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The Laws Of Genealogy (updated by our members)

Journal by janilye

1. The document containing evidence of the missing link in your research has been lost due to fire, flood or war.

2. The keeper of the vital records you need will just have had an argument with a previous genealogist.

3. Your great, great grandfather's obituary states that he died leaving no issue.

4. The town clerk you wrote in desperation, and finally convinced to give to you the information you need, can't write legibly, and doesn't have a copying machine.

5. The will you need is in the safe on board the "Titanic."

6. The spelling of your European ancestor's name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.

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

8. No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, they always
rented property, never sued, never went to gaol or were never named in anyone's will.

9. You learned that great aunt Matilda's executor just sold her life's
collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer.

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

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

12. The 37 volume, 16,000 page history of your county of origin isn't
indexed.

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

14. No matter how large the collection of special records, the one you are searching for is NEVER there!

15. You finally send away for that necessary certificate, and your aunt tells you she's had the original in a box under her bed for years.

16. The box of family photographs, you found in uncle Edgar's house after he died, have no names or dates on them

17. Your aunt can remember exactly how many times you missed sending her a birthday card, but not why her father went in gaol.

18. Everyone that shares your last name, but is not related is listed in great detail, your ancestor has nothing.

19. The family Bible that contains all the names you are researching was given to a person who doesn't care who any of his relatives are, and either misplaced, sold at a garage sale, or gave away the family Bible to his neighbor who is collecting Bibles to be sent to a mission in a non-English speaking nation.

20. The elderly great-aunt who could help you fill in the missing pieces says, "I don't believe in dredging up the past" and changes the subject - again.




Some of the above laws I found in The Hawkesbury Crier
of June 2006 (archived) author is unknown
The rest have been added by Family Tree Circle members

Surnames: SMITH
Viewed: 2000 times
by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-03-15 03:16:55

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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Comments

by edmondsallan on 2011-03-15 04:14:09

very good - humour is always good for Us . thanks jan -regards

by janilye on 2011-03-15 13:16:17

'lolasrosebud's' 45 year search for Hiram Henry Smith prompted me to post this journal.

by joany53 on 2011-03-15 17:25:46

Thats about the long and short of it, excellent.

I am one of those lucky ones who has just about managed to fill in all my tree, just a few pieces to find. You have to stop somewhere otherwise you would end up with the world and their wives on it. Anyhow I live in Scotland and if anybody out there needs any help your more than welcome to mail me..............Joan

by cilla1946 on 2011-03-15 17:53:13

hmmm.....Now I know why I am having just a wee bit of trouble!
A sense of humor does come in handy when your staring at a brick wall!!

by janilye on 2011-03-15 20:53:10

I know what you mean about knowing when to stop. My tree has over 16,000 people on it, with 2500 photographs and close to 400 stories. It's like a country. I'm thinking of striking a coin or maybe making it a flag. But you know right in the middle of it is a big gaping hole where I can't find one of my great grandfathers. He's number 8 on the list above. In the begining I worked around him hoping the relatives would know who his parents were, but no such luck. Now I have to use the search bar to find a relative. Don't worry joany I will remember you're in Scotland. Oh yes! we need a sense of humour.
Good hunting to you both, Jan

by mowsehowse on 2011-03-16 15:38:56

14. No matter how large the collection of special records, the one you are searching for is NEVER there!

by Scott_J on 2011-03-18 09:58:12

Thanks for reminding us to laugh Jan. I've just featured this post on the homepage and in the FamilyTreeCircles newsletter today. :)

by JanetCrombie on 2011-03-18 10:00:56

The elderly great- aunt who could help you fill in the missing pieces says, "I don't believe in dredging up the past" and changes the subject - again.

by withjc on 2011-03-18 10:29:36

Everyone that shares your last name but is not related is listed in great detail, your ancestor has nothing. Your given a name and can find it located no where.
I have ancestors in Scotland. Betsey Maria Whiten? and Underwood; and I think I have ancestors in Ireland, maybe! It's taken me 30 years to get one name back on the name I most wanted to know; and that's the name I can find anywhere.

by withjc on 2011-03-18 10:30:44

Whoops! I mean I can't find that name.

by lolasrosebud on 2011-03-18 11:54:37

What a joy Jan, it says it all. I'm printing a copy out and hanging it on my wall. If you ever read an obit that says she was found dead at her computer with the name Smith in the google search, that would be me.

by Alena on 2011-03-18 13:53:25

thats right, its fun - I still believe I find my ancestors Jan where you hide them?

by leemgee on 2011-03-18 17:53:03

15. You finally send away for that necessary certificate, and your aunt tells you she's had the original under her bed for years.

by janilye on 2011-03-18 18:01:12

Thank you Scott, I'm sure your readers could add to those laws.
Oh janetcrombie, I know exactly what you mean. I asked my cousins wife for some photographs and some information about her family and she was most indignant, "leave me out of it, and don't interrogate my family, we are private and don't want any part of your silly tree". So now on my tree, in amongst the 16,000 names is 'UNKNOWN SPOUSE', needless to say, she doesn't speak to me.

by janilye on 2011-03-18 18:06:49

mowsehouse and Leemgee I am definitely adding those two. I think we can all relate to both of those.

by janilye on 2011-03-18 18:13:10

HOld the presses Scott_j! this list is getting longer.

by janilye on 2011-03-18 18:20:36

Sorry mowsehowse, mousehouse = transcription error- and we can all relate to those.

by janilye on 2011-03-18 18:23:32

Put up the names and details you have in here 'withjc' and let us all have a try at finding your elusive ones.

by andrewsm on 2011-03-18 18:26:31

16. The box of family photographs, you found in uncle Edgar's house after he died, have no names or dates on them

by janilye on 2011-03-18 18:31:08

Indeed! andrewsm, I feel your pain! I have a box just like that.

by sallee on 2011-03-18 19:20:57

This was great! I always get the 'I don't remember' or long stories that I wonder are really true . . .

by janilye on 2011-03-18 19:48:19

Exactly sallee, memory loss is a genetic disease. As for the long stories. well....

by joansimmons72 on 2011-03-18 21:14:45

Aye, I can relate to most of these, Jan. Thanks Scott for posting it.

by janilye on 2011-03-18 23:00:13

This list signed 'anonymous' first appeared in a Hawkesbury Family booklet in June 1907 I have archived copies if you would like one janilye@yahoo.com.au

by janilye on 2011-03-18 23:06:28

OOps sorry in June 2007 but of course we have managed to update it quite nicely. Jan

by lesleyporter on 2011-03-18 23:49:45

Sometimes you think you are the only one having trouble locating ancestors. When I read the above I'm glad I'm not alone. I have Smiths on both sides of my tree. I nearly dread getting a certificate in case there is another one. Thanks Scott for passing this on. Lesley

by locky7 on 2011-03-19 01:42:02

i need more information on judson alvin carrier. he was born feb 17 1862 in grand junction, newton county, indiana. i am trying to trace if he was a full blooded indian. and of what tribe he might of been.you may send any information to the following e-mail address:phillipgibbs@hotmail.com than you

by janilye on 2011-03-19 03:37:22

Sorry Locky7 we're all still struggling with the Smith's

by Sarajane on 2011-03-19 21:06:09

How about you find information on a webpage listing your Grandfather's wife as someone you have never heard of and one of their children your father's sister..

Mind you there were a lot of people around at the time with the same name..

by edmondsallan on 2011-03-19 23:38:44

I find the replys fascinating . Many of us have experienced the same sort of things . no 16 is my wife's problem. And keeps going at me to find out as if it is my fault - - i put up with it cause she is a real treasure. when I mentioned the stalking -- we just laughed and laughed -Yes you have to see the funny side of things in this ancestry world

by Kitty530 on 2011-03-21 11:53:55

I told dear old Aunt Jimmie who would not give me the names of her children...........that's O.K. I will wait for your Obituary. And I did.
I think it should be a law that we have to have a DNA test before we can get married and have children.
Kitty

by andrewsm on 2011-03-22 04:30:07

At the moment, I can't get my tree finished because of number 2

by Scott_J on 2011-03-22 07:21:03

@andresm, oh no. You have a town clerk holding a grudge? Not good!

by mowsehowse on 2011-03-22 13:38:01

Thank you for making me laugh. I feel very honoured to have been included, though I guess many of you empathised with my anguished cry!!

by Lyon on 2011-03-24 18:59:21

I enjoyed it immensely and it is so true

by clarkey on 2011-03-25 01:14:18

very funny. Actually the man in the photo on the ground could pass for one of my relatives. thank you..Julie

by 1bobbylee on 2011-04-29 20:18:21

I'm not a genealogist. I have difficulty sometimes researching. I enjoyed this journal. The experienced genealogists, researchers and knowledgeable members made this journal humorous and entertaining.

by lola126 on 2011-07-26 03:55:08

I'm happy now I know it's not just happening to me.

by daneil2229 on 2011-07-30 20:38:09

I have another reason to add to the list:

The family Bible that contains all the names you are researching was given to a person who doesn't care who any of his relatives are, and either misplaced, sold at a garage sale, or gave away the family Bible to his neighbor who is collecting Bibles to be sent to a mission in a non-English speaking nation.

by janilye on 2014-07-22 12:19:58

Why is it so quiet in here?

Surely you haven't all crashed through the brick wall.

by janilye on 2014-07-22 12:46:00

Thank you AlisonParrack I believe you've given us number 21. The person doing your research has been deactivated.

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