How Do You Whiten A Black Sheep?

+21 votes

I am not sure where this originally came from, but I got it at Genealogy Jokes and Poems:

A Blacksheep, whitened

Let's say that your great-great uncle Remus Starr, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.

A cousin has supplied you with the only known photograph of Remus, showing him standing on the gallows.  On the back of the picture are the words:
Remus Starr: Horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison, 1885. Escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times.  Caught by Pinkerton Detectives, convicted and hanged, 1889.

Pretty grim situation, right?  But let's revise things a bit.  We simply crop the picture, scan in an enlargement and edit it with image processing software so that all that is seen is a head shot.

Next, we rewrite the text:
Remus Starr was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory.  His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad.  Beginning in 1885, he  devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.  In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency.  In 1889, Uncle Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.

Now we give Uncle Remus a distinguished place inside the family tree, not hanging from it.

in The Tree House by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (366k points)
retagged by Vic Watt
I've been contemplating whether I should attach a newspaper article about a young couple (woman married, man not) who disappeared from Waltham, Massachusetts.  They both reappeared and apparently everything was OK, as she remained married and he did marry, have five kids and live happily for 31 more years.  So far, I've chosen not to include the article, although neither of the people is still alive, and all their kids are dead, too.
Yes Vic, there's certainly many a tale to be told and much of the art is in the telling!
"political correctness which is usually used to describe measures taken not to disadvantage a particular person or group."


Retch. Puke. This message has been approved by me.
As an alternative to posting the newspaper article, would you want to post a question that you have in mind?
Yes that is the correct interpretation Michele - there has been er hum a little license employed herein!
" He had many talents including the ability to release a projectile from his mouth and accurately hit a target on a regular basis."
Betty ... my cup of tea nearly ended up all over my computer screen when I read that ... lol!! Just brilliant! Heck, I may even just put it in the bio ;)

My granny used to chew. If you think it's disgusting when a guy does it, wait until you see a woman with rotted teeth doing it.

Not pretty.


That sounds like a short story I read once, I think it was O.Henry, but can't be positive, An Autobiography... the narrator's uncle had a very fine hand. He was a forger.
Betty, my great gramma dipped snuff. My mamma had to get her a certain type of twig probably sweet gum, and chew the ends for her.

My Dad's cousin's wife, Aunt Reathie, chewed. She carried an old style 1# coffee can with lid, the kind that needed the key to unwind the seal. And you never saw her spit, and she never let it drip down her mouth. But she carried that can every where she went. I have seen her lift the can, or set the can down, but never saw her spit. I didn't even knew she dipped until someone told me.

2 Answers

0 votes
Duh. Saw the joke tag waaay down at the bottom.
by Michele Britton G2G6 Mach 2 (21.2k points)
edited by Michele Britton
Ah come on, lighten up!  At the top I said that I got it from a joke site, and if you look at the tags attached, you will see: Jokes.
Doh! I missed the Joke line.

I beg your pardon and blame this reaction on stories my mother told me of blue-haired ladies she met in her early geneaolgy endeavors. They spent as much effort white washing birth and marriage dates to assure a minimum 9 months gestation span between marriage and birth for all relatives, dead or alive, as the rest of us spend on finding real facts. ;-)
You'd think they were never young themselves.
Then there are always the ladies (in my family they dyed their hair red rather than blue) who insisted that their tombstones reflect a date three years younger than the adjacent spouse. Difficult to overcome without independent county records!
+2 votes
Very funny!!!

The sad part, people continue to dress the skeletons in the family closet with wings and halos. Those never-do-wells are our past, not our future.

I'm supposed to get my aunt's genealogy research. She recently passed away and her sons don't want anything to do with it. The portion of her charting and individual histories that she sent to me about ten years ago. Had some glaring misinformation and outright fabrications. If left untouched, future generations will be concerned when they can't find marriage or divorce records for the 1960s Hippy aunt with a son and no baby daddy.
by Kathryn H G2G1 (1.6k points)
Yes, the stories that came down to me about one of my great grandparents were so far from the truth. My grandfather even wrote a story mentioning him which got published in a popular NZ magazine - totally false regarding how he died. That fallacy will no doubt become fact in the future.

The hippy aunt sounds far out ;)
Today, I find the stories uncovered about outlaw in-laws to be delightfully entertaining. In the future, I expect that our descendants (all of them, collectively) will also find humour in our foibles.
"If you can't be a good example than you'll have to be a horrible warning." -- -Catherine Aird

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