Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chasing Elusive Ancestors and Learning History (3)

When you are chasing elusive ancestors, there shouldn't be any stone left unturned. One must be open to all possibilities of finding skeletons in the closets or scandals pushed under the rug by family members or relatives. I thought this might have been the case with papa.

Papa was a great storyteller, according to my brothers, who were older than I was. He used to talk about the old neighborhood and claimed that he knew who the local hoods were that hung out on 111th street near First avenue. . He named them one by one, such as Joey Rubbernose, (I think he was the boss) then there was Bennie the Greaser, who was the loan shark, Freddie the Stiff, who was the enforcer (He was the one that broke your legs or arms if you didn't pay up) and Owl-eyes Louie, the policy runner. Hmmmmm, I didn't know if this was made up, or maybe papa was really involved with them? I know he loved to play the numbers. Mama said papa was a regular visitor at Mr. Morris, who was the local bookie. He was the one that had a storefront in my building in the old neighborhood. Since he was not truthful in other areas, I swallowed my pride and began to check to see if there was any kind of a criminal record on Papa. The Department of Corrections couldn't help me, their database did not go back that far. I even contacted the F.B.I. under the Freedom of Information Act and nothing came back on him. Whew!, what a relief. Papa was what he was a furniture refinisher. Since papa was squeaky clean , I said to myself that I should quit while I was ahead. Not wanting to continue pursuing this area, I gladly ended my search. :-)

So my dear readers, these were some of my obstacles, which I have encountered in my research. On the light side, Genealogy research has become the brunt of many humorous jokes. Sometimes within these jokes you might find some truths. I have come across several websites that reflect on this. Here are a few.

Murphy's Law of Genealogy

Genealogy Humor

The Elusive Ancestor

The Outhouse Genealogy & Family Humor


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