Sunday, December 28, 2014

And then there were three brothers . . .

This wonderful brothers picture courtesy of  The George Bowles family of Peel County website (
. George Bowles son Charles Bowles' three sons, Thomas, John and George.
 Here is a genealogy thought for you to consider this damp dreary Sunday here in the mountains of western North Carolina.

It is a story that every genealogist runs into at one time or another. You know, that three brother genealogy story that gets me giggling every time I hear it. For the record I have never ever heard of any of these stories as written below to have ever been proven. I'm just saying what you are probably thinking.

Jackie Prine, one of my students from several years ago, made me a sign that hangs in my genealogy office:

"Three brothers came to America - - -
     one went north -
        one went south --
           and the other one just disappeared."
Well this morning while Googling around for some Carr family leads I'm looking into, I ran across this little archived post from the Roostweb Carr Surname group posted in 1998. The author shall remain anonymous, I really don't want to embarrass Delores to much.

"Three CARR brothers (first names unknown) fought in George Washington's army and after the Rev. War they headed south (probably from VA). They went to Sampson Co., NC where one settled, the other two built a covered wagon and went to Alabama, after a while one of these two move up to KY and settled there. The brothers lost touch due to " the Indian Wars and other troubles".

Really? Really! First names unknown, but you know they did all that stuff? How some of these people post this stuff sometimes in genealogy newsgroups with a straight face is beyond me.

For example, my great aunt Elizabeth said (no she really did on cassette tape I have of her being interviewed by my parents):

"There were three Van Horn brothers, one went north, one went south and one, well we don't know where he ended up. Now we descend from the one that went south, but we don't know much about him. We do know a lot about his brother up north."

Then on the cassette tape you hear crickets. The obvious question was never asked. Really? Really Aunt Elizabeth!

Oh yea, I'm probably related to those Carr brothers with no first names, mentioned above, so now I get another "three brother story" to complain about.

The life of a genealogist and family historian is strange indeed when you start talking about all those siblings you need to research. Remember one of my golden rules, "treat brothers and sisters equally in your genealogy research."

See you all in class in January at TCCC in Peachtree and hope you have made some progress in your family research in the last few weeks.