tag 标签: family

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  • 热度 1
    2014-6-6 14:28
    672 次阅读|
    0 个评论
    I am currently writing a book about punctuation and grammar as one of my "back burner" hobby projects (and there are those who say I don't know how to have a good time).   As part of this, I happen to mention in a footnote that the famous English classical scholar and poet, A.E. Housman, is a distant relative. The reason I know this is that I remember once going to Poet's Corner with my mom, whose maiden name was Housman. Poet's Corner refers to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey, and is so-called because of the high number of poets, playwrights, and writers who were buried and commemorated there. A. E. Housman's name appears in one of the stained glass windows -- my mom pointed it out and said, "he's a distant relative," and you can't argue with facts like that.   Here are pictures of A. E. Housman and yours truly. (I'm the one on the right.)   I since discovered that A. E. Housman -- who is best known to the general public for his cycle of poems "A Shropshire Lad" -- was one of the foremost classicists of his age and has been ranked as one of the greatest scholars of all time . Obviously, I don't find any of this to be too surprising -- after all, he was related to me!   But we digress... Several of my friends are being kind enough to review my book for me as I write it. One, EETimes blogger Duane Benson, emailed me to say: "How distant is A. E. Housman? Back when I was much, much younger, I used to carry a verse from 'Shropshire Lad' in my wallet."   Well, in order to answer this poser, I turned to the repository of all knowledge past and the oracle of all things to come -- my mother -- whose memory is so sharp she can recall things that haven't even happened yet! I just received the following reply:   Dearest Clive, all I know is that Auntie Hilda Housman (my dad's sister who was a well-known teacher of the blind in Harrogate) was a guest at a Civic Dinner. The chief guest was Lawrence Housman, the brother of A. E. Auntie Hilda told me that Lawrence came up to her and said he was intrigued as he had never met anyone with that spelling other than family and he thought they must be related. Auntie Hilda said that she didn't think that could be, but he asked if she knew anything about our past family. She said that the only thing she had heard was that she had a "great, great, great someone" who had been a hangman at Staffordshire Gaol. A couple of weeks later, she received a letter from Lawrence saying: "Dear Cousin Hilda, I was right, we are related, we share the same great, great, great hangman..." I don't know how many greats there were and -- as Auntie Hilda left everything to charity -- I never saw the letter again.   I just called my mom for more details. She says that Auntie Hilda was "an indomitable woman" (this is saying something, because my mom is one of the most indomitable women I know). My mom says that one of the people Auntie Hilda cared for was an Anglican Minister who had gone blind. He mentioned that the one thing he really missed was being able to read the Bible in Greek, so Hilda went off and learned Greek so she could teach the Minister to read Greek in Braille.   Auntie Hilda also used to have a companion who was aptly named Ida Worship. When she sent Christmas cards she signed them "I Worship" and the family added "Hilda" because Ida pretty much worshiped the ground Hilda walked on.   In later life (in her late 60s and early 70s) Hilda went totally blind herself when blood vessels ruptured first in one eye and later in the other. Apparently this didn't stop Hilda from driving around to visit people with Ida in the co-pilot's seat. My mother describes these trips as being something like the following:   Ida: We're drifting a little to the right, Hilda. Hilda: Thank you, Ida. Ida: We're approaching a traffic light, Hilda. Hilda: Thank you, Ida. Ida: The light has turned red, Hilda. Hilda: Thank you, Ida.   Well, that certainly sounds like my family. So, my next task will be to find out when there was a Hangman named Housman at Staffordshire Gaol. I'm assuming this would have to be sometime around the late 1700s or early 1800s. Hmm, where would one go to look for information like this?
  • 热度 1
    2013-3-28 12:52
    1346 次阅读|
    0 个评论
    Do you know the terms "second cousin" and "third cousin"? I remember as a young lad listening to my mother and my auntie Barbara happily waffling on about convoluted family relationships involving branches of our "tribe" who had emigrated to Canada and Australia. They would say things like "Well, Ethel's daughter's son would be Cuthbert's son's daughter's third cousin twice removed." They could talk like this for hours. I really had no interest in any of this, because I didn't even have a clue who Ethel or Cuthbert were, let alone their offspring's offspring. I must admit, however, that the topic of second and third cousins being twice or thrice removed did stick in my brain for some reason. Occasionally it's floated up to the surface leaving me wondering "What does this really mean?" Well, I just found out. I'm visiting my dear old mom in England this week (she's sitting in a rocking chair next to me as I work in my brother's dining room). My mom's newspaper – the Daily Express – offers a treasure trove of trivia. Every day people write in with questions and there is a two-page centre-spread of these questions and their answers provided by the paper's researchers. I just saw one such question and answer combo, which read as follows: Q: I have just met a long-lost cousin's daughter who visited me with her three sons. My own son came along with his two children and my daughter with her son. My question is what type of cousins are we all. My oldest grandson asked me to find out for a school project. A: If you share a grandparent with someone they are your first cousin (so the children of your uncles or aunts are your first cousins). If you share a great-grandparent with someone they are your second cousin. If you share great-great-grandparents you are third cousins, and so on. A child of your first cousin is your first cousin once removed. A grandchild of your first cousin is your first cousin twice removed, etc. The paper then went on to explain the relationships between the person who posed the question and her long-lost cousin's daughter etc. Can you work out what those relationships are? And, while you are ruminating over this, you might want to take a look at this classic video accompanying the song I'm my own grandpa . I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this one. What do you think? Are the relationships described in this video conceivably possible?
  • 热度 2
    2013-3-28 12:50
    1065 次阅读|
    0 个评论
    Are you familiar with the terms "second cousin" and "third cousin"? I remember as a young lad listening to my mother and my auntie Barbara happily waffling on about convoluted family relationships involving branches of our "tribe" who had emigrated to Canada and Australia. They would say things like "Well, Ethel's daughter's son would be Cuthbert's son's daughter's third cousin twice removed." They could talk like this for hours. I really had no interest in any of this, because I didn't even have a clue who Ethel or Cuthbert were, let alone their offspring's offspring. I must admit, however, that the topic of second and third cousins being twice or thrice removed did stick in my brain for some reason. Occasionally it's floated up to the surface leaving me wondering "What does this really mean?" Well, I just found out. I'm visiting my dear old mom in England this week (she's sitting in a rocking chair next to me as I work in my brother's dining room). My mom's newspaper – the Daily Express – offers a treasure trove of trivia. Every day people write in with questions and there is a two-page centre-spread of these questions and their answers provided by the paper's researchers. I just saw one such question and answer combo, which read as follows: Q: I have just met a long-lost cousin's daughter who visited me with her three sons. My own son came along with his two children and my daughter with her son. My question is what type of cousins are we all. My oldest grandson asked me to find out for a school project. A: If you share a grandparent with someone they are your first cousin (so the children of your uncles or aunts are your first cousins). If you share a great-grandparent with someone they are your second cousin. If you share great-great-grandparents you are third cousins, and so on. A child of your first cousin is your first cousin once removed. A grandchild of your first cousin is your first cousin twice removed, etc. The paper then went on to explain the relationships between the person who posed the question and her long-lost cousin's daughter etc. Can you work out what those relationships are? And, while you are ruminating over this, you might want to take a look at this classic video accompanying the song I'm my own grandpa . I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this one. What do you think? Are the relationships described in this video conceivably possible?  
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