Humor in genealogy

While browing the Genea-blogs this morning, one of DearMYRTLE's stories made me laugh.

She was reminiscing (that's a hard word to spell) about an experience she had while volunteering in a Family History Center in Florida. Myrt wrote:

A man hurried in through the center doors, explaining his wife was waiting out in the car. He said "I heard that the Mormons were doing family history. I came to pick mine up!"

...if only it were that easy. Sure wouldn't be fun though. Although, I'd love to run into a Family History Center and learn that someone had just found Nathan Brown's parents.

You know you are living in the year 2009 when...

Technology I'm not in charge of holiday decorations at my home, but yesterday I thought I'd surprise my wife. I found a 9-foot string of pre-lit garland and I knew just the spot for it. After the cashier scanned the garland, she asked, "would you like to purchase a 2-year warranty?" I declined, but smiled as I thought to myself, "a warranty for garland! Only in the 21st century...."

A few years back my mom forwarded me this email entitled "You know you are living in the year 2003 when..." I thought you'd all enjoy this.

  1. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is because they do not have e-mail.
  2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
  3. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
  4. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
  5. Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.
  6. You buy a computer and 2 months later it's out of date and sells for half the price you paid.
  7. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go get it.
  8. Using real money, instead of credit or debit card, to make a purchase would be a hassle and take planning.
  9. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
  10. You consider second-day air delivery painfully slow.
  11. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
  12. Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-it notes.
  13. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.
  14. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.
  15. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
  16. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
  17. You wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.
  18. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
  19. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
  20. Even worse; you know exactly who you are going to forward this to...

Genealogist Forgets Wife's Birthday

Gary Hurlburt shocked the genealogical community of Palo Alto, California, on Thursday by forgetting the birthday of his wife of 29 years.

Hurlburt is renowned in local family-history circles for his skill at remembering dates. Without a moment's preparation he can tell you when his great-grandfather Waldo Jepson was born, married, quit drinking, and died. Or which days of the week his ancestor Drusilla Withey's 23 children and their 38 spouses were born. But somehow his wife Linda's date of birth slipped his mind.

Read the entire article here. . . .

Users of Legacy Family Tree no longer have excuses for forgetting birthdays or anniversaries. Click here to read why.

Top Ten Worst Genealogy Tips

10. Start with your earliest ancestor and work forward.

9. Verify any information that you find in a book by checking a second copy.

7. Proper cemetery research requires a pen and paper, a digital camera, and a sturdy shovel.

For the rest, you'll need to check out Christopher Dunham's book, The Genealogist's Glossary (& other essential nonsense) at

This selection was re-published here with the permission of the author.