Enigma 2: Roots
2 December 2011
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From New Scientist #1144, 1st March 1979 [link]
In search of roots, Joe Soap hired a genealogist to trace his famiy tree. Results were plentiful but fragmentary. “You are descended from a Norfolk man, who died in 1692,” the expert reported expensively. “He was one of four brothers, the oldest of whom was named Absalom. The others were Benjamin, who lived at Garston, Caleb, who married a lady called Martha, and Daniel who died of scurvy.
“Beyond that, I have only a bundle of snippets, all certainly referring to one of the brothers. There was an apothecary, who died in 1694. There are mentions of a blacksmith, who died of quinsy, and of a cooper, who wed a spinster called Kate, and of a drover, who lived at Earlham. It was not Caleb who died of rheum in 1693 but someone did. Someone married Jane and lived at Halsted. Someone else lived at Felbrigg and died in 1691. Leah’s husband died of the palsy. No one lived in more than one place — very small world in those days. But I cannot tell you more than that, I’m afraid.”
I am sure you can, however. What is there to tell about Joe Soap’s particular ancestor?