Genealogy Humor



  Loftin    Setzer    Goble    Johnson



History of
NC Counties




& High School








































































































































It's Just Funny!



If you've spent much time working on Genealogy, then you know there are some funny stories and things that happen along the way.  This page gives me an opportunity to share some of the "funny" things that I stumble across as I do my research.  Enjoy!


  Are You Sure That's Against the Law?  
  The Claremont Courier
Vol. 5, Issue 3 - March 2011
  There are some very unusual laws on the records of towns, cities and municipalities in North Carolina and her neighboring states.  Even though it seems they were initiated for logical reasons for the time period, many are still active and carry some form of punishment if broken.  
  1. "No one may be a professional fortune-teller and if one wishes to pursue the practice as an amateur, it must be practiced in a school or church."  
  2. "It's against the law to sing off key."  
  3. "Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields."  
  4. "If a man and a woman who aren't married go to a hotel/motel and register themselves as married, then according to state law, they are legally married."  
  5. "All couples staying overnight in a hotel must have a room with double beds that are at least two feet apart."  
  6. "A marriage can be declared void if either of the two persons is physically impotent."  
  7. "Persons in possession of illegal substances must pay taxes on them."  
  8. "Organizations may not hold their meetings while the members present are in costume."  
  9. "Bingo games may not last over five hours unless it is held at a fair."  
  10. "Serving alcohol at a bingo game is not allowed."  
  1. "In Barber, fights between cats and dogs are prohibited."  
  2. "In Charlotte, women must have their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of cloth at all times."  
  3. "In Dunn, it is illegal to drive cars through city cemeteries for pleasure; cars may not be driven on sidewalks; it is illegal to throw rocks at a city street; and no person shall spit on a city street."  
  4. "In Forest City, you must stop and call city hall before entering town in an automobile."  
  5. "In Greensboro, restaurants with on sidewalk dining must post their menu so that it is clearly readable from the sidewalk but is not readable from the street."  
  6. "In Rocky Mount, it is required that you must pay a property tax on your dog."  
  7. "In Kill Devil Hills, you may not ride a bicycle without having both your hands on the handle bars."  
  8. "In Zebulon, it is illegal to stand outside the police station for any purpose after dark; and no person may walk on top of the water tank of the city."  
  9. "In Ashville, it is illegal to sneeze on the streets."  
  1. "Every citizen must carry his gun to church."  
  2. "It is illegal for anyone to curl up and fall asleep on railway lines in Anderson."  
  1. "It is against the law in Dyersburg for a woman to call a man for a date."  
  2. "It is illegal for frogs to croak after 11pm."  
  3. "It is illegal for a woman to drive by herself in Memphis.  A man must walk or run in front of the vehicle, waving a red flag in order to warn approaching pedestrians and motorists."  
  1. "It is against the law to have a bathtub inside, they must be kept outside."  
  2. "It is illegal to handle snakes at church."  
  3. "It is illegal to kick your wife out of bed in Lebanon."  
  4. "It is the law that only babies are allowed to ride in baby carriages in Roderfield."  
  5. "In any eating establishment, it is illegal to flip a coin to see who will buy a cup of coffee."  

The Newton Enterprise
December 11, 1880

"Evil Spirits"

To the Editor of the Enterprise:
     A man by the name of Loftin, who selleth "ardent spirits", between Newton and Catawba, got to peddling his stuff down near Sherrills Ford, and because a certain friend of humanity put a stop to his selling at that point, he, Loftin, has been talling all sorts of fabricated tales about the friend aforesaid, and in order to show that it was proper and right to stop his "accuresed traffic", I will give you the result of the use of some of his liquor, so called: Messrs. L. & M. both made purchases of him.  L. got sick and vomited; his dog in turn sickened and died, as if dosed with strychnine.  M. heard of the result.  So, when he took sick he yelled to his wife to "tie the dog", he "did not want to lose it, too".  If they had not rid their stomachs of the stuff, they too would have sent in their checks.
     Furthermore, a Mr. B. says Loftin's liquor all froze up last winter.  So it would seem that his liquor has a body instead of spirit, as spirits do not freeze.
     With such stuff on the market we think all mankind and "dogkind" too would favor prohibition.





As I started studying my own family genealogy, I remembered a humorous song that I had heard in the 1960s entitled "I'm My Own Grandpa".  The song was actually written in 1948 by Dwight Latham and Guy Jaffe, which became a hit for the country duo Lonzo & Oscar.  Ray Stevens also recorded the song again in 1987. Be sure to check out the video links below.

  I'm My Own Grandpa  
  by Dwight Latham & Guy Jaffe  


Many, many years ago, when I was twenty-three,
I was married to a widow who was pretty as can be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon they, too, were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law and really changed my very life,
My daughter was my mother, cause she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to Dad,
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grown-up daughter, who, of course, was my stepmother.

Father's wife then had a son who kept him on the run,
And he became my grandchild, for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother, and it makes me blue,
Because, although she is my wife, she's my grandmother, too.

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild,
And every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild,
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw,
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!

Oh, I'm my own grandpa.
I'm my own grandpa.
It sounds funny, I know, but it really is so,
Oh, I'm my own grandpa.


You Tube Video 1



You Tube Video 2






Rules For Our Ancestors - or -
How to Confuse Your Descendents


  (1) Thou shalt name your male children: James, John, Joseph, Josiah, Thomas, and William.  
Thou shalt name your female children: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Maria, Sarah, Ida, May.
Thou shalt leave NO trace of your female children.
  (4) Thou shalt, after naming your children from the above lists, call them by strange nicknames such as: Sally, Polly, Dolly.---making them difficult to trace.
Thou shalt NOT use any middle names on any legal documents or census reports, and only where necessary, you may use only initials on legal documents.
Thou shalt learn to sign all documents illegibly so that your surname can be spelled, or misspelled, in various ways: Loftin, Lofton, Loften, Lofften, Lipton.
Thou shalt, after no more then 3 generations, make sure that all family records are lost, misplaced, burned in a court house fire, or buried so that NO future trace of them can be found.
Thou shalt propagate misleading legends, rumors, & vague innuendo regarding your place of origination.
          (A) You may have come from: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany....or Italy.
          (B) You may have American Indian or Black Dutch ancestry.
          (C) You may have descended from one of three brothers that came over from England.

Thou shalt leave NO cemetery records, or headstones with legible names.
Thou shalt leave NO family Bible with records of birth, marriages or deaths.
Thou shalt ALWAYS flip thy name around. If born James Franklin, thou must make all the rest of thy records in the names of James, Jim, Franklin, Frank, JF.
Thou must also flip thy parent's names when making reference to them, although "Unknown" or a blank line is an acceptable alternative.
Thou shalt name at least 5 generations of males, and dozens of their cousins with identical names in order to totally confuse researchers.  (Example: William Alexander Loftin had a sister named Mary Frances Loftin.  He also named his first daughter Mary Frances Loftin.  Both of these women then married men with the last name of Drum)






Murphy's Law


o    You finally find the wedding record for your gggrandfather only to discover he married Mary SMITH whose father was John SMITH and mother was Mary JONES!

o    You have finally found the information you needed to solve the family mystery you have been working on for 2 years and your elderly aunt says " I could have told you that!"

o    You find an old family photo album and upon close examination, there are no names on the pictures.

o    You learn that your great grandmother's family bible (passed down through the family for 3 generations) was sold at an estate sale in New York City.

o    You find  your family in the census and write to the county where they lived for 40 years, only to receive a letter stating all the county records burned.

o    You learn there is a county history on microfilm of the county your ancestors originated.  It has 16000 pages and is not indexed.

o    The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated and at which the platform collapsed under him, turned out to be a hanging.





From "Dear Abby"  

Dear Abby:
I have always wanted
to have my family history traced, but I can't afford to spend a lot of money to do it.  Any suggestions?

~ Sam in California ~

Dear Sam:  Yes.  Run for public office!



Genealogy begins as an interest,
Becomes a hobby;
Continues as an avocation,
Takes over as an obsession,
And in its last stages,
Is an incurable disease.

--Author Unknown





Ocupayshun: Census Taker

(Ever wonder why you can't make heads or tails out of the census?)

"I am a cencus takers for the city of Bufflow. Our city has groan very fast in resent
yeers & now in 1865, it has become a hard & time consuming job to count all the peephill. There are not many that con do this werk, as it is nesessarie to have a ejucashun, wich a lot of pursons steal don not have. Anuther atribeart needed for this job is god speling, for meny of the peephill to be counted can hardle speek inglish,
let alon spel there names!"







The inhabitants of this place have been stricken with




A Deadly and Infectious Disease


Symptoms: Notepapers stuffed in pockets and files; heart
palpitations at the sight of gravestones and old trunks
filled with letters; bloodshot eyes from excessive microfilm
exposure; erratic speech patterns punctuated with pilgrims and
princes; cold sweat upon the arrival of the daily mail.




The Wrong Email Address


A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter.  They
planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years before.
Because of their hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules, so the husband left Minneapolis and flew to Florida on Friday, and his wife was flying down the following day.
The husband checked into the hotel, and unlike years ago, there was a computer in his room, and he decided to send an email to his wife.  However, he accidentally left out one letter in her E-mail address, and without noticing his error, sent the email to the wrong address.
Meanwhile ... Somewhere in Houston ..... A widow had just returned home from her husband's
funeral.  He was a minister who was called home to glory after suffering a heart attack
The widow decided to check her E-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends.  After
reading the first message, she screamed and then fainted.  The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and then glanced up and saw the computer screen which read:


To: My Loving Wife
Date: Friday, October 13, 2005
Subject: I have arrived!
Dearest Love:

I know you are surprised to hear from me.  They have computers here now, and you are allowed to send E-mail to your loved ones.
I have just arrived and have been checked in.  I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow, and look forward to seeing you then.
Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
PS . It sure is  hot down here



Older Than Dirt




As I Age, I Realize That:

  A. I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.  
  B. Sometimes I roll my eyes out loud.  
  C. I don't need anger management.  I need people to stop "ticking" me off.  
  D. My people skills are just fine.  It's my tolerance of idiots that needs work.  
  E. The biggest lie I tell myself is, "I don't need to write it down, I'll remember it."  
  F. When I was a child I thought name time was punishment.  Now it's like a mini-vacation.  
  G. Even duct tape can't fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound.  
  H. Wouldn't it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes and come out wrinkle-free & three sizes smaller.  
  I. If God had wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.  
  J. When the kids text me "pls" which is shorter than "please", I text back "no" which is shorter than "yes".  
  K. At my age "getting lucky" means waling into a room and remembering what I came in there for.  

Looking Back

  Someone asked the other day, "What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?"  We didn't have fast food when I was growing up.  Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we all sat down together at the table.   
  Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card.  
  My parents never drove me to school.  I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed - slow.  
  We did have a television is our home - but only one.  It was, of course, black and white, and was only able to pick up 3 stations (3, 9 and 12).  The stations went off the air every night between 11:00 and 1:00 a.m., after playing the national anthem.  It came back on the air about 6:00 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show, featuring local people.  
  I never had a telephone in my room.  The only phone in our house was on a party line with our next door neighbor.  Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure someone wasn't already using the phone line.  
  Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut - at least they did in the movies.  There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or almost anything offensive.  
  Headlight dimmers for cars were located on the floorboard - and people used hand signals before turning right or left.  

Count All The Ones That You Remember
(not the ones you were told about) - Ratings at the bottom

  A. Candy Cigarettes  
  B. Coffee Shops with tableside juke boxes  
  C. Home milk delivery in glass bottles  
  D. Party Lines on the telephone  
  E. Newsreels before the movie  
  F. TV test patterns that came on at night after the late show  
  G. Peashooters  
  H. Howdy Doody or Roy Rogers  
  I. 45 RPM records  
  J. Hi-Fi records  
  K. Metal ice trays with lever  
  L. Blue flashbulbs for cameras  
  M. Cork popguns  
  N. Studebakers (Car)  
  O. Washing Machines with "wringers"  
  P. Saturday morning cartoons  
  If you remember 0 to 3 = You're still young  
  If you remember 3 to 6 = You're getting older  
  If you remember 7 to 10 = Don't tell your age  
  If you remember 11 to 15 = You're older than dirt!  

For Those of You Born 1930 to 1969

  We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks or doors on cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.  
  As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes bad brakes.  
  Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat - especially when you were standing up and could feel the air on your face.  
  We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.  
  We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.  
  We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon.  We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar, and we weren't overweight.  WHY?  Because we were always playing outside.  We'd leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as were were back home before supper.  
  No one was able to reach us all day (by cell phone) - and we were O.K.  
  We'd spend all day building go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we had no brakes.  After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.  
  We did not have PlayStations, Nintendos, or X-Boxes.  There were NO video games, NO 150 channels on cable or satellite, NO DVDs, NO surround-sound or CDs, No Ipods, NO cell phones, NO computers, NO internet and NO chat rooms or FaceBook.  We had friends and we went outside and found them.  
  We built tree houses and forts.  We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.  
  We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt.  
  We got BB guns by the time we were 9 or 10 years old, made up our own games, threw rocks, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put over "very many" eyes.  
  We usually only got one or two presents for Christmas - and didn't have a birthday party every year.  (I only had one.)  
  We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and usually just walked in the door.  
  Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment.  
  The idea of a parent bailing us out if we got into trouble at school was unheard of.  My Dad told me that if I got a "whipping" at school, I'd get one when I got home, too.   
  Our heroes were Roy Roger or Gene Autry, Flash Gordon, Superman and Tarzan - not professional ball players or rock musicians.  
  These generations produced some of the best risk-taker, problem solvers and inventors ever.  
  We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.  





Disclaimer:  This was shared with me by a friend (from up north) and I just had to post it.  Not sure where it came from originally.  I'm a proud southerner, and being from the south, myself, I've heard all of the "southern vocabulary" sometime during my 60+ years.



Southerners know their summer weather report:



Southerners know their vacation spots:
The "beech"
The "rivuh"
The "crick"



Southerners know everybody's first name:
Darlin' (Darling)
Shugah (Sugar)



Southerners know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With the Wind


Southerners know their religions:
Bapdiss (Baptist)
Methdiss (Methodist)


Southerners know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Chawl'stn (Charleston)
S'vanah (Savanna)
Addlanna (Atlanta)
N'awlins (New Orleans)
Foat Wuth (Fort Worth)


Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon


Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food


Only a Southerner knows the difference between a "hissie fit" and a "conniption fit",
and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.


Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess".


Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder".


Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is ... in "Going to town, be back driectly." (directly)


Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular, sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.


All Southerners know exactly when "By and By" (eventually) is. 
They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.


Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad.  If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'!


Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "A right far piece".  They know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.  They also know that when someone says "rat there", they're not talking about a bunch of big mice.


Only a Southerner knows and understands the difference between a redneck,
a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.


No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a right turn.


A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.


Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines
... and when we're in line, we talk to everybody!


Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related,
even if only by marriage.  (TRUE!)


In the South, "Y'all" is singular, and "All Y'all" is plural.


Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat 'em.


Every Southerner knows that tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; that scrambled eggs just ain't right without Tabasco, and fried green tomatoes are not breakfast food.


When you hear someone, say, "Well, I caught myself lookin', "
you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner.


Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk".  Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it - we do not like our tea unsweetened.  "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.


A true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway.  You just say, "Bless her sweet little heart" - and go on your way.


Southern girls know men may come and go, but friends are fah-evah (forever)!
*There ain't no magazine named "Norther Living" for good reason.
There ain't nobody interested in livin' up north, and nobody would buy the magazine.


If you're a Northern transplant, bless you little heart, fake it.
We know you got here as fast as you could.