genealogy

The Brain Drain Syndrome


Last night, I had an enjoyable conversation with Junior, my oldest son.  He moved out on his own about two years ago and just loves his independence; but, he likes to ring us up making sure that we are okay.

But, last week was very odd (now, that i think about it). Normally he speaks to his step-mother (my wife, MiLady) and calls out a “Hi, Dad!” to me. But this time, he asked to speak to me!

Taking the phone and dispensing with the typical pleasantries, he asked if I remembered taking him when he was very small to all the different cemeteries to take pictures of “the creepy, old stones” under the willow trees and then write down whatever could still be read on them.

“Yes,” I answered with some concern, “Are you having those nightmares, again, Son?”

“Oh, no,” he said. “Would you still have those pictures and notes?”

Then it happened, a Brain Drain moment.  You have probably had one or two, without even knowing it.  They occur most unexpectedly, and the older you get, the more frequently they happen!

During one of these moments, your voice imitates a long monotone, while your mind re-boots, before starting back up in “Safe Mode” because of some corrupted sectors in your RAM — in simple terms: you don’t remember; but if, by chance, you do, you don’t know where the items are.

“Ummmm,” [Brain Drain Pause]. “Yeah, somewhere in the Office.”

NOTE: There are rare instances where a massive Brain Drain moment can happen.  That’s when a second attack follows within less than a minute after the first one. [Most frequently occurs in teenagers.].

“Okay,” he replied happily.  And just like that the conversation ended as strangely as it began, “Can I talk with Mum?”

“Uhhhh,” [Brain Drain Pause. Re-boot looping.].

I have often wondered if very many researchers climb into their in-laws’ family trees.  I believe that they do not; not sure exactly why.  Maybe it is an overwhelming fear of what could be found?

It took a while, but I found the electronic versions of my notes from way back then.  We must have been lucky, as we found that Junior has common ancestors with:

  • three former U.S. Presidents (Rutherford B. HAYES, George H. BUSH and his son, George W. BUSH);
  • the Civil War hero, General Ulysses S. GRANT;
  • five American Revolutionary Patriots (at last count);
  • possibly one, maybe two, United Empire Loyalists (in area now called Niagara County in Ontario);
  • General Alfred TERRY, the mentor of U.S. Calvary General George Armstrong CUSTER; and,
  • family involvement in the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada (that’s what Ontario was called back then).

Hmmmm, I wonder if I can piece together another Sunday Showcase in three days?

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2 replies »

  1. I don’t know about ‘very many’, but I actually started off with my in-laws’ family tree. My father-in-law asked me to do, as his father left when he was wee and he knew almost nothing about his background. That was actually the most rewarding part – being able to tell him things that he’d always wondered about.

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