Mary’s Musings: Humorous Observations about Excited Genealogists

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this blog article, Mary shares some of her humorous musings on how excited genealogists get about genealogy.

As we head into summer, I’d like to share some of my genealogy funnies to brighten your day (or night).

As fellow genealogists you know how excited we get doing genealogy, so perhaps you will relate to these humorous musings. If you think of more, please let me know – as one thing I’ve learned about family historians, we all love a good laugh!

Genealogists get so excited…

  • at counting ancestors, I’m surprised they get any sleep at all! (Certainly more fun than counting sheep in your sleep.)
  • at discovering birth records, I’m surprised they don’t throw baby showers for their ancestors!
  • at discovering black sheep ancestors, I’m surprised they don’t consider if they are the same for their generation!
  • at displaying genealogy, I’m surprised to see households with modern décor!
  • at finding family Bible records, I’m surprised they don’t recreate the missing ones.

Genealogy Saying: Genealogists get so excited •	at finding family Bible records, I’m surprised they don’t recreate the missing ones.

  • at finding mistakes in online trees, I’m surprised they don’t charge offenders with a crime. (“Fraudulent trees will be sent to the genealogy police!”)
  • at learning old medical terms, I’m surprised they don’t report them during medical appointments. (“Hey Doc, can you please prescribe something for my bone shave, dropsy and podagra?”)
  • at meeting new folks, I’m surprised they don’t introduce their children as descendants and their parents as ancestors.
  • at meeting new grandchildren, I’m surprised they don’t present baby blankets decorated with family trees.
  • at navigating old maps, I’m surprised their glove compartments have room for modern ones.
  • at noting family resemblances, I’m surprised there aren’t photo collages showing all of the connections. (“Do you see that Susie has 2nd Great Grandmother’s nose, Johnny has his Grandpa’s eyes and Little Arthur has elongated hands like 3rd Great Grandpa’s?”)
  • at organizing family reunions, I’m surprised they have time to get to know their neighbors!
  • at passing on heirlooms, I’m surprised their children receive modern gifts! (“Oh gee thanks Grandma. I love this old wooden train better than that video game I’ve had my eye on!”)
  • at pinning on Pinterest, I’m surprised when they create boards on other subjects!

graphic showing various genealogy-related Pinterest boards

  • at breaking through brick walls, I’m surprised there isn’t a lineage society for high achievers. (Suggestion: Solver of the 10-Ancestor Brick Wall Society.)
  • at proving dead-ends, I’m surprised they don’t throw a party to celebrate! (“Please attend a party on the 15th in honor of solving my 35th dead-end!”)
  • at proving vital records, I’m surprised they don’t throw birthday parties for their ancestors!
  • at putting together the pieces of the ancestral puzzle, I’m surprised they ever see daylight!
  • at querying databases, I’m surprised genealogy sites don’t crash on a regular basis.
  • at reading ancestral diaries, I’m surprised they don’t conjure up better details for the duller ones!
  • at reading blogs, I’m surprised they don’t petition school boards to add them to required curriculum!
  • at reading early documents, I’m surprised we don’t all speak in Old English.
  • at reading obituaries, I’m surprised family historians don’t write their own!
  • at reading old newspapers, I’m surprised someone hasn’t started a daily subscription of old news!
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  • at reading wills, I’m surprised more don’t address genealogy records in their own will. (“Item one: I leave all of my worldly possessions to the person who promises to preserve the family genealogy!”)
  • at recording ancestral birthdays, I’m surprised they celebrate their own!
  • at remembering ancestral data, I’m surprised they can remember anything else at all!
  • at researching the family tree, I’m surprised their smart phones have apps for other purposes.
  • at saving genealogical finds, I’m surprised their hard drives aren’t totally full!
  • at seeing family photographs, I’m surprised there isn’t a national genealogists’ photo club.
  • at studying DNA, I’m surprised that little ID card in their wallets doesn’t have results recorded on it!

humorous graphic showing a "genealogist's ID card"

  • at studying DNA, I’m surprised they don’t have a genetic test run on every new family member!
  • at taking tombstone photos, I’m surprised they don’t take selfies more in front of them.
  • at tracing lineages, I’m surprised they raise anything but pedigreed pets!
  • at tracking down people, I’m surprised they aren’t all working as private investigators!
  • at traveling to family homesteads, I’m surprised their family members ever get to visit fun places like the beach!

humorous photo showing a genealogist's "happy husband"

  • at visiting cemeteries, I’m surprised most don’t have a personal cemetery in their backyard!
  • at visiting family sites, I’m surprised to hear the GPS has room for other trip destinations!
  • at visiting cemetery graveyards, I’m surprised they don’t all plan their funerals in advance.
  • at visiting libraries, I’m surprised they don’t attend self-help groups when the libraries are closed.
  • at working on their family trees, I’m surprised there’s room to sit at their tables for a meal.
  • at writing genealogy blogs, I’m surprised they take time out for eating & drinking!
  • upon finding military records, I’m surprised more genealogists are not re-enactors!
  • upon finding old family homesteads, I’m surprised they haven’t purchased more of them.
  • upon finding reprobate ancestors, I’m surprised when genealogists don’t have a “Wall of Shame” on their Facebook pages! [“Who are you? Why can’t I find you? You know if you hide, I’ll find you! Ancestors wanted Dead or Alive!”]
  • upon finding tombstones, I’m surprised they don’t have a wall in their home of cemetery photographs!
  • upon trying old recipes, I’m surprised their kitchens aren’t full of antique cookware!
  • when bragging about genealogy, I’m surprised genealogists don’t pull ancestral photos out of wallets! (“If you think your kid is special, take a look at my Great Great Grandparents’ offspring!”)
  • when finding new cousins, I’m surprised there’s anyone else in their address books!
  • when they can’t solve genealogical brick walls, I’m surprised they don’t consult psychics!
  • when they solve brick walls, I’m surprised doctors don’t prescribe genealogy as a cure for depression!

humorous cartoon showing a happy genealogist ready to travel

  • when traveling for genealogical purposes, I’m surprised the gadgets leave any room for clothing. (“Packing list: camera, computer, files, flashdrive & backup drive, GPS, maps, notebook, scanner, smart phone loaded with apps, tablet & clothing – Oops, no room!”)

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0 thoughts on “Mary’s Musings: Humorous Observations about Excited Genealogists

  1. Having been a “Family Historian” aka genealogist for 3 years now, I can appreciate the humor you s[peak of above. ~Dave Gentry~

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