The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Octavia Hill, 1838-1912.
Though we have the same surname, I'm going to go out on a limb and say she's not a close relative.
If she were a direct ancestor, she'd be my.. what? Let's say 150 years have passed since her most likely child-bearing age. Great-great-great grandmother, five generations back.
I don't mean that I know who any of my gran-gran-gran-nans are, and I'd be kind of pleased in some wonderfully irrational way if one of that had turned out to be in the forefront of Christian Socialism and spent her life improving the living conditions of the very poor by the simple expedient of being a socialist landlord. Octavia Hill, long dead as you are, I approve.

The page I got the image from was called "Local ancestors", but Octavia isn't my ancestor. Indeed, unless the nineteenth century held a secret, she isn't anyone's ancestor as far as I can see. Octavia was born Hill, and was never married. The chance of her being a close (Well, grand3 or so) aunt are also pretty slim, because as far as I can tell her father (the proto-Hill) just had eight daughters, all of whom would have to loose the name to get into the gene pool.

Then again, consider that six generations back only maybe 3% of my ancestors had the Hill name and when you're named after a common English noun, you can assume that my family probably did not account for 3% of all Hills. Of course, ultimately, we are related, and both being English, probably more closely than most.


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