Ancestry Story

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Caucasian
Age: 64
Occupation: Retired
Residence: Essex Falls, NJ
Date of Performance/Collection: April 24, 2008
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Ancestry Rumor

“There has always been a rumor that the LeCates family ancestors were seafaring pirates.  Another rumor is that we come from a band of thieves in France.”

These amusing rumors about our ancestry are said to have started a very long time ago.  It is obviously quite unclear as to whether there is actually any truth to the rumors, but they have provided amusement to the family for years.  We bring it up a lot at family events and holidays that many of us gather for, especially Christmas and Thanksgiving.  My family generally has a great sense of humor, so we enjoy talking about anything that could provide humor.

I believe this rumor started because of our last name, LeCates.  We are of French decent, though many generations ago.  We don’t really consider ourselves French, but every once in a while if something amusing comes up we’ll associate ourselves as a joke.  The particular rumor about being a band of thieves in France most likely came up because we also happen to be a troublemaking family (to some extent, not necessarily in a serious way.)  We tend to enjoying fooling around pulling pranks, etc.  Sometimes we really do get into trouble with the law for tickets or driving and whatnot, and that specifically is when the rumors come out and start getting repeated.  When these situations are combined with out good sense of humor, this creates a perfect environment to stir up old rumors.

The “seafaring pirates” rumor is very similar in that it comes up when any member of our family gets into any kind of trouble.  This rumor in particular comes up when my siblings or I talk about our spending money.  If we had gone out a lot recently or had done a lot of shopping and realize the next day that we’re starting to run low on cash, we joke around that our seafaring ancestors took it.  We say the same thing if money somehow goes missing, as well.  This rumor tends to provide a lot of humor because it can be interpreted, shared, and repeated in a variety of ways.

Family ancestry rumors tend to be very common because they involve a sense of pride.  Even if it seems to be a somewhat negative rumor, like this one, it is still a way of recognizing and identifying a family.  This makes the members of the family feel proud for their heritage, gives them something to talk about, and helps them feel even more connected with each other to have something to peculiar in common.