Monday, October 8, 2012


One quarter million Scots-Irish settled in America during the 1700's. Many of them gravitated to the Appalachian region, which stretched from Mississippi to New York.

One of these Scots-Irish families would have been the Halperts, who settled in that area of Appalachia which ran through North Carolina.

Elmo Halpert was born in the western area of North Carolina at the turn of the 20th Century. He was a pharmacist with his own business in Greenwood (not far from the Greenwood City Hall.)

I don't know how many children Elmo had, but I believe one of them to have been Duncan Halpert, who was born around 1920. Growing up during the Great Depression, Duncan left Greenwood and moved north once he came of age in order to find work. He eventually settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he fell in love with a local girl and married her. In 1941, they had a son, whom they named Gerald.

Several months later, America was at war and Duncan Halpert enlisted in the army. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, not far from where he grew up in Greenwood.  So his wife and son left Scranton, Pennsylvania, and moved in with Elmo Halpert and his wife in order to be closer to Duncan while he was still in the States. It couldn't have been an easy transition since her father-in-law Elmo was a bit cantankerous. And if he had any other children, they all left the area as well.

Duncan Halpert made the Army his career and remained stationed at Fort Bragg after World War II. He and his family moved into their own residence near the base, which was a great relief to his wife, finally getting free from living with Elmo.

When the Korean Conflict flared, Captain Duncan Halpert was shipped to Seoul and soon found himself in command of a unit near the front lines. He was wounded in a skirmish and medevaced to the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital #4077, but unfortunately he died on the operating table. (A Major Frank Burns was the surgeon and he claimed it wasn't his fault.)

Distraught, Duncan's wife moved back to Scranton, Pennsylvania, with her son Gerald. Elmo remained in Greenwood, North Carolina, until his wife died in the mid-1960's. He then sold his pharmacy and moved east to Mayberry, probably to avoid the memories of his late wife and son.

In Mayberry, Elmo bought one of the town's two pharmacies, probably the one previously owned by Fred Walker and staffed by his niece Ellie May Walker. (The other pharmacy was Crawford's Drugs, run by Mr. and Mrs. Crawford. She remarried after her husband died, and Mrs. Mason kept the pharmacy going under its old name.)

Elmo Halpert lived out the rest of his days in Mayberry, North Carolina, only seeing his daughter-in-law and his grandson on rare occasions. (Certainly never while we saw Elmo on screen!) He died at the age of 77, one year before the birth of his great-grandson, James Duncan Halpert.....

Once he was an adult, Gerald Halpert met a local girl named Betsy (last name unknown) and married her. They had four children together - Thomas, James, Peter, and Larisa. Larisa could have been a family name from Betsy's side, perhaps with a Greek origin - either she was named after a figure in Greek mythology or for the town in the Thessaly region where Betsy's family may have come from. Again, not much is known about Betsy's family tree.

Gerald was definitely proud of his own Scottish ancestry and trumpeted that fact at any official family gatherings by wearing a kilt.

James Duncan "Jim" Halpert was born on October 1, 1978, a year after the death of his great-grandfather, Elmo Halpert. He grew up in Scranton, as the middle son - younger than Tom, but older than Pete.  (Larisa was the baby of the family.)

Jim became the assistant office manager of the local branch of the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. While there, he fell in love with the office receptionist, Pam Beesley, and eventually married her. They have two children, Cecelia Marie and Philip.

And that's where things stand in the Halpert family tree, from Elmo Halpert to Jim Halpert. (At least as far as Toobworld Central is concerned.)  Many of the details, including the life of Duncan Halpert especially, were pure conjecture. If you know of any details in the life of Jim Halpert's grandfather, I hope you'll write in and share them.

This theory of "relateeveety" was in response to a challenge issued by my blogging buddy Ivan from "The Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear". He covers old-time radio, classic movies and serials, as well as old TV. I'd like to suggest you check in at his site (Link to the left, members of the Regal Order of the Golden Door to Good Fellowship!) on Mondays to read his latest recap of episodes from 'Mayberry RFD'. It was in one of the most recent posts on this topic in which Ivan issued his challenge to flesh out the link between 'Mayberry RFD' and 'The Office'.

So here it is! I hope you liked it....

  • 'Mayberry RFD'
  • 'The Andy Griffith Show'
  • 'The Office'
  • 'The New Andy Griffith Show'
  • 'M*A*S*H'

1 comment:

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Bravo to you, Sir Tobias! And thanks for the generous plug.