I never got to meet either of mine. One died four years before I was born, of cirrhosis of the liver, and the other died of cancer when I was only one year old. From what people tell me, I didn't miss a whole lot. We had long believed my paternal grandfather to be Irish, but now know him to have been English and Scottish. As far as we can tell, he was the only disreputable member of a modestly accomplished family. The last four letters of his last name and mine are, "-land". I have now learned that the names was given to the clan that owned land on a certain English river, to which the suffix, -land was appended. Some day I'll have to do a title search. My other grandfather was a mystery man. He came to America from Greece in 1913 at age 21, and while he was largely secretive and sometimes told conflicting stories regarding his early life, he was pretty consistent in claiming he came in through Ellis Island, where he told them that his name was Epaminondas, and since no one in immigration had ever heard that name, they called him Peter, which became his American first name. A couple of years ago, a cousin of mine went through the 1913 immigration records but found no one with his name, which stumped us all, but then she connected with an uncle who had visited Greece in 1993, and we learned "the rest of the story". It seems my grandfather, his cousin and a friend all fled Greece in 1913 to avoid being drafted. They first went to Naples, where the friend was sent back to Greece, and then my grandfather and his cousin made it to America. The cousin gave his correct name and his immigration was refused, so my grandfather gave his father's first name as his last name and got admitted. And helping him further conceal his identity, someone at immigration got confused and swapped the first and last names he gave, and thus my cousin could not find him alphabetically by surname because she was searching for what she knew to be his surname while he was indexed alphabetically under his first name. This solves a mystery regarding the peculiar name of my eldest uncle, who has the same first name as last name. It is traditional for Greeks to name their first born male after his grandfather, but since his father - my grandfather - had appropriated his fathers first name as his new last name, it meant that his son would wind up having the same first name as last. My grandfather was forced to stop working when Social Security numbers were issued in the 1930s because he didn't want his identity scrutinized. Of course, he didn't need to work. He was the head of a typical, first generation Greek-American family, where all the "children" stayed home until they married (sort of like "Bonanza" but without the Ponderosa), and all the females had to turn their paychecks over to him (he gave them each a dollar a week spending money) and the sons had to pay board. And he got the income scheme rolling early by making two of them quite school at age 13 to go to work at "the mill" for $.10 per hour. He actually told three of them to quit, but the eldest, at age 14, told him to go to hell. He was thrown out at age 16 because he wouldn't quit school, so he had to support himself working part time and living in a boarding house while he completed high school. My grandfather's petition for U.S. citizenship was granted in 1946. Greeks are notoriously boisterous nationalists. If you ask a Greek to tell you something about himself, he'll say, "I'm Greek". If you ask him to say something else, he'll say, "I'm Greek!", which makes perfect sense to him because as far as he is concerned, there is nothing else to be said. I'm not that bad, but if someone asks about my ancestry, I always say I'm half Greek before I get into the other half, and I always mention my Greek surname - my mother's maiden name - because it is a Greek name that is historically significant. So while nothing I learned from this makes me any less Greek, it does make me feel less historically significant.