The Genealogy Sojourner: James Bond Is My Wife's Cousin
Before Ian Fleming's Creation There Were Other James Bonds
When a person is researching their genealogy and begins expanding their family tree they will collect a lot of names, some more intriguing than others. Recently I came across an especially interesting one to me, one James Bond. I had momentary visions of Ian Fleming's famous super spy 007 himself but then I remembered the inspiration for the character's name came from a real-life James Bond who was an ornithologist who worked in the Caribbean in the early 1950's when Ian Fleming was writing his first book Casino Royale. Turns out though the James Michael Bond who was my wife's distant relative (5th cousin), wasn't the famous ornithologist but did have a notable career in his own right and embraced his famous name with tongue and cheek humor that inspired me to learn more about him.
- Genealogy Websites: There are a host of sites available to aid in this research. Here are three to check out:
- Newpaper Websites: The exploits of James Michael Bond are detailed in numerous newspaper articles. Here are a few interesting titles:
- James Bond Of Decatur Is EIU 'Secret Agent
- Eastern's 007
- Staff Report: Will The Real James Bond Please Stick 'Em-Up
- Real Bond Better Than Fiction
- James Bond, Ornithologist, 89; Fleming Adopted Name for 007
- Final Resting Places And Legacy: What ultimately became of James earthly remains and what was his legacy.
Family gatherings and the resources I've already mentioned are just the beginning. For more clues on helping to track down those elusive members of your family tree, try finding nonfiction history titles related to the time and events they experienced.
- Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
- The Man With The Golden Typewriter : Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters edited by Fergus Fleming
- Into The Lion's Mouth by Larry Loftis
- All About Bond photographs by Terry O'Neill, edited by Deborah Moore and Robin Morgan
- Available through Link+:
San José Public Library has other resources so you too can do your own investigations, share the results with family and friends, and discover what's in a name.