good one if she knew I called her that) daddy was from Poland who had to change his name because of WWII. And her grandmother who raised her, was the product of a strict Irish Catholic (dd of a cooper, sil of a whiskey smuggler) and a Mormon (Oh, her family disowned her when she married the Mormon-Go, figure).

More than you wanted to know about my ancestry. Hubs, family is quite easy, his grandpa and grandma were first cousins. We've traced them to the English Borders, and then to the Highlands.

Blodeuedd said...

She can always have spelled the name with a K when sailing off ;)

Anyway, not Swedish, we are a more tricky people. My dads family have lived for 500 years here in this village (everything under water before that), and spoken Swedish. But were we came from, who knows? most were surely Swedish, but then there were the Dutch and the Germans too. The same thing goes for my mums family, though I still swear her dad looked a tiny bit Russian. But then they did did burn, kill and rape just that village 300 years back. As for Finnish, well perhaps a tiny drop.

Yup that did not make me any more clever

Anna Sugden said...

Ooh great post, Jeanne - I love to know about family history. Ours is a torturous mess and there are family rows about it!

My mother's side is fairly straightforward - Persian and she's from the Afshars. But, beyond that I don't have much information about the tribes etc.

My father's side is a mix. His maternal grandparents, I believe, escaped Russia during the pogroms and settled in Cardiff. We think they may have originally been from Siberia, but I'm not sure. His paternal grandparents are from Poland and my maiden name Bharier is an acronym for a Polish Rabbi.

Bharier is hard to trace, though someone has done it, because there are so many bastardisations Baharier, Beharier, Bahrier, Barrier, Barrie etc.

My father used to joke, when we were little, that the Great Barrier Reef was actually misspelled and should be the Great Bharier Reef. And that Harrier Jump Jets are missing the 'B' LOL.

As for mistakes in books - I often find loads when books are set in England or Scotland, but not written by someone native. A lot of them come down to making the error of thinking that what you see in films and on TV is how it really is or how it is everywhere. They forget about dramatic licence and context!

The mistake I mention most often is a fluke mistake and I feel sorry for the author, because there is no way she could have imagined something so simple could be wrong. It's to do with a Cary Grant autograph that is apparently signed 'best wishes'. As a collector, I know that unlike many others, he didn't sign 'best wishes'. He signed 'cordially'. *g*.

Anna Sugden said...

PS As you talked about insufficient research - one thing that really does bug me is when people don't do the full research and lay claim to being in a Scottish clan! Just because the surname is linked to a clan, doesn't mean Your Family is linked to the clan! The same applies to a coat of arms. I know lots of stores and websites make shedloads of money by stating you belong to them - but, nine times out of ten, the research is non-existent and faulty.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

Jeanne, I loved this post! It's great!

My mother's family is from Sweden and some of them immigrated here to Iowa in the late 1890s. My mom was able to visit some of her relatives when on a trip several years ago. Her family name was Qvik, but people at Ellis Island wrote it down on legal documents as Quick.
But, my family is really into the Danish side of our family because my grandfather immigrated from Denmark to Iowa in 1911. I have been to Denmark and was able to see his childhood home. That was thrilling and emotional. I have several Danish cousins that are close and we keep in touch frequently.

If you also go to the Ellis Island website, you can find info. I looked up my grandpa's name and was able to see his signature on the ship's manifest. Wow, talk about cool!

Another reason it is hard to find Danish relatives in Denmark is because, until 175-200 years ago, their last names changed to reflect whose son they were. For example, if your father was Niel and your name is Peter, your name would be Peter Nielsen (Peter, son of Niel).

My mom also likes to say, "All good Danes end in -en (names)."

Godt dag! (Good day in Swedish and Danish.)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I don't know a lot about my family history other than hearsay, and not a whole lot of that. Supposedly I am a rich mixture of Black Irish, irish, and scot. I thinki the subject is very exciting but I wouldn't even know where to start tracking either side of my family down.
As to the question, well yes, I read a lot of historicals and have found lots of research errors, I keep reading, unless it totally ruins the story line I can get past it and still enjoy.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Helen! Wow! William the COnquerer! That's impressive. Most of my Mama's side hail from Scotland and Germany, so I know that bit of the world.

Had to LOL about not catching anyone yet. Trust me, as much as you read, and as smart as you are, you will. :> Maybe it's just 'cause you're sticking to the SMART authors who do their research....maybe. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Pink Peony, that is so totally COOL! I love it!

I went and looked at the Chang book. Truly that if amazing. And so sad about the small pox. Urg. Idaho has some wonderful research records. I was helping a friend with some things there and found myself wishing other states were that organized. Sigh.

Since I live in DC I've spent tons of time at the National Archives. Unfortunatley, since no one still living knows where Gramma came into the country, it's a lot of slogging through microfiche. After eight hours of it at the Archives, I found that one Lovisa I mentioned. Urg. My new search is Canada, thinking perhaps she came the northern route.

Margay said...

Some of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower - and some were here to meet them. Some came over at later dates, but all were here by the 1800's. As far as we know (I'm still researching it), we are English, Irish, Scottish, Dutch, French and two types of Indian - one from Maine and possibly Cherokee (at least my dad always said so).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Renee! I feel your pain. My colleague and I, who do this together frequently wish we could dig them up and kill them again for leaving no trace whatsoever. It's not any easier in the 20th century because then people began moving around. Grrrr.

Oh, and the names. "Let's name our son Joseph after dear old dad!" says eldest son. "Oh, yes!" say the 11 brothers. "Let's ALL name sons after dear old Dad!" 27 Josephs later, it's nearly impossible to tell if you've found a cousin or a son, or a grandson. Grrr. Seriously. Dig 'em up, smack 'em around, drop 'em back in a hole.
(Not to speak ill of the dead...snork)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Blodeuedd, staying in one place makes tracking easier. Then again, the whole "name them the same thing" and the intermarrying...

There's one branch of my family that intermarried - not in a squicky way - about twelve times. Now mind you, not a lot of choice in a small town and when everyone had a ton of get the picture. Grins.

Petty cool that you know so much of the history though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Anna! you said: A lot of them come down to making the error of thinking that what you see in films and on TV is how it really is or how it is everywhere. They forget about dramatic licence and context!

Oh, so true! :> I see this with non-native Southerners trying to write something set in the South. Sigh. Also with place, like Pink Peony mentioned with the slip dress after dark in San Fran. Brrrrr! After being there for a week at National a couple of years ago? Nope, no slip dresses!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Dianna! What a fun mix. :> If you ever want to start, let me know, I'll point you in the right direction...grins. Always willing to addict another friend. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

The historical stuff is hard, I think. I mean, barring when a battle happened, because social mores took decades to change and a fad of fashion can be hung onto and mentioned as "ton" in one book, and denigrated as old fashioned in another. Sigh.

SO glad I don't write historicals. Ha! Of course, my body disposal class came out of my frustration in seeing funerals portrayed incorrectly in three or four diffierent books, and that's modern, so...not so different.

Like you, though, if it doesn't ruin the story, I'm gonna keep going.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: ...but, nine times out of ten, the research is non-existent and faulty.

Amen, sister! People frequently take the Adams line - Henry, the immigrant who was the father of presidents John and John Quincy and all those Josephs I mentioned - and direct it back to a nobleman.

Wishful thinking. :>

But that original claim is still out there adn gets perpetuated over and over and over again on AncestryDOTcom. Most of the new researchers don't check. They just think, "oooh, nobleman!"

So much more interesting to be related to the Ap Adams nobility than to the real guys and dolls who were farmers.

I like the real people better, though.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Deb! Wow! How fun! I've been running up on all those relatives you have in Iowa. Grins.

SOme of them married Olsons. Arrrgh!

Alas, Gramma didn't come in at Ellis though. I have scoured those records - bless the LDS Church for preserving them! - and can find no trace of Carlson, Linda, or Karlsson, Linda, or Karlsdatter or Carlsdatter or any of that. I even tried Kilfeltdatter, thinking the matralinial might have been preserved in the daughter. Nope. No such luck.

Now...I'm actually going to learn some Swedish. Sweden has magnificent records. Once I can learn a bit of Swedish for geneaology (as in born, died, boarded the ship "x", married, number of children) I'm delving into the Swedish records. I know I'll find them there. THere have been no wars to burn things over there in Stockholm, and they're duplicated at Lund. Yeah!

Love those Swedes...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Margay! A Mayflower Family! Wow! How cool!

ONe of my DH's relatives stole his wife right out from under Mile's Standish's aristocratic nose. Snork. The Aldens were Mayflower-ers and Priscilla Alden declined to marry Miles Standish and married the DH's ancestor instead.

Totally cool on the Indian heritage as well.

Margay said...

Jeanne, I'm actually descended from five different Mayflower families and I think the Aldens are one of them. I want to find out more about the Indians because my grandmother used to tell me some pretty cool stories. She really fed into my passion for writing with all of the stories she told!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Jeanne!

Ah, genealogy. I don't know a whole lot about my family beyond my grandparents. My mom immigrated from Ireland as a girl, so aside from her immediate family (parents/bros/sis) they're all in Ireland still.

My dad's family has been in the Ohio/Michigan area for generations, & our last name is (or, in my case, was) Adelsperger. Not hard to find each other with a handle like that, you know? :-) Even so, there aren't many of us so not a lot to do there.

As for catching writers in mistakes, boy. I try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Research is hard & sometimes impossible. I laughed out loud at your experience with the arson investigator. I had to call the Secret Service for my last book, & not only did they not tell me squat (they're called the secret service for a reason, turns out) but I'm pretty sure I'm on a few watch lists now. :-)

So I'm a forgiving soul when it comes to accuracy.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, then, Margay, I'll say "Hello, Cousin!" from my DH! Grins.

Gotta love those Mayflower people. THey wrote it allllll down.

*Thank you, ancestors!*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan said: I had to call the Secret Service for my last book, & not only did they not tell me squat (they're called the secret service for a reason, turns out) but I'm pretty sure I'm on a few watch lists now. :-)

I know what you mean. I'm not sure but what the arson call got me on the remaining few watch lists I wasn't on. (Hey, I live in DC and work from home. I end up being everyone's neighborhood's clearance check!)

TOTALLY cool on the Irish roots there, and so near! THat makes tracking a lot easier. Grins. And yes, Adelsperger does make it easier too.

I bet that's one of those "if I find another one, I'm related to them" thing. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Had to LOL too, Susan, about the tolerance. I'm pretty tolerant too, on most of it. Grins.

Most of it...

Dorthy said...

This has nothing to do with the blog today, but I got some heart breaking news today.

One of my favorite authors has passed away.

Kathleen Givens.

Two of her bestfriends (Sherri Browning Erwin and Julia London) are blogging about it and remembering her over at their blog

I'm sorry to be passing on this sad news, but I thought that if she had any friends and fans here they would like to know.

Louisa Cornell said...

Ah, yes, Lime, he always returns to you, the CAD!!

Great post, my dear Duchesse !! I can relate. I have been doing genealogical research on our family for years. The worst part for me has been dealing with my fraternal grandmother's side of the family because her brother has custody of the family Bible that was brought over from Wales. And unfortunately he is a real )_+*(*&*^%^ and won't let anyone look at it, copy it and so far has not answered any of my letters for even a single piece of information from it.

What I do know is that her parents both came from Wales in 1892 as children. I know that my great great grandmother's name was Haradella Hughes. Her husband Griffin Hughes died in a mining accident in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania and left her with nine children to raise alone. She was 30 years old.

My father's ancestors came over from England in the late 1800's as well. His great grandfather was English and his great grandmother was Welsh. They were married in Wales. I do know that. I have a cousin who has done some tracing on that side of the family and apparently we are related to the Earl of Bolton, but on the WRONG side of the blanket. Worse once we get into the legitimate side of the family we are related to that "scandalous actress" who married one of the Dukes of Bolton in the early nineteenth century. Imagine that!

Now my mother's side of the family is a bit more difficult to trace past the Trail of Tears. Her mother was full-blooded Creek and her father was full-blooded Cherokee. Both sides of the family are listed on the rolls of the removal, which means they were forced to walk out to Oklahoma by good old Andy Jackson. I'm not real fond of Andy. My ancestors apparently didn't like Oklahoma. They walked back to Alabama. I come by my stubbornness honestly!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jeanne!

I know MOSTLY where my people hail from...

A few years back a cousin in Tennessee did a whole family research on my Daddy's side of the family all the way back to when the first Willis crossed the ocean in the 1700's. She detailed it in a binder and sent it to the head of each of our families. Daddy had 17 brothers and sisters, so that's a lot of binders.

Mom's family is still word of mouth from Mom and my aunt Glenna. Not only can we trace the paternal side back to Merriweather Lewis and a few Cherokee Indians, but because of the family legacy of the women assuming their married names as their middle names, we can trace the maternal side back to pre-civil war times,too.

As for what part of Eurpoe we came from...England, Scotland and Wales.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Funny story about names and birth records:

A few years back my mother was getting ready to retire and needed a copy of her birth certificate for the SS people or something like that. Now, since she was born at home and her name was entered in the family bible as Mary Katherine Lewis.

She went to her home town courthouse and asked for that name.

Imagine her surprise when NO Mary Katherine was listed as born to her parents. However, a Willy Mae Lewis was on the exact day she was born.

Seems my Grandfather was making a joke at the time to the midwife. See, they already had five sons and one daughter at the time. The other daughter's name was Frankie Lee. So he said, "I guess we should call her Willie Mae, so she has a feller's name, too."

Which the midwife wrote down.

Grandma had better sense and gave her a more fitting name. Thank goodness....or Mom would've ended up...

Willy Willis when she married my Daddy.

(She quickly fixed the goof to her real name!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ah, Dorthy, I'm so sorry to hear that.

Condolences to her family. Thanks for posting.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Louisa! How cool that you know so much! And Drat that uncle for with holding info. Grrrrr.

People don't realize how much better it is to have several folks know what's what - especially if they're already interested. If he were to pass on, without passing all that info on...urg.

It's just all so hard to trace.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

SNork. Willie Mae. Oh, my.

I'll bet her parents never knew either. Seriousl, what did they need the certificate for? So...there it was. Wow, that would have driving an ancestor hunter mad as a hatter in a few decades, trying to find that one.

Louisa Cornell said...

It' okay, Duchesse, my great uncle can't live forever. It will just seem that way to his family. I know! I know! I am a bad, bad girl. Oh well!

Oh, and speaking of finding a research error in a book. I finished a recently published historical set in Regency England in which a certain person was described as having bet his last dollar on something. Dollar? In Regency England? Huh? And no he wasn't an American and no Americans were mentioned in the novel.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Okay, not a research error item, but a not checking with a nurse error:

A favorite author, who shall remain nameless coz I do love her books, wrote a scene where her heroine is escaping the bad guys by going out the hospital her gown...still attached to her IV and the pole. Sigh...had to stop reading that one. Here's why:

Any hospital employee or nurse will tell you

1. stairwells are NOT empty the staff is constantly going up and down them. It's healthier, more time efficient and easier in some cases.

2. IV poles are metal and unweildly. No imagine trying to hurry down the tiled or cemeent stairwell stealthily to get away from the bad guys, only the pole is going: CLANG, CLANG, CLANG...all the way down.

A simple call to any nurse or hospital employee would've stopped that scene in it's tracks.

Kirsten said...

Hi Jeanne! Cool blog. My family is made up of recent immigrants -- my mom came over when she was 6 from Latvia, and my dad's dad came from Lithuania when he was in his 20s. I'm 100% Baltic! :-)

My writing mistakes? I plead ignorance. I probably make TONS of them, but have no idea that I did. Yet. I'm sure once my books get read more widely, they will find tons of mistakes. LOL.

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on the bird. Donna, better luck next time.

Jeanne, having some experience with the court system, I spot mistakes from time to time, things that I figure people got from sloppy TV shows that didn't do THEIR research.

Being married to the dh, I know a lot now about how academia works, and I thus know people screw up the tenure process and hiring procedures in books.

And I once cringed at a reference in a Star Trek novel by a very successful science fiction writer to "the Lost Colony of Roanoke, Virginia." Uh, not so much. That'd be Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

And I make mistakes by trusting things I think I know. Things I've assumed for so long that I figure I must've checked them at some point or learned them from a reliable book in the first place. Uh, no. Those are the most dangerous errors of all because I'm not alert to the need to, you know, check facts.

And I've gotten contest feedback on my historicals that proceeded from the same mistaken premise. The 17th century, contra to what many, many people apparently believe, was NOT MEDIEVAL. It's EARLY MODERN. Life changed. Society changed. Firearms changed. Gaah!

Anyway, I think the whole genealogical research bit is fascinating. I hope you'll share more of your quest.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa said: Dollar? In Regency England? Huh? And no he wasn't an American and no Americans were mentioned in the novel.

Ooooops! Oh, my! That was a MAJOR slip! Snork. What should it have been? Pound, I reckon? Pence? Or are pence pennies?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: A simple call to any nurse or hospital employee would've stopped that scene in it's tracks.

Oh. My. The visual. And those IV poles are HEAVY too, aren't they, so they don't tip over?

Trust me, I am SO glad to have nurse and doctor type people with whom I can check these things. YOu wouldn't believe how many great stories I've had to scrap because the medical stuff just doesn't work the way I want it to/imagine it should. Grins.

Stairwell. Gown flapping. SNORK!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Kirsten! Wow, that's cool! Go Baltic! Grins.

Mistakes are totally easy to make - look at the one Louisa was talking about, the dollar/pound one. Seriously, how hard is that to catch when we think in terms of dollars, and so do the copy editors and editors because we're in the US.

Tough to catch it, I'd bet they read right "over" it.

I know there's an error in Dark and Dangerous. My DH finally read it (insert eye roll here) and said, "Oh, you know that baseball thing you asked me about? Yeah, well you didn't get it exactly right..."

Well for heaven's sake. Why did I even ASK!!! Jeepers.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: And I've gotten contest feedback on my historicals that proceeded from the same mistaken premise. The 17th century, contra to what many, many people apparently believe, was NOT MEDIEVAL. It's EARLY MODERN. Life changed. Society changed. Firearms changed. Gaah!

ISn't that irritating? I've actually gotten contest entries and gone and looked stuff up. I've learned a WHOLE lot about when things started and stopped, and guess what? (Can you tell I like to ask that?) In most of those cases, the entrants HAD done their research and knew their stuff - like when modern warfare began. Or when Queen Bodacia lived. Or when Colt Revolvers came on the scene in America.

Yep, dead on. Yet I know most of thsoe people had to fight to get that recognized. *eye roll* The readers assumed from TV or other stories that they knew when the period started and that the author didn't.


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: And I once cringed at a reference in a Star Trek novel by a very successful science fiction writer to "the Lost Colony of Roanoke, Virginia." Uh, not so much. That'd be Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

Oh my. Heeheehee. That whole life-play-group out on the Outer Banks that do the Lost Colony play would be so surpised to hear they were supposed to be in the mountains of Virginia. (Location of Roanoke, Virgnina, for those not familiar)

Joan said...

Hello cousins!!!

I'm just shouting that out cause after reading this WONDERFUL blog I'm convinced we'll all find out we're blood related.

Ok, so I've always believed myself to be at least half Irish on my Mom's side and German/English on my Dad's

My brother dabbles in geneology, dabbling being the key word but he did trace back a few generations in names which I happened to look at last night. My Mom's side are rift with Murphys Molholans, Hays, O'Briens, O'Neills.

One ancestor Mary O'Brien hailed from Co. Cork and came to Ky in the 1700's with a Catholic Evangelical type organization settling in the Bardstown/Springfield area which IS heavily Catholic and known as Kentucky's "Holy Land".

But went to a family reunion and saw a picture of my Mom's grandfather, Granddaddy Murphy. I kid you not, it looked EXACTLY like a picture I've seen of Geronimo in the past. So...a bit of Native American anyone?

Onto Daddy. His mother was a Baum. HIS grandmother spoke only German. Louisville had a HUGE German population. Always wondered why he liked Bratwurst and sauerkraut so much :-) There were family rumors that we are related to the Warners of Warner Brothers Studios fame (thus related to Bugs Bunny) and that some far removed cousin inherited a castle in England..

Onto the Kayses. Grew up assuming it was English or German in nature however recent casual searching shows it to be a Scots/Irish derivitive...granted my sources are not airtight but it is a common name both first and last in northern England, southern Scotland.

A hearldry source I have says the name come from border clans whose laws included ones governing assistance in rescuing snatched cattle and that order. To go after pilfered livestock and spouses was called "Hot Trod" which...evolved into the expression "Hot to Trot".


So.....I hail from a long line of ancestors "Hot to Trot"

Nancy said...

Louisa, I wrote a scene in my contemporary, which is set in England, in which the heroine leads an exercise class using hand weights. I was on the final read-through when I realized--those weights wouldn't be labeled in pounds but in kilograms. Duh! Glad I caught it and, thanks to the wonders of the web that let me look at UK sites selling exercise equipment, fixed it. But we routinely speak of "pounds" at my gym, and so my eye just glided right past it.

But the dollar in a Regency? Gee.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, JT! You Hot-To-Trot sweet thing, you! Love it!

Well, we may BE related through that Baum thing. You see, Baum and Baumgarten and Baumgardner and Garner (as in James Garner who dropped the Baum or Bum from his Garner) are all kin.

And yes, I'm one of them and so are you, so let's just...oh, sorry, that's a camp song.

Anyway, those Bumgarners/Baumgarners/Baums are major Germans. Totally cool.

Heeeey, Cuz!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: I was on the final read-through when I realized--those weights wouldn't be labeled in pounds but in kilograms.

Good catch, Nancy!

I was reading a friend's mss, regency set, and had to tell her that there aren't any raccoons in England.


Strictly a North American beast. However, all the other readers, being American, just blew right past that one.

We still joke about English Raccoons in the English Dustbins.

Cassondra said...

Hey Jeanne!

Awesome subject, and one dear to my heart, actually, but I will admit right here that I've never actually done the research on the family tree. I have little patience for tedium, and once I made a few clicks on the web, and spent about three days in the library poring over records, I said, "nope, not for me...not now anyway."

Part of that is that I don't have any kids, of course, so there's nobody to pass this info to. I am interested but don't have the time or the patience at this point to do the work involved.

As to mistakes in books, yeah, I see them all the time. Fight scenes, weapons, combat, even the way people THINK about strategy and battle...most people do not think strategically at all--and that often translates into vague, not-really there fights or batttles (which is the better choice, I think) or horrible errors that make me cringe and pull me out of the story.

The trouble, though, is that somebody, somewhere, knows a lot about EVERYTHING. There is only so much research you can do, yaknow? So I try to be somewhat forgiving. If it's not truly offputting, I'll keep reading.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: If it's not truly offputting, I'll keep reading.

That's the key, I guess, isn't it? I can forgive a whole lot if the error's not so egregious that I'm yanked out of the story completely and sitting with the book saying, "Whaaaaaaat?"


On the family research, believe me, you'll find someone to pass it onto, trust me. Just like there's always someone who knows, never underestmate who wants to know what you know about the family. :>

*rubs hands* Perhaps I can addict you just a bit...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, and I'm going to repeat myself and say that I'm SO glad I have you and your resources when it comes to the gun/weapons/strategy stuff? You are a FAB resource.

And my DH knows a ton about battle strategy. Who knew? He's been immensely helpful.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT post, Duchesse! And I am ROFL at the image of you chasing down 19th c. grannies & aunties who have iphones!

My son has lately taken a huge interest in tracing our family members. So far he has traced one ancestor on my paternal grandfather's side back to England in the early 19th c. So much for my thinking they all came over during the potato famine! He hasn't managed to trace anyone back to the auld sod of Ireland yet, though with a name like McGary there HAS to be someone...

And my son has seen first hand the mistakes on some of the sites. I am one of the few remaining family members with knowledge of my maternal grandparents and their sibs and the mistakes are in the birth order of my grandfather's brothers. :-P

As for mistakes in books, my famous example was the book I picked up in 2008 by a very popular author who had the hero taking long motorcycle rides WEST of Los Angeles. As most of us West Coast Banditas and BBs will tell you, that bike better have had water-wings coz the only thing a long way west of LA is the Pacific Ocean! Sorry, I couldn't finish the book, that glaring error was too much for me.

I had a professor write to me after reading TToV and point out that Indiana University has no Engineering department. But the thing is, I never actually stated that my heroine's fiance taught at the same school. ;-)

The devil really IS in the details!


Becke Davis said...

Oh yes, I have definitely caught writers in research mistakes and I dread that happening to me.

Like you, I'm a genealogy geek. I have two problems: on my father's side, the name is uncommon, which is a good thing. The problem is that there are numerous variations on the spelling, and I've reached a point where I'm having trouble separating truth from fiction, since the genealogy "facts" others have posted online don't match up with the records my great-great-grandfather kept. And while my father's family name is uncommon, the line also includes pretty common names like Wood, Smith, Ross, Thompson, Harris and Cherry.

The problem on my mother's side is that pretty much all the names are common. Adams and Davis, for a start, are nightmare surnames to research. And my grandmother, who kept diligent notes, apparently made up half of her information, or assumed everyone in the local cemeteries with the same surname was a relative of some sort.

Ancestry was helpful but got too pricey for me. I've traced my mom's family back to about 1850 and my dad's to 1740. I'm stuck until I have more time (and money) to devote to digging into this research.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi AC!!! I can only imagine the MacGary is truly there on the auld sod somewhere. Grins.

I know my DH's other side is Irish and I can trace them now because I have Canadian databases online. GOT to love those online databases. They have them for Sweden too, I just can't read Swedish. Snork. Gonna fix that...

And oh, my, I had do laugh over this: the hero taking long motorcycle rides WEST of Los Angeles.

Water wings. SNORK! Yep, so true!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Becke! You said: I've reached a point where I'm having trouble separating truth from fiction, since the genealogy "facts" others have posted online don't match up

So true.

Now on the Adams stuff, I can help you. I have TONS of stuff on the Adamses all over the US. Grins.

Becke Davis said...

Oh, and here's a coincidence for you -- when I moved to Cincinnati, I thought the only family connection was a cousin of my mom's and the fact that my mom was born here (even though her family lived in Louisville).

When I started getting into genealogy, I discovered that my father's family had been awarded land in Ohio as payment for service in the Revolutionary War. They lived about 45 minutes away, in Clinton County. My great-great-grandfather was raised Quaker but, like many of my ancestors, became a Methodist minister. He preached the first sermon at a chapel (built in about 1864) that was built by and named after his uncle.

That church is still standing and still in use. It gave me a very weird feeling to visit it and see pictures of my ancestors on the church walls.

I also discovered that the grave of my many-greats-back grandfather, who served in the Revolutionary War, is still standing and has a special marker. I've never seen it in person, but a man I encountered while doing my research took a picture of it and sent it to me. Very, very cool!!

Joan said...

Heeeey, Cuz!

I KNEW I liked you for a reason!!!

This made my day.

Except...I abhor bratwurst and sauerkraut :0

As to mistakes I know that the HBO series ROME had a historian on staff who supervised the script and details. As I watched and various things came up I was relieved to find that I had gotten them correct! I ALWAYS look for more than one resource on any one detail.

And while it did not derail me from reading the story, a recent paranormal book set in 400 or so AD Roman Britain had the Celtic Druid hero going into a tavern, up to the barkeep and on up into second story rooms.

I've not officially looked it up, but am fair sure that those terms and that type of building does not belong in that era in Britain.

Becke Davis said...

Jeanne -- I'll take you up on that offer! I have lots of old books on the Adams family that I bought to help with research, but which didn't end up being my line.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Becke, that is totally awesome! And I love the "random act of genealogical kindness" the guy did by sending you the picture of the marker. :> That's so neat!

(I'm such a genealogical geek, aren't I?)

I felt the same way when we went to NH and saw the church where one of the DH's ancestors had preaced for 65 years. He lived to be 98 and was buried in the churchyard. Pretty darn cool.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

JT said: Except...I abhor bratwurst and sauerkraut

Ha! So do I, JT. So do I.

Potatoes, now...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Becke, I have Adams-book-lust. Snork.

Will work for books....Ha!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Do you have Andrew N. Adams's book? It's THEE Tome on the Henry Adams lines out of New England. Are your people out of Georgia/NC or out of Pennsylvania/Ohio?

Becke Davis said...

My grandmother (also a Davis, although not my husband's line)grew up in the Berkshires of Massachusetts in a town called Adams. She married an Adams. I have a letter my grandfather's father wrote to my grandmother's father before they got married. He said he was looking forward to meeting them and looking up the "hundreds of relatives" in the Troy area.

There were many Methodist preachers on this side of the family, too, and the Methodist church has helped me nail down a lot of information. I've gone back to Henry Clay Adams, born 1839, who is listed on the Methodist church obituary as being born in Troy, New York to an itinerant Methodist minister only identified as A. Adams. Can't find any record of him there.

The family lived in Illinois in the 1800s but when Henry signed up for the Civil War, he did it in Marion, Iowa. Can't find relatives there, but I'm assuming there were some.

Pat Cochran said...

Thank goodness for my Cousin Jasper
on Dad's side of the family! He is
the one who is into genealogy and
keeps us all up to date on family
news. If left up to me, we would
probably still be ancestor-less,
information-wise!! LOL Oh, my ancestors are from Spain, Mexico
and Germany on Mother's side. On
my Dad's side: Spain & Mexico. My
children: Spain, Mexico, Germany
(from both Honey & I), Ireland, and Native American!

Pat Cochran

Becke Davis said...

My grandmother always said her father was part Cherokee, but I've never found anything to confirm it.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jeanne, loved your post. From one research geek to another. Actually something that drives me mad is when people talk about music in historicals. Generally they start talking about a concert they went to where they heard Vivaldi or Bach, both or whom were completely unknown in the early 19th century. J.S. Bach's popularity stems from Mendelssohn's concerts of his music in the 1830s (far too late for the Regency) and Vivaldi was completely unknown until just before the Second World War. Just because the dates fit (both died in the 18th century so yeah, if you're looking no further, they sound like they'd be OK and hey, they're popular now, so clearly they had to be popular in the Regency period, yes? NOOOOOO!). It strikes me as odd that people will research minutiae of costume and not take that small extra step with something like music. And you can never assume that someone won't know better - someone ALWAYS knows better!

Speaking of your Swedish relatives made me laugh. My Danish relatives were a stack of Hansens and Andersens who just intermarried through the generations. It's like trying to trace Smith and Jones in the English speaking world!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Pat, that's totally cool! And yippee for Cousing Jasper. Grins. Always good to have one of us crazy ancestor hunters in the family. :>

Virginia said...

Great post! I really don't know a lot about our family tree! Someone in the family was tracing my fathers side but she passed away before she finished, I am not sure how it came out! I know my mother was mostly Irish and father had some Irish and Indian, and maybe some Dutch. I'm not sure what else.

Buffie said...

Jeanne, I too am a genealogy geek :-) I go through times where that is all I do and then there are months where I don't touch the stuff. I have hit a dead end (no pun intended) while researching two branches of the family. I have my father's side back to the early 1800s when they came from Germany. Problem is the name is Carp here in the US but in Germany is was Karp or Karpe, all depending on who was writing it!! And there are tons of Karps, Karpes, and Carps out there!!

The other dead end is with my hubby's family. I have my MIL side back to the late 1700s, but the so-many-times great grandmother was Indian and no records thus far.

But like you said, I will keep checking and searching and hoping to find out more about them. I think AncestryDOTcom is a great place to start, but not the best place to do your research. I find I have been luck looking at individual state and county websites.

I hope you find Grandmama!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Anna! You said: And you can never assume that someone won't know better - someone ALWAYS knows better!

SOOOOO true! You had mentioned the music thing to me and I did the smack-forehead thing. I remembered reading that JS Bach wasn't known in his time, but I would never have 'translated' that to the period. :> Weird stuff.

Oh, and on the helicopter thing, that's one where an expert DID call me on the detail. I taught a class at my local community college this last fall. One of the guys in the class asked me about the helicopter. "It can do more than that," he said.

"I know, but no one believed it, so..."

Kinda like Nancy's issue of modern warfare starting in the 1700's. Hey, just because they still USED swords didn't mean they ONLY used swords!

Heck, they still used mules in WWII and Korea, so muleteams were standard Army stuff. Do people believe that? No. Grins. BTW, found that little piece of trivia out because one of the relatives - a city boy, bless him - ended up being a muleteer in WWII. He didn't know one end of an a** from another, but he was a muleteer nevertheless! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Virginia! Thanks for popping in. Of course, my first thought about the Aunt was..."Wonder what happened to all the research?"


Buffie said...

Anna, love your comment about Smiths and Jones, although it hits pretty close to home. My MIL was a Smith before she married a Johnson. Some days I get a headache trying to figure out if that Smith or Johnson is one of my hubby's!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Buffie! Oh, how cool that you're a genealogy geek too! :>

I know what you mean about those dead ends, and yes, pun IS intended. Grrrr.

My mother's side, Ferguson, goes back to the boat in 1700. Problem? About 15 John Fergusons on the boat and all of them with wives named Nancy, or Polly, or Beth or Sally, all of which at some point were nicknames for Elizabeth, Nancy, Sarah, etc. Which one's our guy? Who knows?

I figure someone does, somewhere and eventually there will be cross checkable databases, but...until then...

And I could not agree more with you that local records are far better than Ancestry. Not to knock Ancestry because they have some awesome stuff, but they also have all that I'm-an-amateur-and-I'm-loading-everyones-data-into-my-tree stuff. I don't take nuthin' for granted and it better have two sources, or it doesn't get added. I may put something in my notes as a possibility - even think that it's a probability - but if I'm not sure? It doesn't go as "fact."

Grins. I'm a purist. Ha!

Sounds like you are too.

I have one other roadblock in South Carolina. Dead guy. No will. Kids all farmed out to distant - and I mean distant - relatives. Wife remarries.


I'm digging them up, I tell ya', and smackin' 'em around!


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Buffie, I hear that! Your Karp/Carps and Anna's Hansens and Andersons have a corrolary in those Carlsons. Carlson/Karlsson was SO common. Oh, and Anderson? Anderson is common in EVERY Scandanavian country. So if the clerk wrote it down wrong - Danish instead of Swedish, or Norwegian instead of Danish - you're screwed.

Buffie said...

Well it is nice to know that we are all the same boat :-) And maybe at one time, we literally were in the same boat - HA!

Buffie said...

Oh Jeanne -- I'm trying to upload a mobile photo to my FB account. You will love it -- my youngest son with some of his wrestlers and the belts he made for them. LOL!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said

Always willing to addict another friend. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

If I've said it once I've said it twice, the Banditas are enablers as a whole......LOL You guys constantly feed my book habit.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OMGosh, Buffie, I was LOL about the boat. AND the little wrestler. TOO funny.

Dianna, yes, yes we are enablers. I'm sure there's a 12 step program for a book addiction, but who the heck wants to get OVER it?

Not me!


Joan said...


Karpe Diem Buffie :-)

Oh, come know you wanted to say it.

And hey! We could be cousins too. My maternal grandfather was a...get ready for it...Smith!!!!

Jeanne said Heck, they still used mules in WWII and Korea, so muleteams were standard Army stuff. Do people believe that?

On NYD in the Rose Parade? They had the Marine Corp mule team. These guys train all branches of the military how to mule drive and the use of pack animals...for the mountains of Afghanistan...

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, Jeanne, you've got to be careful of that stuff that's right but nobody will accept. Before I was published I was working on a story set in 1750 and the heroine's sister was an amateur scientist. She used the word 'prototype' which is a good 17th century word (suspect it's from the scientific revolution that was part of the Restoration, a lot of scientific vocab stems from things like the founding of the Royal Society). Everyone who read that first chapter told me 'prototype' was a modern word. I ended up changing it because I knew unless people went to the trouble of checking the OED, they would continue to tell me it was unhistorical. Sigh.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: I ended up changing it because I knew unless people went to the trouble of checking the OED, they would continue to tell me it was unhistorical. Sigh.

Exactly. Had to do that with the helicopter. I had it doing some things that a certified, expeirence military pilot said it not only COULD do but that he had done.

No one believed it so I had to change it. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: On NYD in the Rose Parade? They had the Marine Corp mule team. These guys train all branches of the military how to mule drive and the use of pack animals...for the mountains of Afghanistan...

COOL! I have it DVR'd so I can watch it in peace. I love all the floats and bands adn flowers, but my boys have little to no patience with that. I'll be sure to watch for the Marine mule team. :>

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I used to do genealogy research but haven't had the time in several years. I did stumble upon the storage bin full of documents when i was culling closets a few days ago.

My maternal side is pretty well documented. Goes back to Germany before the Revolution. A man and his son came to this country and fought in the Revolutionary War. Yes, I could probably join the DAR. :)

Dad's side -- big ol' brick wall beyond his grandparents. Frustrating.

p226 said...

And have you ever caught a writer in a research mistake?..

TONS. Usually regarding weapons. Often regarding tactics. And nearly any time some author tries to delve into the world of computer technology. Especially computer investigations.

They've done it badly enough that it's killed books for me.

There was an episode of some show, it was CSI I think. In it, one of the characters was buried alive. With something terrible, ants I think. And as soon as they showed the webcam focused on our poor hero, I said "gotya!" Because, you give me a badge, a webcam, a situation where warrants are not required due to imminent bodily harm, and three minutes, I'm going to have a physical location for that webcam.

But noooooooo. That didn't fit the plot. The plot required a half hour of drama while detectives watched the webcam. And then when they finally showed the webcam's IP address, it started with something like 325.x.x.x. The problem is that octets in IP addresses are 8 bit binary, which allows for a maximum number of 256 if every bit is set to one, ie: "11111111."

The next day, my boss says "You didn't happen to catch CSI last night did you?"


"What'd you think?"

"I thought it was total bullshit."

He then laughed and described how he went through the exact same mental processes I did when we saw the webcam, and then the IP address.

I never watched CSI again after that. I doubt my boss did either. I can tolerate minor technical screwups. But not huge ones. Not scewups like "shooting a car with a small-arm makes it asplode." No it doesn't. Even shooting the battery isn't a guarantee. And I've shot at enough containers of gasoline, even using tracers, to know that you're not going to make a car blow up by shooting the gas tank. You're going to cause a gas leak. Nothing more.

Hah, sorry for the rant. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Trish! It's fun, isn't it? It's also kind of nice that it's a hobby you can put away for a while and come right back to it. As I said before....they're dead. They'll wait. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Pretty cool about the Rev War anestors too, Trish. I'm not a joiner, or I'd be in the DAR and the UDC, and the Colonial Dames...

BUt you know, they want dues, and they have meetings and want you to help wint projects and stuff. I have hard enough time manging to get coffee in the morning.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

See! I wasn't kidding! You really CAN'T blow up a car by hitting the gas tank. Snork. P226, you weren't my source on that one, but its nice to have your corroboration. Grins.

Have to say that I was quite put off by that episode too. If you can get a signal IN, then you can find the signal, right? Irked the hell out of me. Then again, I was already irked on that one because they killed a dog - well, the villain did, but seriously. Nasty. I was already inclined to be ticked off then that. Hmmmm.

However, I did/do like the series for other things. My DH absolutley despises the Miami one though. Everytime he sees Horation Caine he snarls. Heehee. It's fun to watch that reaction as much as it is to watch the show.

limecello said...

Er, ok - so I fell asleep? Got distracted? Yes. I have caught authors with research mistakes. Have even written numerous blog posts about it :X
As for my people... I only know about my extended family for like 1 generation above me, and that's huge enough :X Also like nobody knows anything so it'd be super difficult to find out anything.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Srsly Lime? Heehee. I blame it on the Rooster. He's a heck of a distraction. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, thanks everyone for keeping me ocmpany today. I'm off to chase some grannies....


Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch The Addams Family, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.