- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Your mother neglects to mention that, "Oh, yes, we knew they changed
- Blank genealogy forms never have quite the categories or space you
- All software packages look good, but immediately have a problem with
"your" special case.
- Discussions about how to compute cousin-ship are never
- And finally --------It's infinitely easy to get sidetracked doing