For those of you into fictional genealogy, Cassandra sent me a note about mapping out the genealogy of the characters in the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling, the series’ author, is a big fan of genealogy, and has included a lot of back history of the various characters.
First off, happy holidays to everybody. If you’re like me, you’re doing a lot of genealogy research over the next week or so, including interviews with family members, etc.
If you want something to get the children interested, Gilles Maurice has put together a genealogy site about Disney characters (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc.).
Mouse Family Tree
They also bring up an interested paradox in regards to researching the genealogy of Disney characters:
Building a family tree of a Disney character is not an easy job : first, you have to include all the concerned characters, which is somehow difficult, because you have to lead huge researches, then you have to face contradictions which exist from a story to another, from an “universe” to another,… But the most delicate issue is the big lack of normal family relations in the Disney universe (we can find as many uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces as possible, but direct parents or children are very rare). About this relevant topic, Don Rosa told “I don’t really know the reason for there never being fathers and mothers, only aunts and uncles, in Disney comics. Maybe it makes the kids possible but doesn’t limit the actions of the “parents”… Unca Donald can act slightly less responsible than a real father, with no mother to watch him. With the uncle/aunt deal you have all story possibilities still open with no limitations.”
Ancestry.com had these Harry Potter-related tidbits in their monthly update (advertising the new census information from the UK that has just recently become available):
A hundred years ago, Harry Potter was working as a general clerk in Lancashire. This twenty-seven-year-old Potter was just one of many Harry Potter’s listed in the 1851 England Census. Proving, as the literary Potter’s Aunt Petunia informed the world in the first magical book, that Harry Potter is a “dreadful common name.”
And, although no Lord Voldemorts are to be found in the census, a thirty-five-year-old Tom Riddle (Voldemort’s-gasp-Muggle name) was working as a general laborer in Cornwall in that same year. Like the clerk Potter, this Tom Riddle was just one of many in the census, suggesting that Tom Riddle is as dreadful and common as Harry Potter.
In fact the Harry Potter books are filled with non-magical surnames, such as Longbottom-someone from a long valley and not a physical description of the person in question-an! d Snape-which, among other meanings, describes an area of boggy land.
The 1851 England census is available online at Ancestry.com, which also houses surname dictionaries among millions of records including the birth registration of Daniel Radcliffe (who plays Mr. Potter in the movies). Log on today to build your family’s tree and discover how many Harry Potters, Tom Riddles, or Daniel Radcliffes you are related to.
Since the new Harry Potter book came out, there’s been an increase of interest in this boy-wizard.
Here’s a look at some sites that feature his genealogy.