Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Genealogists Ruin the Best Stories

From H. Franklin Andrews, The Hamlin family: a genealogy of Capt. Giles Hamlin of Middletown, Connecticut, 1654-1900 (Exira, Iowa: H.F. Andrews, 1900), p. 108:

[Col. Return Jonathan Meigs entry]
It is traditional that his peculiar name occurred in this manner: During his father's courtship, his proposal of marriage was declined, and he retired from the contest; later the lady relented and invited him to "Return, Jonathan." They were married and on the birth of the son a name was required; the father said, that the dearest words he ever heard were "Return Jonathan," and conferred them as the name of the son. The story is spoiled when we remember that the name of his father was not Jonathan.


I have an ancestor named Matthew Return BOSWELL, or at least that's what one document suggests his name was. It's a peculiar name.


"Matthew"? That is peculiar.

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