Unlike Snowbrush, I include everybody I can find, not just direct ancestors. Not only do I have siblings of direct ancestors, I have spouses, step-relatives, in-laws, relatives of in-laws and step-relatives who are not really my relatives, lots of people you might not expect. I don't copy from other genealogies except when I receive very reliable information from sources that I trust. I have 3669 people in my file (which I thought was a lot until I learned that Jane C., a woman in our former church, has more than 8000 people in her file), but only about two dozen are direct ancestors and descendants:
- I have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. That's 9 right there.
- On my mother's side I know her of course, plus both grandparents, all four great-grandparents, and two of my eight great-great-grandparents. That is 9 more.
- On my non-bio-dad's side (I don't really know if he adopted me officially, but his name appears on a birth certificate issued when I was six, the only birth certificate I have ever had, even though he didn't meet my mother until I was 5), I know him, his parents (I suppose they are my pseudo-grandparents), and all four great-grandparents. That's 7 more, but I also suppose they don't count at all. It is on this non-bio Brague side, thanks to a treasure trove of information that a distant relative sent me, that I am supposed to be President Grover Cleveland's third cousin, 11 times removed, through Dad's maternal grandmother, Bloomy Jane Cleveland. But it is a fiction since my dad is "non-bio".
- On the bio-dad front, the one that really counts in genealogy (but in no other way), I know his name, both grandparents, two of the four great-grandparents, and even two of the eight great-great-grandparents.. That's 7 more.
So out of the 3669 names, there are 9 direct descendants and 16 direct ancestors. All the rest of the 3669 stem from the fact that one of my grandmothers was the sixth of nine children and the other one (but she was the non-bio one) was the eighth of ten children, and my stepmother (again, a non-bio person) was second oldest of ten children. I have included their extended families in my tree since we are, after all, somehow related. It may not be, how you say, kosher, but the names have to be somewhere so I included them in my family tree.
The moral of this post is: (vote for as many as apply)
A. RWP is a liar, a cheat, and a charlatan of the worst kind.
B. RWP tries to be thorough.
C. RWP is an extremely needy person.
D. RWP is kidding himself.
E. RWP is pathetic.
E. RWP is a brilliant researcher with an unusual background.
G. RWP is to be pitied.
H. RWP is a pilgrim in search of a city.
I. RWP is _________ (fill in the blank yourself).
I close this post with an assignment for you. Watch and listen to Sister Sledge sing 'We Are Family' (3:26) from 1979 and then try to get that earworm of a chorus out of your head.