Thursday, November 30, 2006

A genealogy puzzle

Dan Lynch has a genealogy puzzle to solve at

The puzzle is:

On June 1st, five couples who live in Trumbull will celebrate their wedding anniversaries. Their surnames are Johnstone, Parker, Watson, Graves, and Shearer. The husbands' given names are Russell, Douglas, Charles, Peter, and Everett. The wives' given names are Elaine, Joyce, Marcia, Elizabeth, and Mildred.

Keep in mind that no two couples have been married the same number of years. From the clues given, try to determine the husband and wife that make up each couple and the number of years they have been married.

* Joyce has not been married as long as Charles or the Parkers, but longer than Douglas or the Johnstones.

* Elizabeth has been married twice as long as the Watsons, but only half as long as Russell.

* The Shearers have been married ten years longer than Peter and ten years less than Marcia.

* Douglas and Mildred have been married for 25 years less than the Graves who, having been married for 30 years, are the couple who have been married the longest.

* Neither Elaine nor the Johnstones have been married the shortest amount of time.

* Everett has been married for 25 years.

Dan will publish the solution to this puzzle on 1 January 2007.

Can you figure it out? How long did it take?

Hat tip to Dick Eastman for publicizing this.

1 comment:

Carla Lee said...


I am a middle school coordinator who teaches one "exploratory" class each semester. Needless to say, as an amateur genealogist (with a degree in history), I often focus on family history and research in an attempt to get young people interested.

I am actually home sick today, but was still able to crawl over to the computer, sit up, and do what I love to do - family research!

Somehow I found your blog - don't ask me how 'cause I certainly can't remember now. Anyway, I LOVE the puzzle and plan to use it as a group project with my next semester's class, which begins January 8th. I will let you know how the kids do on the puzzle.

Also, I copied the “Santa Clause in the Census" article for the group I have now. I will give it to them on Monday. I will certainly be sure to site you and your blog as my source for both endeavors!

Thanks for posting some interesting things that can be used to encourage the next generation of kids.

Carla Love Maitland
Memphis, TN