I have been spending a lot of time on Ancestry.com lately, trying to unravel a few family mysteries and, in some cases, seeing just how far I can follow the genetic threads backward into time. There's a funny, almost spooky feeling I get when I'm tracing ancestors into the 1600s, 1500s. I imagine what their lives were like -- living in one small patch of country for most of their lives, marrying young, having lots of kids, and winking out at an age where most of us are just getting started.
Maybe it's because I'm a writer, but I am a sucker for an excellent name. And there are some excellently named people in my lineage. Such as:
Lady Christian Barley
Orpheus "Offie" Bradley
Russell Reno Purcell
Thomas Marston "The Seagull" Green
Asbury Coke Jones
William Grover Cleveland Jones
If these people hadn't existed, I would want to invent them.