09 November, 2021

Family trees when childless

Today's post will be a true microblog. My brother-in-law stayed with us last night, passing through the city from a fishing trip with his brother. We enjoyed his line-caught fresh blue cod from the waters of Cook Strait where he spent the last week, a bottle (or two) of delicious wine, and lots of interesting conversation. 

In the course of conversation, we got into family backgrounds, and he told a fascinating story of an ancestor involving Napoleon Bonaparte amongst others. But his story finished with the surprise that it was the brother of his ancestor with the same first name, not the direct ancestor.

It reminded me of all the episodes of genealogy shows I have watched that focused on an interesting ancestor who was the cousin or brother or sister of the subject's direct ancestor. It was a good reminder again of how we don't have to have direct descendants to be interesting, to be remembered, or even thought about. Or - alternatively - that you don't have to be childless to be forgotten. In other words, I think that it all (largely) evens out in the end.


  1. Love this. Love them two-sided-ness of it -- not having kids doesn't mean you'll be forgotten, and having kids doesn't mean you'll be remembered.

  2. Exactly what Jess says. We are linked through so many more ways than just linear genealogy.

  3. Absolutely! :) I have found this in my own family tree research.