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A summary of the fictional history of The Addams Family, their cultural background and their ancestral lineage.

Cultural Background[]

The Addams family are always portrayed as Americans, usually living in the East Coast in either New York, New Jersey, or as gleamed in The Addams Family (1991), in Iowa. Ethnically, they are a complex mix of cultures. From The Addams Family (TV Series), it is clear that from Gomez' paternal side of the family, they are Spanish, specifically Castillian as they are mentioned as coming from Madrid, and for various generations, they seem to go back and forth between America and Spain until the main branch settled in the former. In Wednesday (series), it was shown that in the 1600s, the Addams were of Mexican heritage, living in Jericho, Vermont, in the 1600s.

They are also often portrayed as having roots in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Central Europe, and the Middle East, but they are known to exist worldwide as many of them seem to be nomadic. This became a central theme in the The Addams Family (2019), in which a lot of the Addams family became vagrants after being rejected and banished by the mainstream community.

Dances[]

The Addams family have various traditional dances. They have dances such as the Mamushka (The Addams Family (1991), which is used to celebrate family and brotherhood (though the name is an affectionate term for 'mother' in Slavic countries). In the Mamushka, the brothers would sing and dance in the middle, doing various activities such as acrobatics and sword-swallowing, while the women of the clan would play the tambourine as an orchestra played.

The Mazurka is used as an initiation ceremony for an Addams that's coming of age (the Mazurka is a type of Polish musical form). In the Mazurka, a reading from the book of Terror would be done by the initiated member, followed by the growing of facial hair and the saber mazurka, in which the father of the initiate would shave down the beard into 'the Addams mustache' before engaging the family in a combination of a saber fight and dancing with finger snapping. The immediate family of the initiate would wear a type of fur hat.

It can be assumed that the Mazurka is for boys, as in the musical, a scrapped number featured the Clandango for Wednesday's coming of age, which seems to be a similar ceremony to the Mazurka but involves tango-like music. In the Clandango, the initiate is placed in a coffin before she is let out to dance with the family hand-in-hand. Three questions will then be asked to the initiate: first about the promise to the family, secondly about what qualities to value above all else in choosing a mate, and thirdly about what to do with the elders of the family once they reach senility. After summoning the ancestors from the cemetery, the ritualistic cutting of the braids signifies the initiate's adolescence and the initiate dances with her mother atop the coffin she was placed in.

There are also a variety of family dances, mentioned or appearing in The Addams Family (animated 1992):

  • The Driveway Pogo
  • The Pork Bump
  • The South Idaho Tongue Pull
  • The Face Slide
  • The Outhouse Fume Walk
  • The Mustard Cough
  • The Monkey Mop-and-Bucket Stand
  • The Bat Bite Jubilee
  • The Flaming Cheese Stomp
  • Aunt Queasy's Porcelain Tango
  • The Potato Minute
  • The Big Itchy Windup
  • The Burning Couch
  • The Saliva Waltz
  • The Scar Stretch Shuffle
  • The Navel-Shave Watusi
  • The Blister Juice Rhumba
  • The Close Shave Fandango
  • The Wet Poodle Sniff-Along
  • The High Fiber Wiggle
  • The 2-by-4 Paddle-a-thon
  • The School Lunch Eruption
  • The Oopsie Addams' Diaper Fling
  • The Hot Patootie Cha-Cha-Cha
  • The Rattlesnake Toxin Tumble
  • The Great Soda Aftermath
  • The Hanky Gnaw
  • The Salami Slappin' Jiggle

Cuisine[]

Traditions[]

In terms of their traditions, The Addams family have great respect for their elders, as they seem to live for a very long time or live on even after death (whether dead or undead). Many reside in the family cemetery, said to be buried in the crypt beneath the family tree, but there are also many elders and relatives of the family that reside in the attic. A dialogue from the Clandango stated that elders such as Grandmama are given room in the attic with kitchen privileges, and many references towards grandparents and elder relatives often refer to them living in the attic.

The elders often take a background role in supporting the younger members, with the younger adults usually making the decisions. For example, though Morticia Addams's relationship and friendliness with Grandmama varies in each adaptation, she is always shown to be the mistress of the house and Grandmama only looks after the kitchen (despite being the widow of the former patriarch in adaptations where she is Gomez's father).

In terms of the gender roles in the family, The Addams family is a patrilineal one, with the name being carried by the men. However, the nature of the family is more matrilineal. Women are often more dominant, regardless of whether born as an Addams or married into the clan. This can be seen, for example, in Morticia being the real head of the family rather than Gomez Addams, as well as Wednesday Addams being more dominant over her brother Pugsley Addams. Another example is Great Auntie Sloom, who, despite being Grandmama's sister (therefore not being an Addams per-se), presides over the family traditions as an elder. It can be assumed that the Addams clan involves several families, and despite not being part of the main branch, the different branches are also involved in their traditions.

The Addams Family Branches[]

Pre-1600s[]

The many iterations of the Addams Family provides several information on the history of the fictional family. The eldest known ancestor of the Addams family is probably the ghostly caveman featured in the musical, simply known as Caveman Ancestor.

In 64AD, when Emperor Nero kept playing his lyre while the city burst into flames, members of the Addams family ancestors danced what was probably a Roman version of the Mamushka.

Two centuries later, in 207 AD, Mamoud Khali Pasha Addams, who was called the Firebug of the Bosphorus, burned whatever was left of the Library of Alexandria down during the Palmyrene invasion of Egypt. This would suggest that the Addams name might have originated in the Middle East, possibly originally being spelled Aadam and thus having a Hebrew (אָדָם) or Arabic (آدم) origin.

Around the Dark Ages (c. 401-1000 AD), an ancestor named Rulen the Ruthless Addams existed, suggesting that at one point the family name became anglicized as the family moved into European territories.

In the Late Middle Ages (c.1474-1504) during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and during her reign, Queen Isabella I of Castile deeded the two acres of land in New Jersey to Gomez's ancestor, Alfonso the Enormous, for 'services rendered' (which ultimately became The Addams Family Mansion). It is possible that he is the Conquistador Ancestor.

It is likely that this ancestor comes from the Spanish branch of the family (possibly the Cuervo branch) and thus might not have the name Addams, suggesting that the original ownership of the estate does not come from the English branch of the family. However, this establishes the Addams Family history in the East Coast of the United States.

It is likely that Alfonso never actually lived in the area and merely owned it, as New Jersey became New Netherland under the Dutch, so it is unknown how Queen Isabella came to acquire the land to deed. It is possible that it might have been a land grant of patroonship, and thus fell into the hands of the Dutch/English settlers, which the Addams Family were part of.

A Lafayette Addams was known to challenge the Duke of Burgundy before skipping town. Since the title became extinct in 1761, this places Lafayette as having lived sometime in this period, possibly during Spain's annexation of the Duchy of Burgundy.

1600s[]

The earliest appearance of an ancestor was one that was featured prominently in Wednesday (series). Goody Addams and her Goody's Mother lived in Jericho, Vermont during the witch trials of 1625 and were of Mexican descent, having lived among the native folk for a long time.

When the town founder Joseph Crackstone set those accused of withcraft on fire, Goody escaped. Goody is not mentioned to be a direct ancestor, so it is possible that she may be the sister of one of Wednesday's ancestors. They became the second Addams family ancestors to establish roots in the East Coast.

A year later, in 1626, a Dutch man by the name of Van Dyke Addams helped in buying Manhattan from the natives of New York during the establishment of New Amsterdam. Van Dyke would thus become the third ancestor of the family to establish roots in the East Coast. Pioneer Ancestor might have been Van Dyke or a contemporary of his generation, as well as the Native American Ancestor.

It can be assumed that both Van Dyke, Goody, and her mother established their roots around the same time and that they may be directly related, perhaps even with Van Dyke being Goody's father as she bore the name of Addams. A possibile reason of them living in Vermont as Mexican immigrants could be because they ran away from the settlers of New Netherland.

Additionally, since the land of what would become New Jersey (known as Bergen) fell under the New Netherland along with would become of Manhattan, it can be assumed that Van Dyke might have received the two acres of land that belonged to Alfonso through acquisition. Or alternatively, a descendant of his married a descendant of Alfonso and inherited the land fairly.

One or two generations later, during the Golden Age of Piracy (1650s-1730s), there was a Long John Addams, Gomez's great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, who was a pirate with a West Country accent and wrote a story about his life in 1699. He was the son of a man who was likely Van Dyke's son/grandson. He had a brother named Curly Addams, whose severed right hand became Pinky (presumably an ancestor of Thing) and had a crew of two kids and a man named Shorty.

Long John later married the wealthy Lady Penelope Addams, who was actually a dread pirate (under the name of Dread Pirate Sylvia) that was his rival and sought someone to best her. She had a large home somewhere in the United States, where she lived with her handmaiden, Sea Hag. At that time, the Dutch had ceded control of the area over to the English and called it the Province of New Jersey.

Through the marriage, Lady Penelope brought in her amassed treasure loot into the Addams family, which became the foundation of the family's great wealth. It is possible that (if she wasn't English), Penelope was a descendant of Alfonso, which would explain her title and great social standing in 1699.

1700s[]

In the early 1700s, an aunt by the name of Calpurnia Addams danced naked in the town square and enslaved a minister, and was burned as a witch in 1706. It is possible that she was a relative of Long John and Curly, possibly their sister.

According to Gomez in the musical in July 31st, 1715 (during the First Spanish Rule), a man named Captain General Redondo Cuervo (short for Redondo Ventana Laguna Don Jose Cuervo), who commanded a Spanish warship named the Pico de Gallo, sailed from Madrid, but was still stuck there three weeks later. He sank six months later off the southern coast of Florida and presumably settled there, being the fourth Addams ancestor to establish roots in the East Coast.

It was not mentioned that he was a direct ancestor by Gomez and he did not bear the name of Addams, so it's possible that he might have come from a maternal line that married into the family and was a descendant of Alfonso the Enormous, potentially establishing Spanish roots into the Addams family. Thus, the ownership of the two acres of land might have been passed from this branch of the ancestry (if it hadn't been taken by Van Dyke first in the early 1600s).

A woman by the name of Miss Salem Addams was born in 1730 and lived up until 1830, and was buried in the family cemetery.

In 1764, an Admiral John Paul Addams was apparently hanged, but he was also apparently responsible for 'the shot heard round the world' in 1775, which began the American Revolutionary War, and for fighting against Hideki Tojo's forces and the German flotilla in the North Atlantic sea during World War II.

It is possible that he maybe the J.P. Addams on the spine of the Greed book in the Addams family library, which activates the trap door to the secret passage. However, this is likely a reference to J.P. Morgan, a ruthless American banker during The Gilded Age.

It can be inferred that he was possibly the captain of a ghost ship, considering that he had died in the mid 1700s and was yet active in the 1940s. It is possible that he was Gomez's great-great-great-great-grandfather and a brother of Miss Salem Addams. By this time, though many of the Addams relatives had joined the military, they were still rebellious in nature.

Another relative who appeared in the American Revolutionary War was Old Cannonball Addams, who was said to be a natural-born leader at Bunker Hill in 1775 before he began firing at his own men due to him not being able to see without his glasses. An Addams that possibly lived in this generation as well was Blood and Guts Addams, who may also have been in the American Revolutionary War. They might have been the brothers of John Paul.

The Courtesan Ancestor might have lived in this time period, as her fashion style seems to be inspired by the 1770s, though it appears more as a burlesque version of 1770s fashion.

During the 1700s, apparently a branch of the family split into the famous Adams political family in Boston, Massachussetts, of which Gomez's distant cousin by marriage, Abigail Adams, is a member of and sees herself as the head of the family (later on in 1998, this branch of the family would have a family reunion that the Addams' mistakenly join).

1800s[]

The Addams family seems to have participated in the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), as they danced a version of the Mamushka during the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. It is possible that the 'Cossack cousins' that taught the family this dance might have been the ones that taught those at Waterloo.

Around this time, Ignatius Itt, a relative of the Addams family, became Supreme Shade of the Nevermore Academy from 1825-1850, as he was the right hand of its founder, Nathaniel Faulkner.

Ol' Ebenezer Addams led early settlers to the Great Plains and sold the first guns to the Native Americans (it is possible that he was Gomez's great-great-great-grandfather) sometime in the mid-1800s. As the descendant of New York pioneers, Ebenezer and others who were born in the 1840s-1850s migrated inwards towards the Plains to settle the area.

It is not known, however, if they did settle there, and if they were, they would be the first to settle in the Midwestern United States. This is likely, since the Homestead Law of 1862 required that homesteaders live on the land they claimed. It is possible that they settled in Iowa, as the Addams Family Mansion being set on high bluffs outside of a major city in the 1991 film potentially places it near Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines.

It is possible that Ebenezer or Goober were the ones that married a descendant of Redondo Cuervo, since Admiral John Paul was probably a contemporary of Redondo Cuervo, placing a marriage between the two families to only possibly occur only after their generation, therefore passing down the ownership of the two acres during the mid-1800s at the latest to the Addams family.

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), two men in the family fought in the battles. Old Blood and Thunder Addams was very inspirational right before he turned traitor at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, while in 1863, General Ulysses S. Addams surrendered in the Siege of Vicksburg after enemy soldiers caught up with him. As Northerners, it was assumed that both these men were Union soliders, but by their descriptions it's possible that they became Confederate soldiers and/or were presumably captured.

Then presumably in c.1860-1870 after the Civil War, Gomez's great-great-grandfather, Goober Addams built The Addams Family Mansion in order to enjoy the swamp on the land. Thus, this potentially suggests that Goober inherited the land from his mother's Spanish bloodline (or alternatively from his wife, if she was the one from the Spanish bloodline) and inherited the fortune from his father's bloodline. It is possible that Goober was a sibling of Blood and Thunder and Ulysses, and possibly they were the sons of Ebenezer. Goober was then the fifth and final ancestor to settle in the East Coast.

His presumable son, Pegleg Addams, was Gomez's great-grandfather, who was the last of the adventureous Addams and was wanted by fifteen countries for piracy, something that his great-great-grandfather Long John had been infamous for. He had hid the treasure under the mansion. It was possible that he had siblings by the name of Bluebeard Addams, Black Bart Addams, and Bloody Addams, who were presumably pirates too, but either died, retired, or were captured before him.

At the end of the 1800s, during the terror of the serial killer Jack the Ripper in London (1888-1891), the Addams Family danced the Mamushka for him. It is possible, then, that he was a member of the family.

1900s[]

Pegleg had at least one son, Mortimer Addams, a pyromaniac who resembled Gomez and married Delilah Addams. Delilah is possibly the daughter of Grandpa Squint, a medical expert of some kind who Abraham Lincoln begged for his political support in the 1860s, and Grandma Squint, who often makes strange sounds and cackles from the attic on dark stormy nights.

Gomez said that he had a great-great-uncle Julio from the old country who married his horse and presumably lived in the United States. The horse, who acted as a dutiful wife, won the Preakness Stakes in 1910, which was done in Baltimore, Maryland. It is unknown from which side of the family he was, but he was definitely from a Spanish/Mexican branch of the family. If he were an Addams, he would have been the brother of Pegleg.

The Soldier Ancestor and Bride Ancestor might have lived in the early 1900s, as the soldier appeared to wear a World War I uniform and the bride was shown to be weep over him, suggesting that she might have died after he died in combat. Another ancestor that might have been their contemporary was the Ragtime Ancestor, since ragtime was a genre of music popular from 1899-1917. Later on, the Flapper Ancestor probably lived in the 1920s.

It was possible that Pegleg had another son named Uncle Blight, who masterminded the presidential campaigns of Al Smith, Wendell Wilkie, and Adlai Stevenson in 1928, 1940, and 1952 (respectively). Additionally, a relative by the name of Edwin Booth Addams was presumably named after the killer of Abraham Lincoln, and could possibly be a relative of them. It seems that the Addams family became prominent in American politics during this time period, therefore potentially placing Old Senator Addams in this time period as well.

The Stewardess Ancestor probably died sometime in the 1950s-1960s, as she wore a midcentury-styled flight attendant uniform.

Mortimer's son was Father Addams (possibly named Harold) who later married Grandmama (or Mother Addams), and they had four children: Uncle Fester (born in 1946), Gomez Addams, Pancho Addams, and Uncle Cosimo. Their parents were presumably born in the 1910s, as Grandmama was said to have been 102 in 2021, suggesting that she was born in 1919.

The family spent some time in Spain (Gomez calls it his 'ancestral land') as it was mentioned that Gomez lived there until he was 10 and a marriage was arranged by Mortimer (who signed the marriage contract) and Don Xavier Molina between Gomez and Consuela, Don Xavier's daughter. Their families were said to have known each other since the time of the Spanish inquisition. According to Morticia in the 1991 film, both Mother and Father Addams later died in the hands of an angry mob.

Present time[]

In Wednesday, Gomez and Morticia both attended Nevermore Academy for their high school, and that is where they met in 1997.

In The Addams Family (TV Series) and The New Addams Family, Granny Frump and Grandmama had planned to marry Morticia's older sister Ophelia Frump to Gomez, but the plan failed when Gomez fell in love with Morticia instead. Beforehand, Morticia had been dating Gomez' cousin Cousin Vlad, since they had gone to the same high school, and Gomez and Morticia had first met at a funeral, but only gotten to know each other better around the time of Ophelia and Gomez's matchmaking.

After they married at the age of 22, they had three children: Wednesday Addams, Pugsley Addams, and later, in Addams Family Values, Pubert Addams. There were also two other children in the Halloween special named Wednesday Jr. Addams and Pugsley Jr. Addams, but they are often not considered canon.

They live in the crumbling Addams Family mansion with their butler, Lurch, who had presumably been in the family for a long time. His father, Father Lurch, a Dr. Frankenstein-like character, put him together and wanted him to be a jockey, and he has a very smothering mother by the name of Mother Lurch. Gomez said that Lurch has the heart of an Addams and it is implied to be literal. Lurch apparently came from a long line of similar looking, hulking people. in the 2019 film, Lurch was a former inmate at the insane asylum that became the family mansion.

Another member of the household is Thing (or his full name, Thing T. Thing). Though he is sometimes portrayed as having been a hand creature born from a long line of hands (a photograph of his parents appears in the 1964 series, as a female hand holding a male hand), other portrayals have him as a disembodied hand, possibly of a member of a family. Indeed, in the original cartoons, Thing was shown to be a creature with a body who often appears in the peripherals of the illustrations. He then became an arm and later on, only a hand.

Mortimer and Delilah visited the family in Addams Family Reunion, in which they showed symptoms for Waltzheimer's Disease and became pleasant old people. By the time of The New Addams Family, Delilah had died by being struck by a truck while rollerblading with headphones on. Mortimer later married Diandra Addams, who resembled Morticia.

Grandmama's Branch[]

The oldest known ancestor from Grandmama's side of the family was her great-great-great-grandmother Slice, who sharpened guillotines and was called 'the belle of the French Revolution' in 1789-1799.

Not much is known about her branch of the family, but it was known that she came from a family of witches. Her mother was presumably called Mooma, who would run her kids out of town if they ever got too big for their brooms, while her father was presumably Grandpa Slurp, who had two heads: with a bucktooth in one head, and a receding chin on the other.

She was also known to have two siblings: Uncle Jester, a zany, trouble-making jester who resembled Fester (and who she greatly disliked), and Great Auntie Sloom, who was looked at as a family elder who presided over the family traditions (such as the Mazurka). It can be inferred, then, that Grandmama's family and the main Addams family have their traditions intertwined.

She had a dark complexion (in the original illustrations and the 2020s films) and was known to have gone to a high school named Swamptown High with Granny Frump. In the 2020s film, she often travels the world and has an Old World, Eastern-European accent, the first iteration that showed her to be of a non-American origin.

The Frump Branch[]

The Frump family had a escutcheon (a coat of arms) that Fester said was 'messy enough'.

Morticia's great-great-great-Aunt Singe was said to be burned during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693, placing her as the oldest known ancestor of the Frump family. Another possible relative from this time would be Great-Aunt Esther, and they could have been contemporaries of Calpurnia Addams, who died in 1706.

Morticia was known to have a grandfather named Grandpa Droop, who gave her stock certicifactes for her twelfth birthday, implying they were rich. He may presumably be the father of Morticia's father, Grandpa Frump or her mother, Granny Frump. Grandpa and Granny had fallen in love because Fester (here as Grandpa's brother, in the 1964 series) shot the arrow (and the gun) that brought them together. They had two children: Ophelia Frump and Morticia.

Granny was a witch and presumably, Morticia's ancestors were also witches. Because of Morticia's anti-social tendencies, Granny had to homeschool her and taught her everything. Morticia has an assortment of cousins with eccentric behaviors, such as the sisters Cousin Melancholia and Cousin Catastrophia, and Cousin Pretensia.

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