Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday’s Tip: 15 Tips for Geneology

   I’ve been researching geneology for over 25 years and I’ve seen a lot of family trees.  Some of those trees could use some pruning if you know what I mean.  I hope you will find these tips helpful.  I live by them.  Remember, don’t let details get in the way of a fantastic family history.

1. Don’t forget – the correct spelling is Geneology
> We all know that –ology means the study of.  What the heck is an –alogy.

2. Get started by freeing your inner child
> A cluttered desk is the sign of free spirit. Organization is highly overrated.

3. Avoid source documents
> If you see those pesky reference numbers you know you are in the wrong place.

4. If they have the same name then you found the right record
> So what if the record says Kalamazoo and greatgramps has lived in Sheboygan all his life.  The name is the same and that’s all that matters.

5. It’s OK if the parents were born after the children
> There is a common misconception that parents have to be born before their children.

6. Save time - borrow other folks research unquestioned
> They must be experts.  Look at all those great names and dates.  Why do the work twice?

7. Don’t share what you have learned
> Other people just want to steal your hard work.

8. What is on the Internet is accurate
> They wouldn’t let people publish bad information on the web. Would they?  Please enter your password here  ________

9. You only need one copy of your data – backups are for losers
> This is just a way for the man to make you spend more money.

10. Don’t trust DNA companies
> You’ll never be able to buy insurance and the FBI will incorrectly finger you as a serial killer.  Beware!

11. Place names are not important.  But if you do record them:
> Don’t worry about getting the county correct – they change all the time
> You’ll never find the place on Google maps – verifying is waste of energy

12. Cemeteries are just plain creepy – stay away!
> Enough said.

13. Every story that Grandma told is 100% accurate
> Why would Grandma lie?

14. Just look for the good stuff, ignore all that boring stuff
> Look for war stories and if they searched for gold in California.  Everything else will just slow you down.

15. Caution, don’t talk to older relatives.  They smell like potpourri.
> They probably won’t remember anything good anyway.


  1. And if you believe these,my great great grandfather was US Grant !!! (He's not but I am related to Pierce,Garfield,Hoover,Ford and two Bushes !!)

  2. Grandma would NEVER lie...well, except maybe that one small fib about her marriage date being a year earlier than it actually was ;-)

  3. Never lie to a genealogist. We know how to find the truth and we know where the bodies are buried.

  4. Thanks for the pause that refreshes! Humour relieves some of the recent tensions.