Genealogical Truths

Genealogy Truths

  • Anything that could have burned, did.
  • The census taker with the clear handwriting and the good ink never enumerated your ancestors.
  • If you find a well-documented, illustrious ancestor, you've probably made a mistake.
  • Your folks hated the government and never filled out forms.
  • The book you need is never indexed, or if indexed, doesn't include people.
  • Your families never had attics, much less boxes with photos or Bibles in them.
  • All real library discoveries are made five minutes before closing, when the copier is broken.
  • The correctly shelved books and correctly filed forms are never the ones you need.
  • The person sitting next to you at the research center is finding ancestors every five minutes --- and telling you about it.
  • The e-mail address that bounces is the one from the person who listed your exact names. When you find a working address, you aren't related.
  • Your microfilm reader is the one that squeaks, has to be turned backwards, and doesn't quite focus.
  • Your cemeteries have no caretaker or records archive.
  • Alternate spellings and arcane names were your folks' favorite pastimes.
  • Or, your folks only knew three first names and used them over and over in every collateral line.
  • Your sister neglects to mention that the data she gave you, which you have researched and sent to other researchers, was just a guess with no foundation and she guessed because she "didn't like leaving that line blank."
  • Your mother neglects to mention that, "Oh, yes, we knew they changed their name".
  • Blank genealogy forms never have quite the categories or space you need.
  • All software packages look good, but immediately have a problem with "your" special case.
  • Discussions about how to compute cousin-ship are never resolved.
  • And finally --------It's infinitely easy to get sidetracked doing genealogy!!
            author unknown