|A scientist had
developed his own ultra high speed computer and was attempting to market
it himself. He went to a prominent company and brought the computer into
the CEO's office. The scientist gave his presentation to the busy
executive and asked him to pose any question he desired to the computer.
The CEO said, "OK, where's my father?" The computer replied
that the man's father was fishing in Minnesota. The executive laughed
and told the scientist to leave. "My father has been dead for 20
years." The scientist asked for a second chance and said perhaps
the phrasing of the question caused the computer to err. If the CEO
would rephrase the question, the scientist believed the computer would
answer correctly. "So, where is my mother's husband?" the CEO
asked. The computer responded, "Your mother's husband died 20 years
ago; your father just landed a five pound trout."
Warning: Genealogy Pox, very contagious
SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates
and places. Patient has a blank expression and sometimes deaf to
spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind except
feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has compulsion to write letters. Swears at the mailman when he
doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places, such as
cemeteries, ruins and remote desolate country areas. Makes
secret night calls, hides phone bills and mumbles to self. Has
strange faraway look in eyes.
TREATMENT: Medication is useless, Disease is not fatal
but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend workshops
subscribe to magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where
they can be alone.
REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease, is the
sicker the patient gets, the more they enjoy it.
Genealogy is my pastime; I shall not stray.
It maketh me to lie down and examine half-buried
It leadeth me into still courthouses.
It restoreth my ancestral knowledge...It leadeth me into
paths of census record and ship passenger lists for my Surnames' sake.
Yea, though I wade through the shadow of research
and microfilm readers, I shall fear no discouragement, for a strong
urge is with me.
The curiosity and motivation, they comfort me.
It demandeth preparation of storage space; for the acquisition of
It annointeth my head with burning, midnight oil;
My family group sheets runneth over.
Surely, birth, marriage and death record dates shall
follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the House of
the Family History Seeker forever.....
Many many years ago when
I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse, although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad and so became my
Though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my step-mother.
Father's wife then had a son, who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson, for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too.
If my wife is my grandmother, then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it, it simply drives me wild.
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!
The Mile Marker
Three Irishmen, Paddy, Sean and Shamus, were stumbling home late
one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old
"Come have a look over here", says Paddy, "It's Michael
O'Grady's grave, God bless his soul, he lived to the ripe old age of
"That's nothing", says Sean, "here's one named Patrick
O'Toole. It says here that he was 95 when he died."
Just then, Shamus yells out, "But here's a fella that died when
he was 145 years old!"
"What was his name?" asks Paddy.
Shamus lights a match to see what else is written on the stone marker,
and exclaims, "Miles from Dublin."
Life in the 1500's
Most people got married
in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still
smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so
brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o. Baths equaled a
big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of
the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women
and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was
so dirty you could actually loose someone in it. Hence the saying,
"Don't throw the baby out with the bath water". Houses had
thatched roofs. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was
the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets... dogs, cats
and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it
rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall
off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed
a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could
really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds
with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem.
Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies. The floor was
dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying
"dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors which would get
slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to
help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more
thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a
"thresh hold". They cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle
that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added
things to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat.
They would eat the stew for dinner leaving leftovers in the pot to get
cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had
food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: peas
porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days
old." Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really
special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out
some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that
a man "could really bring home the bacon." They would cut off
a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew
the fat." Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a
high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This
happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes...
for 400 years. Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers
- a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trencher were
never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating
off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth." Bread was
divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf,
the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper
crust". Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The
combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone
walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for
burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and
the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if
they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".
England is old and small and they started running out of places to bury
people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a
house and re-use the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25
coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a
string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the
ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the
graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard
shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the
bell" or he was a "dead ringer".
A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was
fascinated as he fingered
through the old pages. Suddenly something fell out of the Bible. He
up the object and looked at it closely. What he saw was an old leaf that
been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found,"
the boy called
out. "What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked. With
a young boy's voice, he answered:............................................................................
"I THINK IT'S ADAM'S UNDERWEAR!