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Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project



1. Thou shalt name thy male children; James, John, Joseph, Josiah, Abel, Richard, Robert, William and Thomas.

2. Thou shalt name thy female children; Rebecca, Susannah, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary, Martha, Maria, Sarah, Ida, Virginia, Maud and Matilda.

3. Thou shalt leave NO trace of your female children.

4. Thou shalt, after naming thy children from the above lists, call them by strange nicknames such as; Ike, Tub, Eli, Polly, Mollie, Fannie, Sally, Sudey and Sukey, -- making them difficult to trace.

5. Thou shalt NOT use any middle names on any legal documents or census reports, and only when necessary you may use only initials on legal documents.

6. Thou shalt learn to sign all documents illegibly so that thy surname can be spelled, or misspelled, in various ways; Hicks, Hix, Hixe, Hucks, Kicks, or Robertson, Robinson, Roberson, Robuson, Robson, Dobson.

7. Thou shalt, after no more than 3 generations, make sure that all family records are lost, misplaced, burned in a courthouse fire, or buried so that NO future trace of them can be found.

8. Thou shalt propagate misleading legends, rumors, and vague innuendo regarding your place of origin:
        You may have come from; England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales . . . or Iran.
        You may have Native American ancestry of the ___ tribe .
        You may have descended from ONE of three brothers who came over from ___.

9. Thou shalt leave NO cemetery records, or headstones with legible names.

10. Thou shalt leave NO family Bibles with records of birth, marriages or deaths.

11. Thou shalt ALWAYS flip thy name around. If born John Albert, thou must make all the rest of the records in the name of Albert, AJ, JA, AL, Bert, Bart or Alfred.

12. Thou must also flip thy parents' names when making references to them, although "Unknown" or a blank line is an acceptable alternative.

13. Thou shalt name at least 5 generations of males and dozens of their cousins with identical names in order to totally confuse researchers.

Author unknown; Contribution by Sherry Hatfield, June of 2009

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