Genealogy Reflections

All I Want for Christmas | Blessings of a Family Genealogist | Genealogist's Christmas | Genealogy Bug | Murphy's Laws of Family History | No Footprints in the Sands of Time | Quips &Quotes | Top Ten Indicators that You've Become a Gene-aholic

Very contagious to adults. No known cure.

SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expression, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kinds, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses and scanning genealogical websites. Has compulsion to write letters and e-mail. Swears at mail carrier when no mail is left and at computer when there is no e-mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote, desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls, hides phone bills from spouse, and mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.

TREATMENT: Medication is useless. Disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and newspapers, frequent genealogical chat-rooms, and be given a quiet corner in the house where he or she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is: the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!

Wilma Mauk & the St. Louis Genealogical Society

Blessed are the great-grandfathers, who saved embarkations and citizenship papers.
     For they tell whence they came.
Blessed are the great grandmothers, who hoarded newspaper clippings and old letters,
     For these tell the story of their time.
Blessed are all grandfathers, who filed every legal document,
     For this provide the proof.
Blessed are grandmothers, who preserved family Bibles and diaries,
     For this is our heritage.
Blessed are fathers, who elect officials that answer letters of inquiry,
     For--to some--the only link to the past.
Blessed are the mothers, who relate family traditions and legend to the family,
     For one of her children will surely remember.
Blessed are relatives, who fill in family sheets and extra data,
     For to them we ow the family history.
Blessed is any family, whose member strives for the preservation of records,
     For theirs is a labor of love.
Blessed are the children, who will never say,
     "Grandma, you have told that old story twice today."

By Mary H. Harris

10. You introduce your daughter as your descendant.
9. You've never met any of the people you send e-mail to, even though you are related.
8. You can recite your lineage back 8 generations, but can't remember your nephew's name.
7. You have more photographs of dead people than living ones.
6. You have taken a tape recorder and or notebook to a family reunion.
5. You have not only read the latest Gedcom standards, you understand it.
4. The local genealogy society borrows books from you.
3. The only film you have seen in the last year was the 1880 census index.
2. More than half of your CD collection is made up of marriage records or pedigrees.
1. Your elusive ancestors have been spotted in more places than Elvis.

Shared by Win Wood

The keeper of the vital records you need will just have been insulted by another genealogist

Your great-grandfather's obituary states that he died, leaving no issue of record.

The town clerk you wrote to in desperation, and finally convince to give you the information you need, can't write legible and doesn't have a copy machine.

That ancient photograph of four relatives, one of whom is your progenitor, carries the names of the other three.

Copies of old newspapers have holes which occur only on maiden names.

No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, always rented property, was never sued, and was never named in wills.

You learned that Great aunt Matilda's executor just sold her life's collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer "somewhere in New York City".

Yours is the ONLY last name not found among the three billion in the world famous Mormon archives in Salt Lake City.

Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.

The critical link in your family tree is named "Smith".

Shared by Pat Everett

It's nice to come from gentle folks
     Who wouldn't stoop to brawl,
Who never took a lusty poke
     At anyone at all.
Who never raised a raucous shout
     At any Country Inn,
Or calmed an ugly fellow lout
     With a belaying pin.
Who never shot at a revenuer
     Hunting for a still;
Who never rustled cattle
     And agreed with Uncle's will;
Who lived life as they ought
     Without uncouth distraction;
And shunned like leprosy a thought
     Of taking leagal action.
It's nice to come from gentle folks
     Who've never know disgrace,
But oh, though scandal is no joke
     It's far easier to trace!


  • Genealogy: Chasing your own tale.
  • Floor: the place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
  • Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality.
  • Documentation, the hardest part of genealogy!
  • A family tree can wither if no one tends its roots.
  • Only a genealogist regards a step backwards as progress.
  • Remember, undocumented genealogy is mythology!
  • Theory of relativity: If you go back far enough, we're all related.
  • When I searched for ancestors, I found friends.
  • I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged.
  • Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
  • That's strange; half my ancestors are WOMEN!
  • My ancestors must be in the witness protection program.
  • I trace my family history so I will know who to blame.
  • Can a first cousin, once removed, return?
  • Searching for lost relatives? Win the lottery!
  • Every family tree has some sap in it.
  • Genealogy: A haystack full of needles. It's the threads I need.
  • I think my family tree is a few branches short of full bloom.
  • Try Genealogy. You can't get fired and you can't quit!


'Twas the night before Christmas When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
Pedigree charts and with letters which said:
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat."

Stacks of old copies of wills and the such
Were proof that my work had become much too much.

Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.

Christmas was here, and of such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I'd forgot.
Had I not been so busy with grandparents' wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills.

While others had bought gifts that would bring Christmas cheer,
I'd spent my time researching those birthdates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and I yanked up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleight and eight small reindeer.
Up to the housetop the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys, and 'ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
The TV antenna was no match for their horns,
And the roof was covered with hoof-prints adorned.

As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa ... KER-RASH!
"Dear" Santa had come down the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet (I could wring his short neck!).

Spotting my face, good old Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy;
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried! (My face was all red!)

"Tonight I've met many like you," Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.
I gazed with amazement ... the cover it read
"Genealogy Lines for Which You have Plead."

"I know what it's like to be a genealogy bug,"
He said as he gave me a great Santa hug.
While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library."

"A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folks who can't find a thing.
Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."

As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.
While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.

And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family History is Fun! Merry Christmas! Goodnight!"

~ Author Unknown ~


Dear Santa: Don't bring me new dishes,
I don't need a new kind of game.
Genealogists have peculiar wishes
For Christmas I just want a surname.

A new washing machine would be great,
But it's not the desire of my life.
I've just found an ancestor's birth date;
What I need now is the name of his wife.

My heart doesn't yearn for a ring
That would put a real diamond to shame.
What I want is a much cheaper thing;
Please give me Mary's last name.

To see my heart singing with joy,
Don't bring me a read leather suitcase,
Bring me a genealogist's toy;
A surname with dates and a place.

~ Author Unknown ~


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