The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fun with Genealogy

Genealogy can be fun sometimes - if not a bit hilarious.

In doing some updating of my family history over on, I found some of the very deep English roots that I have on my grandmother's side of the family.

My great grandfather, John Ross James, was originally from Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He moved east to Milwaukee and later Racine around the turn of the last century. His middle name is his mother's maiden name, Mary J. Ross. Mary Ross was born in New Diggings, Wisconsin in the 1850's; her mother, Elizabeth Ann Binks came to the US right before Wisconsin became a state. I suspect that both her and my great-great-great grandfather, John Ross, met here in Wisconsin - since he was an emigrant from Northern Ireland, and she was from County Cardiganshire, Wales.

Anyways, Elizabeth Binks was the daughter of Reuben Binks and Elizabeth Wilkinson, who was from Barnard Castle, in County Durham, England. How the two of them got together - especially since this was the late 1820's we're talking about - is a mystery. However, they did get together, assumably with the blessing of Elizabeth's parents, William Wilkinson (junior) and Susannah Barker. Susannah was from Ovington in County Yorkshire, while William was from Mellerby in County Cumberland.

Here, however, is the humorous part: William's mother was named Hannah. She was born in Barnard Castle in 1732 (pause to think about that for a moment). Ah, but that is not the funny part. See, Hannah's maiden name... was Huck.

So, in a very twisted way, I share something with my mother's mother's father's mother's mother's mother's father's mother - a corrupted last name.

And, considering that it was 235 years later, you'd think someone would have learned to spell it correctly.