TSGS Cruiser Blog

Monday, December 15, 2008

“Twins & Genealogy”

Have you ever thought about twins and genealogy? They have the exact same family history. So, is it easier? I suspect it could only be easier, if the two team up to research together. And, when you think about it, all siblings with the same mother & father would have the same family with twins just starting at the same time. I brought this up because I thought about one of TSGS former Presidents, Ken Franks. Ken has joined his ancestors now, but around 20-25 years ago, I talked him into being a 4-H Family History Project judge at the county 4-H fair. Carol Lantaff and I were in charge of the project. The project was somewhat involved with 5 generation charts, family group sheets and individual “additional information” sheets. All of this required listing documentation/sources. In addition the 4-H'er was asked to include photos, some birth, marriage applications or death certificates and other actual (photocopied) records. Since some 4-H members might have someone that had done extensive family research and the scope of the project was limited to completing a five generation history, the project called for an annual 2-page written activity or story. This was to ensure that each year there was something that had to be done and help balance out the kids that were starting from nothing and the ones with 5 generations already done by Aunt Lucinda. The project required so much to be completed in 3 divisions set-up by age – all was cumulative.

Some of you have probably already figured out what I will be telling you. The year Ken judged these projects, we had a set of twins. We had 3 judges one for each division – Ken had the twins in his senior division. Since they were born on the same day and had all the same ancestors, the only things that were different was the given names for the charts and on their birth certificates. Since they were twins all of the photos that included one of them, included both of them. These twin boys had older sisters and a mom that helped them type, proof read and check sources, etc. The girls had been in the project several years and this was the boys seventh year or so. Everything was nearly perfect. They were required to write about the same subject; and, although, they approached the subject differently, they were equally well done. These two notebook exhibits were clearly the best two, the judge needed to select a champion and a reserve champion. Ken asked me if it was permissible to give two champions for that senior division. I said that he would have to pick one as champion and the other as reserve. He said, “but, they are almost exactly alike!” I told him the twins competed in a lot of projects in a lot of years and generally was chosen as the top two – they were used to one beating out the other. Ken needed to flip a coin or look for typo errors. I am not totally sure how he picked the champion, but Ken refused to judge again! - by John G. West

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