While researching, I frequently come across records that give me a chuckle; mostly bad name puns and the like.
Or those that are comical all in themselves. Such as the above 1850 Federal Census extract for Rome, PA.
Yes, Henry Hiney, his wife Sally Ann Hiney and their presumed five children. George Hiney at the bottom (sorry) could be a younger brother of Henry Hiney.
But the kid’s names are even better… Zepheminah Hiney! C.C. Hiney!!
City directories are a GOLDMINE for such silliness. Or if not, I just add my own.
Like Jesus Christ is NOT in Buffalo!
He should be between Jacob the carpenter and the John on Clinton Street.
But then I thought, Well, DUH! Of course Jesus would be UNLISTED!!
And what’s a directory without a few good name and occupation combos? This from the 1911 Boston Directory.
Now, what ELSE would George L. Speed be doing for work??
And a 1932 Columbia, NH entry.
E.E. Cass: “You wanna work on my farm and your name is Guy LeGro?? You’re HIRED!!“
You know, that’s how many surnames came to be in the first place.
“I am a blacksmith and will forth hence be known as Mr. Smith!”
“Yes, and I own a mill. Instead of ‘Very Friendly Mill Man’, I hereby change my name to Bud Miller!!”
“Oh, but I am a DOG CATCHER! Forthwith and beyond -”
Wait, that doesn’t work out; damn! Eh, you get my gist.
And maybe we could have farmer Guy above “translate” this ad page from the 1915 Lebanon Directory.
“Yeah, I need my horse renovated…”
“We’re Rogers & Hubbard! Your one-stop shop for bone-based fertilizer!”
Cow invigorator?? I don’t even wanna know what that’s supposed to do! Boviagra?
And don’t forget “Books free. Good books too.” Ha!
I saw this in unsold ad space in a 1928 Lancaster, NH directory.
A raise of hands…
How many of you have come across typographical errors in city directories?
Yep, everyone but that one dude in the back there. “Yo! Henry Hiney!! Research much??”
So, how many people have THEY offended over the years in hundreds of localities across the country? They should be apologizing here instead of looking for ad dollars! OK, rant over.
From the Federal Naturalization Index…
Lewis Superfine from Russia! Wonder what his Russian name really was.
And I’ll leave you with this almost-triple-play…
Yes, it’s Russel Russ, of Russell, NY!
Thank you ancestry.com and familysearch.org for most of the above images!
Besides being screen captures, these items have not been altered in ANY WAY. “If you don’t believe me, you can look it up yourself!” (King of California, 2007) That’s why I always include WHERE they’re extracted FROM.
Because that’s just what The Online Genealogist does.
And don’t forget my Free Quickie Online Ancestor Search!!! Details upper right.
I would love to research for you!