My Tangent – And You Thought I Was Obsessed?

27 July 2010


And just what did I get myself into?

Genealogy, the search and research, and in this one’s case, is more than a passing fad. The obsession that has occurred is beyond anything that I could imagine. I really try to understand and ask myself the question, why? Why am I so intent in pursuing the branches and limbs and twigs of those peoples that have long gone before me? I think you can see/read my thoughts and answers in my Postings in A Genealogy Hunt, my Blog.

I know who I am, Jim Smith. Simple… just Jim; or actually James Kenneth Lloyd Smith, that’s my legal name. And it is too long to fit into today’s data systems. They typically only accept one middle name or one middle initial. But hey everybody, I was graciously appended with two. My name is James Smith or James K. L. Smith or James Kenneth Lloyd Smith. And I have been called Jimmy most of my life, by my family.

And what about the makeup of my name? First of all, James or Jim Smith is the most common name in the English language. Per the 1990 Census James was the most common name in the United States. In 2009, also in the United States it was Jacob. Aha, not James! But wait James comes from the Latin Iacomus, a later variant of Iacobus, which was from the Greek Iakobos which was from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov which in English is Jacob. What can I say?

Do you know that Santiago was the most popular Hispanic first name in the US in 2009? And guess what? Santiago is derived from Sant Iago or Santo Yago which can mean Saint Jacob. This means that Yago or Thiago is a Spanish name derived from the Hebrew name Jacob.

And I cannot even stop there… Smith is the most popular American last name, out of the top 50, while James is the most popular of the top 25.

My point – Searching for a ggg-grandfather named James Smith. Not knowing where he came from, and knowing that he had a son named James Smith.

In my case, I was not named for my grandfathers. My James is for my mother’s second brother, my uncle James Alexander Duncan Robertson. The Kenneth Lloyd Smith was for my father, Frederick Kenneth Lloyd Smith.

In my case the search is difficult, but as well it is easy… simply put James Smith. No variation on the James or the Smith. No double-barreled or hyphenated surname, just Smith. But matters are complicated a wee bit further in my trek to find my ancestral origins. My YDNA, that is my paternal DNA also is considered one of the most common of common European DNA makeups or Haplogroups: R1b1b2a.

And just for your information, every male descendant of ggg-grandfather James Smith, according to the science of DNA, should have the same YDNA coding of his Haplogroup. Food for thought.

Still searching.




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