ON GENEALOGY
 
I'm a genial genealogist,
I seek the secrets of the past,
Whether squeaky clean or scarlet-lettered,
I want my past unmasked.
 
I must keep my tongue-in-cheek,
And temper what I find,
For who knows how many horse thieves,
May be lurking in my line.
 
I thought I'd be methodical,
First, I asked some relatives,
That is, those who were still speaking,
That could be informative.
 
I almost wished I hadn't asked,
For a family feud ensued,
Over Great-grandma's given name,
Was it Gerta or Gertrude?
 
Then I went up to the attic,
Where old trunks and boxes were,
I found a myriad of papers,
Out of order, to be sure.
 
But in my quest for history,
I found a lot of stuff,
Journals and old Bibles,
Birth Certificates and such.
 
I thought I'd hit the jackpot,
I took my treasures down below,
And embarked upon my family search,
For those things I wished to know.
 
I learned my Great-great-great-grandmother,
On my Mother's side,
Came over from Old Ireland,
As a little Irish bride.
 
Imagine - she was just sixteen,
She left home all by herself,
A new husband did await her here,
My, I wonder how she felt.
 
What a lot of nerve that took,
How could that child adjust?
I smiled, for now I knew,
Where Mama got her guts.
 
Great-great-grandpa, I discovered,
Fought under Washington,
He met his death at Valley Forge,
When our troops had been undone.
 
Then Great-great-grandma wed again,
Now, she was my Great-grandmother's Mother,
And she gave birth to four boys and girls,
Who became her Half-sisters and Half-brothers.
 
I guess that makes them Half-of-kin,
But, here's where I get confused,
Were they Half-great-uncles, Half-great-aunts,
Or Great-greats, twice-removed?
 
My Grandma had a cousin,
Who I know was once-removed,
That was when he went to jail,
They said he bootlegged booze.
 
We don't talk about him much,
Though I often smile to myself,
No one is willing to admit,
Through him came the family wealth.
 
There are some family traits,
That my seeking has disclosed,
Like my Sis's lisp from Uncle Chris,
And her nose from Great-aunt Rose.
 

Every family has a black sheep,
There were several on Mom's side,
One was a one-eyed pirate,
Who had kidnapped an English bride.
 
I guess he plundered many ships,
And killed a lot of men,
Dad took pride he was from Mom's side,
But Mom said, "Look again."
 
What a journey I was on,
Almost addicted and obsessed,
I spent so much time in yesteryear,
I thought I'd retrogressed.
 
Of all the searching I had done,
I'd indeed found something rare,
I'm the only one from either side,
That's been endowed with bright red hair.
 
When I checked this out with both my folks,
Dad frowned and Mama grinned,
With apology to genealogy,
Perhaps I should let my queries end.
 
~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis~

 

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Original music composed by Geoff Anderson
Used With Permission.