14 September 2006

Two times, two times

Back in the 80s, Seventeen Magazine ran a regular feature about the trials and tribulations of being a teen, written by a fictional girl named Sylvia Smith-Smith. The joke, of course, was that her parents were both named Smith, and had avant gardedly hyphenated their family name. It was funny only because hyphenating was just starting to come into the mainstream; people wondered what would happen when one hyphenate married another? Would their children have four last names?

I haven't heard of anyone with that particular problem -- though I haven't picked up a Seventeen in a while; maybe they have a new character named Sally Smith-Smith-Jones-Smith by now -- but in today's New York Times, in an article about the first immigrant to set foot on Ellis Island, was this:

It’s a classic go-West-young-woman tale riddled with tragedy,” said Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, a professional genealogist. “If only it were true.”

...

Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak (a genealogist’s dream: she’s a Smolenyak married to a previously unrelated Smolenyak) became interested in Annie Moore four years ago while researching a documentary film on immigration. Pursuing the paper trail, she found that the Annie who died instantly when struck by a streetcar near Fort Worth in 1923 was not an immigrant at all but was apparently born in Illinois. Moreover, she traced that Moore family to Texas as early as 1880.

1 Comments:

Blogger Shackie D. Shark said...

hi :) i sort of dropped in to your blog searching for sylvia smith-smith on google. i was struck by an unexplainable need to reminisce fond memories of being a teenager so... anyhoo, i liked the disclaimer so much i just had to write a comment :) g' day.. oh and yeah, i'm an excellent walker too

10:58 AM  

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