Flavoured Hats

I have been doing a fair bit of research on my paternal line and in the course of researching this line, certain names have come up over and over again (as they do).

The Fricker family seems to have had a particular fondness for George (I have 9 so far), Albert and Frederick.

So when I was searching for my G.Grandfather Albert, I discovered in the course of things that he was actually Albert G.F. Fricker. A little further digging turned this into Albert George F. Fricker.

So I declared, rather loudly, that if he wasn’t Albert George Frederick Fricker I would eat my hat.

His son’s birth certificate just arrived. Father’s name is listed as Albert George Fyler Fricker.

DAMN IT.

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Who the fuck is Frederick C——?

In 2002, my father passed away at the age of 53. I decided to start doing my genealogy several years after that. My Mum is a genealogist herself and has spent years working on her family history. She’s incredibly good at it and has a lot of information and resources (like my Grandmother) to work with that most people really take for granted. She’s doing an amazing job with tracing my maternal line; it’s covered and I don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

So, I decided, naturally, that I would do my paternal line. My Mum has proven to be an invaluable resource here, too, because she knew his family.

Well. Sort of.

See, my dad’s family were largely estranged from each other. There was quite a bit of drama and infighting over the years and with Dad being in Canada, the separation became worse. So there’s lots of things Mum doesn’t know, because the family was already in a bit of a mess when she came into the picture.

With that in mind, we decided to sit down and figure out what the most important certificates to start with were likely to be. I have Proof of my Dad’s death (though not actually a death certificate, I am assured that a Funeral Director’s Statement of Death is as good – I have put off getting the death certificate for complicated and personal reasons), but I don’t have much else.

We decided that I ought to order his Birth Certificate and his two Marriage Certificates (one to my mother and the prior marriage). We also ordered his half-brother’s Birth Certificate; we knew his half-brother had been adopted, but we had tracked down the original birth certificate in the records and thought we’d try, at least.

Now, my Dad was raised by Norman C——, who he assumed was his father. When he and my Mum decided to move to Canada, he had to get his Birth Certificate to get his passport and when it arrived, he apparently went marching straight over to his Mother’s to have a little chat with her, the contents of which were never revealed to my Mother.

The trouble was that Norman C—— wasn’t listed as his father on the birth certificate; some bloke called Frank S—– was.

So, when his birth certificate arrived with Frank S—– on it, I was not surprised.

I was also somewhat less than surprised to discover that where Father’s Name and Rank or profession are listed on his Marriage Certificate to my Mother, it was crossed out. No father. Hardly surprising given what he’d just found out.

What I wasn’t expecting was his Marriage Certificate to M—— J—- to have father listed as Frederick C——, Bus Driver.

Who the fuck is Frederick?

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Do I have to Prove me?

In the interest of full disclosure, I have actually done a chunk of my family history. However, I started it when I was what gamers would call a Rank Noob. Over the couple of years I’ve been working on my family history, my Legacy Database has become a cluttered nightmare of unsourced information that, on going back over, I simply cannot figure out how I got to, how I decided it was right.. nothing.

 

So earlier this month in a fit of “I Have To DO Something About This” I decided to relegate my files to the backups and start fresh and clean. This time I’m going to do it right. This time I’m going to have proof. This time I’m going to actually order those certificates instead of just assuming that I’m “probably right”. I’ve made my mistakes. I’ve forgotten to source, neglected to download, failed to take notes and taken family at their word when they said things like “Well, Cousin Billy’s mum was so-and-so” (hint; she wasn’t).

 

And so here I am, sitting and looking at a nice, fresh and clean Legacy Database with absolutely no information. Including me. Because I have discovered that in my noble intentions there is a bit of a kink.

 

I can’t Prove me.

 

I have a short-form birth certificate that doesn’t list my parents, so I can’t prove they’re my parents except by hearsay (see Cousin Billy above). I can’t seem to find my marriage certificate, so I can’t actually Prove my last name or marital status. I can prove that someone with my (alleged) name graduated from trade school and other useful day to day things like that.

 

I find it both hilarious and morbidly embarrassing that as it stands right now, I have more proof of my purebred cat’s lineage than my own.

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