The Ballad of Short Dick

An onomatological curiosity in the Wolfe family: my great grandfather was Maurice; my great (x3) uncle was Maurice, as was his son and two of his nephews, one of whom—wait for it—was named Maurice Morris. Maurice Morris’s brother, by the way, was Edmund Maurice. Edmund Maurice’s father was Maurice, and his father, my great (x4) grandfather was James Maurice. James Maurice’s brother was Maurice James, aka Young Maurice, whose father also was Maurice James, aka Old Maurice. Young Maurice had a nephew, Edmund Maurice, whose father was Short Dick. And, finally, Old Maurice’s grandfather, which is to say my great (x7) grandfather, who farmed land in County Limerick at the time Cromwell’s men came through, was the original Maurice James, or Really Really Old Maurice.

image: ca. 1920. Standing (left to right): Maurice Wolfe, Frank and Mary Carraher, Sarah McAndrews Wolfe, Ray Wolfe, Phil Wolfe, Melvin Wolfe. In my father’s hand, seated: “McClains (sp.) from Clinton (They liked chicken!).”

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