Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Baby George Got His Name

After several conversations on the subject with my coworkers, I finally gave in and decided to do a royal baby post.

Royalty and genealogy go hand in hand. I got started studying royalty genealogy way back before I had the Internet. I would pull out our encyclopedias and work backward from one king to the next. There is some kind of disorder there. I found it really interesting and crazy, crazy that the European royal families were all related in some way. Literally, ALL of them. Crazy.

So, if you haven't been living under a rock, you probably know there is a new royal baby. When the Duchess first announced her pregnancy, there was a debate about whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. Not really important anymore, since a law was passed (very recently, in 2011) ensuring that either sex could succeed to the throne, when his/her time came. The second debate started immediately after the Prince was born: what would his name be? In the end, George Alexander Louis won. But you may ask why. Well, no commoner can say for sure, but those royals really like honoring family members and this is my best guess. Read with me, won't you?


When baby George becomes King George, he will (likely) be crowned as King George VII. Obviously because six kings of Great Britain and Ireland have been crowned as King George before him, starting with this fine-looking chap...

King George I

This guy was actually a German, who was chosen to take the throne for his childless second-cousin, Queen Anne I (who was actually descended from a line of Kings originally from Scotland, go figure). This was not because he was the nearest living relative to the monarch, as is usually the case. It was because he was the Protestant-iest. To make it so, a law was passed called the Act of Settlement in 1701, under which anyone who marries a Roman Catholic or converts to Catholicism themselves cannot inherit the throne. Blah, blah, blah. (This law also recently went the way of the dodo bird).

After George I, there was a George II, then George III (below, the crazy one that lost America during the Revolutionary War), and so on.

Most recently, there was George VI. His birth name was Albert Frederick Arthur George, his nickname was Bertie, and when he inherited the throne from his older brother -- who had abdicated to marry an American, Catholic, divorcee (oooh, the British royal family hated all of those words) -- he took the name George, making him the VI. 

You may recognize his picture.

If you don't, you may recognize Colin Firth playing him in the "The King's Speech." Beautiful Colin Firth...

George VI was also the much-loved father of the current Queen, Elizabeth II, and the great-great, grandfather of the new, little George. 

Another possibility? A patriotic tip of the hat. St. George is the patron saint of England. He is supposed to have slayed a dragon and whatnot. 

Here he is doing that...



I'd like to say William and Kate just know how awesome my husband is, but it's not likely. Some more likely reasons? While there haven't been any kings of Great Britain with the name Alexander, several Kings throughout Europe (remember, they are ALL related!) have carried the name. Additionally, Prince George's great-great-great-great grandmother was a Danish princess by the name of Alexandra, which is Queen Elizabeth II's middle name. 

Queen Alexandra.


Sure, there have been tons of French kings named Louis, but this is probably not for them. Instead, it is likely a nod to Louis, Lord Mountbatten, a beloved great-uncle of baby George's grandfather, Prince Charles. Born as Louis Battenberg, his last name was changed around 1917 when many British royals were dropping their German titles during the first World War. (Remember when I told you the royal family were of German descent? Even after becoming the rulers of England, they continued to have close ties to Germany. Many of the lesser royals married into the various German principalities and duchies, a fact they liked to hide when they were ruling a country who was at war with Germany.) 

Lord Mountbatten.
Unfortunately, Lord Mountbatten would meet an untimely fate. While holidaying in Ireland in 1979, the IRA detonated a bomb on his boat, killing him, one of his grandsons, and his daughter's mother-in-law. In honor, Prince Charles would give his firstborn son the name Louis as his final given name (William Arthur Phillip Louis) and Prince William would do the same.

That is your history lesson, people. Now let's get back to talking about what Kate is wearing!

(Thanks for the photos, Wikipedia. You're a peach.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Modern Family Tree

Let's take a break from eating, and talk genealogy for a minute.

Researching genealogy is not a hip thing to do. It can be a lot of fun, though! Finding that missing link you've been looking for is such a rewarding feeling. A feeling that's not so rewarding? Realizing that all that hard work I've done is going to sit in some book where no one will see it. I have always wished there were a way to use my genealogy research to create a cool piece of art. Genealogy art has been around for years, and it looks it. Many times it looks very dated and is the exact opposite of anything I would want to hang in my living room. That is why I love, love, love these options from My Tree and Me below. They offer a modern and beautiful way to display your family tree in your home.

P.S. I think that this tree would go beautifully in a nursery. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sunny Saturday Morning Market

We usually get our grocery shopping out of the way on Saturday afternoons, along with our laundry. What everyone wants to be doing on Saturday afternoon, right? This Saturday, Alex suggested we head over to the Green City Market to pick up some of our fruits and veggies. (Which we do, in fact, eat! Often, and in abundance! Contrary to the photos on, and general theme of, this blog...) Great idea, honey! 

The Market is definitely not new to the city and I might be the last person living in Chicago that had not been there. To add insult to injury, it is literally located across the street from the Museum where I work (and it is open on Wednesdays too). I'm just that lazy sometimes. Anyway, no time like the present. Off we went. We couldn't have asked for a better day and the Market did not disappoint. Fruits, veggies, crepes, homemade soda, baked goods, even booze! Really, people. The amount of money I could have spent here. Which is probably the reason that I have avoided it in the past. We finally ended up walking away with several items for dinner this week and split a DELICIOUS veggie crepe from Abby's Crepes for breakfast. 

Remember Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, from a while back? This woman in the red skirt is the farmer's market version.

On a very sad side note, I started my day with a bacon cookie. 

And ended it with bacon beignets at Barrelhouse Flat

I swear I ate a salad in between. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blue and Yellow, Blue and Yellow...

My husband is a real city boy. He grew up right in the heart of Andersonville, Chicago's historically Swedish neighborhood. Don't be fooled by his Polish last name, Alex has good bit of Swedish blood running through his veins. He likes to go back and visit some old favorites, even as the area - now one of the city's hippest - grows and changes. The allure of the many dining options has brought me there a number of times, but it's always more fun to get a tour from a local. "That Walgreen's used to be a paint store," he says, "and that 7-Eleven used to be a White Hen." And, not without a little nostalgia, "This was the house I grew up in." (My personal favorite.)

The house he grew up in! Sorry, current residents.

Big Jones, the southern-style restaurant that played an important role in the history of our relationship, used to be a neighborhood institution called Augie's "that had an old look and an old sign and we went there after church." Here is a picture of it courtesy of Yelp. 

And here is what it looks like now!

Our visit took us first to Taste of Lebanon, located just west of the corner of Foster and Clark, for a falafel wrap. The place is small, the menu is small, but don't pass it up because the food is delicious.

It's a small, but lovely, restaurant. This was the only picture of me without food in my mouth.

After eating, we took a walk around. This is what we saw!

Swedish American Museum

This girl, checking out the merch.

Once, Alex bought some shoes here that I hated.

Yeah, Swedish flag!

Alex's dad always says this church looks like a bank. "Jesus saves... with us!"

Still full from our falafel, we stopped in Lady Gregory's for afternoon drinks. Alex had first heard about this pub almost two years ago when we were in Chicago getting married (awww!). We were only planning on drinks, but then we saw the small plates menu. I have the hardest time resisting beets when they are on a menu and, this time, I gave in. Alex got the steak of cauliflower. Sounds weird, right? Nope. It's delicious and highly recommended. We clearly have life all figured out: Day-drinking and vegetable snacks. We will be back to this place very soon. Mark my words.  

Spirit book.

Last on our list was a stop at Pars Persian Storethe loose tea store that Alex can't get enough of. Each time we visit Andersonville, he says he doesn't need any tea. Each time, we leave Andersonville with at least one bag of tea. 

One final shout out to some great places that we didn't make it to during this trip: Hopleaf and Huey's. Huey's does iconic Chicago hot dog stand without all the fuss. You can also get a killer milkshake. There are lots of hot dog places in the city (the Hotdogtown, they call it), but this one is pretty damn good. Hopleaf is well-known throughout the city for their selection of international beers. Hopleaf was a beer bar before everything else was a beer bar.

This tiny Swedish neighborhood may have a reputation for being a yuppie enclave, but it has surprising variety and is a great place to spend an afternoon. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Their Portraits Hang in a Library

And I call them grandma and grandpa, Nori and George, for short. That's right, Kim and Kanye, my great-great grandma Nora was called Nori waaay before baby North showed up. Anyway, I just had to get photos of the adorable couple (in their wedding portraits) up for the world to see. George Edward Price and Nora Edna Elizabeth Miller were married in 1887 in Indiana. Nora would live, spending a considerable amount of time playing the piano for her family, until she passed away at the ripe old age of 93. Nora and her parents are also my family tree brick wall. Geez, Louise, you'd think that Indiana and Ohio were having a sale on the name 'Nora Miller' in the 1870's. Thanks for the puzzle, Nora, but I'll find you yet.

A special shout out to Winchester Community Library in Winchester, Indiana. George and Nora's portraits lived in my grandmother's dining room for as long as I can remember. She asked that they be donated to the Library when she died, and there they now hang, in all their splendor. The Director of the Library, Jana, worked for two days to get a good photo of the portraits to send me, even employing the custodian to get a shot in the "morning before daylight." I thank you both, as does my mother, who hasn't seen the portraits in years.

That's some Hoosier courtesy, right there.