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Trick Questions

By Daniel Hubbard | April 1, 2013

In honor of April Fools’ Day, I thought I might throw out some genealogical trick questions. See how you do.

  1. Is it legal in Virginia for a man to marry his widow’s sister?
  2. How many birthdays does the average man have? The average woman?
  3. Do they have a fourth of July in England?
  4. Can a woman living in Denver, Colorado be buried east of the Mississippi?
  5. A genealogist traced herself back to the Mayflower and she was horrified. Why?
  6. A father with a large landed estate was writing his will in a jurisdiction where land was always inherited by primogeniture. How much of the land did the first son get at that time?
  7. Some months have 30 days. Some months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?
  8. You prove your descent from a soldier who charged the heights during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Is that enough to join the DAR/SAR?
  9. In Puritan communities, how much dirt was there traditionally supposed to be in an open grave?
  10. A man of Irish extraction lived in the same part of Connecticut his whole life and was a U.S. citizen when he died but you can’t find him in local naturalization records. Why not?






  1. No, dead men can’t marry.
  2. The average man and the average woman have one birthday, though they may celebrate it many times.
  3. Yes, they also have the first, second, third, fifth…
  4. No, because she is still alive.
  5. She would have felt much better about tracing herself back to a passenger.
  6. Nothing. The father was still writing.
  7. Twelve, all months have 28 days.
  8. No, the British were the ones who charged the heights.
  9. None.
  10. If he lived in Connecticut his whole life, he didn’t need to naturalize.
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Topics: Genealogy | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Trick Questions”

  1. John Says:
    April 1st, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Another answer for 5: She would have felt better if she traced her ancestry back to the Mayflower – that is, she didn’t realize she was almost 400 years old.

    For 4, I’d argue being dead is not a prerequisite for being buried. Perhaps I’ve read too much Poe. However, if she is alive in Denver, she can’t be buried East of the Mississippi. (Parts of her could be buried East of the Mississippi, but not all of her.)

  2. Daniel Hubbard Says:
    April 1st, 2013 at 10:55 am

    John, you are certainly right about 5. I could have gotten two trick questions out of that. You probably have read too much Poe but I actually wondered if anyone would point that out. Maybe I should repost that question along with a picture of three roses and some cognac on Poe’s birthday.