"I'm My Own Grandma" Genealogy

Every time I see this part of my genealogy, where Charles McAnally comes into play (he being one of my Revolutionary War ancestors) I think of the song Ray Stevens, and other singers, too, sang many years ago.  You see this part of my family tree shows that my ex-husband's family and mine were intertwined back at the time of the American Revolution.  

There weren't as many people here in America then, and if they lived in the same area, often folks married each others' relations.

Because of this, my three daughters have the same 4th great-grandfather on both my side and their father's side.  Seems strange now, but it's really true.  And, of course, it means my ex and I have the same 5th great-grandfather!

So, here's the song, if you haven't seen it before!

Many, many years ago when I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could 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 life
For now my daughter was my mother, 'cause she was my father's wife
And 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 were my uncle, then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grownup daughter, who was of course my step-mother

Father's wife then had a son who kept them 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
'Cause now I have become the strangest 'case you ever saw
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa

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

So here's the explanation:

  • The narrator marries the older woman.
    • This results in the woman's daughter becoming his stepdaughter.
  • Subsequently, the narrator's father marries the older woman's daughter.
    • The woman's daughter, being the new wife of the narrator's father, is now both his stepdaughter and his stepmother. Concurrently, the narrator's father, being his stepdaughter's husband, is also his own stepson-in-law.
      • The narrator's wife, being the mother of his stepmother, makes her both spouse and step-grandmother.
        • The husband of the narrator's wife would then be the narrator's step-grandfather. Since the narrator is that person, he has managed to become his own (step-step)grandfather. The "step-step" concept applies because the step-father of your step-mother would be your step-step-grandfather, making a "double step" event possible.
The song continues with
  • The narrator and his wife having a son.
    • The narrator's son immediately becomes the half-brother of his stepdaughter, as the narrator's wife is the mother of both.
      • Since his stepdaughter is also his stepmother, then the narrator's son is also his own step-and/or half-uncle because he is the (half-)brother of his (step-)mother.
        • The Narrator's son would then become a brother-in-law to the narrator's father, because he is the (half-)brother of the father's wife.
  • The narrator's father and his wife (the narrator's stepdaughter) then had a son of their own.
    • The child would then become the narrator's grandson because he is the son of his (step-)daughter.
      • The son would also become the (half-)brother of the narrator because his father is also the narrator's.


Sue said…
Now that would be a confusing family tree! Eeesh!

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