52 Ancestors, Week 20: Bearded

It’s Week 20 of 2023, and of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project. The challenge was created by genealogist Amy Johnson Crow, who provides a different prompt each week for exploring family history. I thought last week’s theme, Bald, was difficult. This week’s is harder. The theme is Bearded.

Ira Tinklepaugh, despite having a cool name and a cool beard, was related to me only marriage, as the great-great grandfather of the wife of my first cousin twice-removed! He and his beard lived to the age of 96.

It’s harder because beards just do not run in my family. Thousands of people populate my family tree. Only a handful of those have beards, and almost all of them are my husband’s relatives, not mine. My own ancestors are all Italian. And until relatively recently, beards were just not a major part of Italian culture. I can’t find even a single bearded man who is a direct ancestor, though I have turned up a few more distantly related ones.

I’ve decided to spotlight one of those distant relations. He is related through my mother’s maternal line, but only by marriage, which is why you’ll see that he does not have an Italian name. And he was born in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, in 1819, long before any of my Italian ancestors emigrated to the U.S.

Meet the great-great-grandfather of the wife of my first cousin twice removed. Got that? I did say distant. I’ve chosen him because he’s got the biggest beard of anyone else I can find, but also because he has an amazing name: Ira Tinklepaugh.

Yes, I said Ira Tinklepaugh. (I really like typing that.) Ira Tinklepaugh, on my mother’s side of the family, was born in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, in 1819. Ira Tinklepaugh was the son of a similarly amazingly named father, Hontice Tinklepaugh. But I have no photos of Hontice Tinklepaugh and no idea if he also wore a beard, like his son Ira Tinklepaugh. I still like typing that.

Ira Tinklepaugh. Ira Tinklepaugh. Ira Tinklepaugh….

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