Mens Temporum . UK

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Every Name a Story

I have now covered the names of all the main characters in my novel but one has been overlooked, that of myself as the author, so I will now correct that omission.

I previously mentioned that I first contacted my English literature tutor friend in the USA because he was also a researcher at the national archives in Washington DC and I was trying to discover my grandfather’s ancestors. Searches conducted by both this Washington DC researcher and another in Buenos Aires failed to find them on either continent so years later in 2014 I decided to try a different approach and have my DNA analysed. Grandfather had told the family that our family name was a good one to have because nobody could tell where one came from. This suggested to me that he didn’t want his own past to be discovered and that he may have taken to using another name when he arrived in Britain to conceal it. It would explain why searches on our own family name had not found anyone and the only way of getting around this would be to use my identical Y-DNA to trace potential relatives regardless of their names.

The first analysis was not detailed enough to produce any precise results but it was promising so since then I have had a more extensive one done and both identified the same man as potentially having closely matching DNA. My grandfather had said that his father was German and his accent also sounded German. My DNA was consistent with this and also the man with DNA matching it, who lived in the USA, also had known German ancestors. I tried writing to him and received no reply but he had mentioned in the notes accompanying his DNA record the region in Germany where his earliest known ancestor had lived, so that gave me somewhere to search for my own ancestors and possibly to find someone whose Y-DNA exactly matched my own but so far I have not pursued this route.

The remarkable coincidence though was that man’s family name “Anderer”. With my persistent tendency to encounter strange coincidences in my life it hardly comes as a surprise that I chose to learn German in my school days as an optional subject long before knowing anything about grandfather, who had died before I was born, so I am fully aware that "another name" in German is "ein anderer Name". Was it possible that my original thought about grandfather having another name was actually that time defying phenomenon attempting to tell me that his real family name was possibly or even actually "Other"? Only time will tell and until then I can only accept that my original family name may have been “something else”.

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