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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Genealogue News Flash: Nobel Prize for Genealogy Awarded

A Genealogue News Flash [What's That?]
An elderly man from rural New England has been awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Genealogy. Harley Millett received the news from Stockholm early Tuesday morning at his home in Anson, Maine.

"I tell you, I was surprised," Millett told The Genealogue. "Never even knew I was entered in a contest. Never knew there was a contest."

Millett is credited with advancing the study of genealogy through a practice that has become known as "Ancestor Hoarding," or "The Millett Method." It began when Millett became interested in his family's history, soon after his retirement in 1983.

"Problem was, my mother's people were all buried up to Aroostook County, and my father's folks are right here in town," Millett explained. "I figured I'd just as soon visit 'em all at once as one at a time."

Millett purchased a large piece of land in Anson to accommodate his relatives, drew a large family tree on the ground with orange spray paint, and started digging up, transporting, and reinterring the remains of his forebears, each in the appropriate spot.

"There's my folks over near the fence," Millett said, proudly pointing out the position of each grave. "My grandparents are next, then their folks. Makes it wicked easy to keep track of your lines, this way."

In all, Millett has collected 73 of his direct ancestors in this Maine field. At age 87, he is still looking for more. And he is hoping the Nobel Prize comes with a cash award.

"I've got a line on a great-great-great-grandmother down in Watertown, Mass. I sure could use a couple hundred bucks to rent a U-Haul."

Lisa

I don't see anything about this on the Nobel Foundation's website. Is there any more information available?

Chris

Although I am the author of this post, I cannot vouch for its accuracy. Or its plausibility.

makuahine

Really makes me wonder... I mean, wouldn't there be a ton of legalities involved in this? As far as I know you can't just start digging people up. We had a big stink around here last year when a church demolished their old cemetery. They claimed they only had to talk to the grandchildren of those interred. Well, either way, if I shared an ancestor with this guy and found out he'd just moved them... well, I'd be really pissed off about it...

Chris

I actually know someone who moved his grandfather's remains to a different cemetery for purely genealogical reasons. He is also the sort of person who would remove his grandfather's will from the probate registry to save himself the photocopying fee.

Personally, I think I'll follow the example of Abraham Lincoln, and have 4,000 pounds of concrete poured over my coffin to ensure I am never disturbed.

T.K.

ROFL, Chris!

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