Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Was Morton Smith Adopted?

I have been trying to get Morton Smith's parents straight for some time now. I wanted to determine if they were members of the Swedenborgian faith. Thanks to Allan Pantuck I think I finally located a document which corrects misinformation propagated by both Peter Jeffery and Stephen Carlson.  I have worked hard all night to find if there any more leads to follow.  Apparently this is all that the internet has to offer.  I wish there was more available to us to figure out some kind of background for Morton Smith. Here are the facts:

Morton Smith's parents were Rubert H Smith and Mary Funk. They married in 1897 in Philadelphia, PA.

Rubert H. Smith son of Henry J. Smith and Jane Mary was born about 1871 in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Mary Funk was the daughter of John Funk and Mary A Rich (married on 24 Oct 1864 in Streator, La Salle County, Illinois. She was born about 1872. She died before 1974 (La Salle County Genealogy Guild Obituary File, La Salle County Genealogy Guild, Ottawa, Illinois, 115 West Glover Street Ottawa, Illinois 61350, Unknown newspaper - 10 JAN 1974 - Unknown page - Partial transcription - Miss Sylvia Funk. see notes for Sylvia G. Funk, daughter of John Funk and Mary A. Rich)

Morton Smith was born on May 29, 1915 (i.e. when Mary Funk was about 43 years old and had already been married to Rubert Smith for about 18 years)

The problem is of course that Smith's parents were married in their twenties and little Mortie didn't arrive until they were in their mid-forties. I know this doesn't seem remarkable today but my wife's mother who happened to have grown up in Trinidad (so you know she has lots of colorful expressions) refers to any child to people born in their forties as 'old people's kids.' It was very rare back in those days and especially in a family that only had one child.

What is also odd is the fact that Morton Smith seems to have attended the New Academy even though his parents weren't members of the church. I have been told all today by countless older members of the present church that this never happened in the 1930s and 1940s. You had to be a member to have your child enrolled at the New Academy. All of which makes me wonder about Smith being the only child of forty year old parents.

Did his father only find his wife's vagina after almost twenty years of marriage?  They didn't have birth control back then nor clomid so if they were engaging in regular sexual intercourse the same weak and pathetic sperm were falling asleep before reaching their target for eighteen years before one super tadpole emerged to produce a genius? Or was it that the parents never had sex and then in a drunken night of passion produced little Mortie? Or was he adopted? Was he the product of an early scientific experiment?

Of course I am joking about all of this but it just seems strange. My mother in law keeps telling my wife that her mother had kids until she was forty six. But like Sarah Palin, her mother had lots of kids. That's the deciding difference.  My mother and law is also convinced if you don't have kids you go into early menopause.  In event, Morton Smith being the only child of two forty year old parents who weren't members of Bryn Athyn but he is just seems odd to me.  Maybe there is an explanation somewhere ...

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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