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Genealogy Lite

From Stephentown Genealogy

Compiled by Tina Ordone

Genealogy Quips

My family coat of arms ties at the back....is that normal?
My family tree is a few branches short! All help appreciated
My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
My hobby is genealogy, I raise dust bunnies as pets.
How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE??
I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap..
I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged
I'm searching for myself; Have you seen me?
If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help...
Isn't genealogy fun? The answer to one problem, leads to two more!
It's 1998... Do you know where your-Great-G. Grandparents are?
A family reunion is an effective form of birth control
A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots
A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away
After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted
Am I the only person up my tree... sure seems like it
Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples
Ever find an ancestor HANGING from the family tree?
FLOOR: The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
Gene-Allergy: It's a contagious disease, but I love it
Genealogists are time unravelers
Genealogy is like playing hide and seek: They hide... I seek!
Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people
"Crazy" is a relative term in my family
A pack rat is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor
I want to find ALL of them! So far I only have a few thousand
I SHOULD have asked them BEFORE they died!
I think my ancestors had several "Bad heir" days
I'm always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNEflower
Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards, as progress
Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality
Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
It's an unusual family that hath neither a lady of the evening or a thief.
Many a family tree needs pruning
Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears.
Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
That's strange: half my ancestors are WOMEN!
I'm not sick, I've just got fading genes
Genealogists live in the past lane
Cousins marrying cousins: Very tangled roots!
Cousins marrying cousins: A non-branching family tree
Alright! Everybody out of the gene pool!
Always willing to share my ignorance....
Documentation...The hardest part of genealogy
Genealogy: Chasing your own tale!
Genealogy...will I ever find time to mow the lawn again?
That's the problem with the gene pool: NO Lifeguards
I researched my family tree... and apparently I don't exist!
SO MANY ANCESTORS..........SO LITTLE TIME!

Author Unknown

Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest
Neglected and alone.
The name and the date are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.

It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.

Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.

Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.

I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.

Author Unknown

Voices In My Heart

It was the first day of census, and all through the land
each pollster was ready... a black book in hand.
He mounted his horse for a long dusty ride,
his book and some quills were tucked close by his side.
A long winding ride down a road barely there,
towards the smell of fresh bread wafting, up through the air.

The woman was tired, with lines on her face
and wisps of brown hair she tucked back into place.
She gave him some water... as they sat at the table
and she answered his questions... the best she was able.
He asked her of children. Yes, she had quite a few.
The oldest was twenty, the youngest not two.

She held up a toddler with cheeks round and red.
His sister, she whispered, was napping in bed.
She noted each person who lived there with pride,
and she felt the faint stirrings of the wee one inside.
He noted the sex, the color, the age...
the marks from the quill soon filled up the page.

At the number of children, she nodded her head
and saw her lips quiver for the three that were dead.
The places of birth she "never forgot"
...was it Kansas? or Utah? or Oregon... or not?
They came from Scotland, of that she was clear.
But she wasn't quite sure just how long they'd been here.

They spoke of employment, of schooling and such.
They could read some... and write some... though really not much.
When the questions were answered, his job there was done
so he mounted his horse and he rode towards the sun.
We can almost imagine his voice loud and clear,
"May God bless you all for another ten years."

Now picture a time warp... it's now you and me
as we search for the people on our family tree.
We squint at the census and scroll down so slow
as we search for that entry from long, long ago.
Could they only imagine on that long ago day
that the entries they made would affect us this way?

If they knew, would they wonder at the yearning we feel,
and the searching that makes them so increasingly real.
We can hear if we listen, the words they impart,
through their blood in our veins and their voice in our heart.

Darlene Stevens

My great-great grandparents, Frederick and Eunice (Hayes) Houghtling. How I wish they had kept some kind of records!!!!

Beatitudes of a Family Genealogist

Blessed are the great grandmothers, who hoarded newspaper clippings and old letters,
For they tell the story of their time.

Blessed are all the grandfathers who filed every legal document,
For this provides 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 some, this is their only link to the past.

Blessed are mothers who relate family traditions and legends to the family,
For one of her children will surely remember.

Blessed are the relatives who fill in family sheets with extra data,
For them we owe the family history.

Blessed is any family whose members strive for the preservation of records,
For theirs is a labour of love.

Blessed are the children who will never say,
"Grandma, you have told that old story twice today."

Author Unknown

Genealogy Is My Pastime

I shall not stray;
It maketh me to lie down and examine half-buried tomestones,
It leadeth me into still court houses;
It restoreth my ancestral knowledge.
It leadeth me in paths of census records and ship's passenger lists for my surname's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the shadows of research libraries and microfilm readers,
I shall fear no discouragement,
For a strong urge is within me;
The curiosity and motivation they comforteth me.
It demandeth preparation of storage space for the acquisition of countless documents;
It anointest my head with burning midnight oil,
My family group sheets runneth over.
Surely, birth, marriage and death dates shall follow me all the days of my life; and,
I shall dwell in the house of a family-history seeker forever.

Author: Unknown

The Twelve Steps for Recovering Genealogists

1. I admit that I am powerless over my gedcom and that my life has become
unmanageable.
2. I believe that there is a greater power other than genealogy and that
it will restore sanity to my life.
3. I have made a decision to turn my life over to non genealogists and
hope that they will understand me.
4. I have admitted to myself and other genealogists that I am addicted to
my obituary files.
5. I vow to no longer discuss "dead people" with my few remaining friends
in hopes that they will remain my friends.
6. I promise to take photographs of things other than tombstones.
7. My only source of reading material will no longer be census, wills,
death certificates and obituaries.
8. I will not spend family holidays in libraries and archives.
9. Family picnics will no longer be held in cemeteries.
10. My family will no longer be referred to as "the live ones."
11. My time spent on the Internet will be limited to sites other than
Rootsweb.com, Ancestry.com and MyGenealogy. com and Cyndi's.
12. I will carry these messages to other genealogists and practice these
principles every day.

Author Unknown

Census Taker

It was the first day of census, and all through the land;
The pollster was ready ... a black book in hand.
He mounted his horse for along dustyride;
His book and some quills were tucked close by his side.
A long winding ride down a road barely there;
Toward the smell of fresh bread wafting, up through the air.
The woman was tired, with lines on her face;
And wisps of brown hair she tucked back into place.
She gave him some water ... as they sat at the table;
And she answered his questions ... the best she was able.
He asked of her children... Yes, she had quite a few;
The oldest was twenty, the youngest not two.
She held up a toddler with cheeks round and red;
his sister, she whispered, was napping in bed.
She noted each person who lived there with pride;
And she felt the faint stirrings of the wee one inside.
He noted the sex, the color, the age...
The marks from the quill soon filled up the page.
At the number of children, she nodded her head;
And saw her lips quiver for the three that were dead.
The places of birth she "never forgot";
Was it Kansas? or Utah? or Oregon ... or not?
They came from Scotland, of that she was clear;
But she wasn't quite sure just how long they'd been here.
They spoke of employment, of schooling and such;
They could read some .and write some .. though really not much.
When the questions were answered, his job there was done;
So he mounted his horse and he rode toward the sun.
We can almost imagine his voice loud and clear;
"May God bless you all for another ten years."
Now picture a time warp ... its' now you and me;
As we search for the people on our family tree.
We squint at the census and scroll down so slow;
As we search for that entry from long, long ago.
Could they only imagine on that long ago day;
That the entries they made would effect us this way?
If they knew, would they wonder at the yearning we feel;
And the searching that makes them so increasingly real.
We can hear if we listen the words they impart;
Through their blood in our veins and their voice in our heart.

Author Unknown


Ode To A Census Taker

Some Census feller came today
It makes a body scoff
T'see how gullible he was
'Fore Lukey runned him off!
He wuz askin' 'bout the Williamses
Who live in Turkey Holler
So Pap got out the moonshine jug
And we all had a swaller.
Now, don't ask where that likker's from
Cause we'd never tell it ture!
That Census is from the government.
That Internal Revenoo!
So Pap set down and spun a yarn
Pretty as you please
All about them Williamses
With younguns thick as fleas!
There's Nathaniel Moses Williams
Or mebbe Mose Nathaniel
It don't matter none to us,
We always call him Cal.
We didn't tell about the still
That Cal keeps in the sticks
And we just snickered to ourselves
To beat those Census tricks!
Ole Missus Williams follers next
I think her name was Nancy
But Pap just called her Emmaline
Cause he thought it sounded fancy.
He shaved ten years off'n her age
(She's older'n Cal by three)
And didn't name her firstborned son
Cause he died in Tennessee.
Well that Census feller kep askin' stuff.
Pap kep thet jug a tippin'
The kinfolks grinnin' like raccoons
Thet Census guy kep sippin!
Well, Jimmy, Joe and Johnnie
Got mixed around a mite.
But they're from Cal's first family
And his first wife, Sairy White.
Ole Missus had two daughters
By Caleb Mackelroy
Which Pa misspelled Markley
And I think there was a boy.
Mollie Ann and Sukey
Got named as Cal's own kin
But they's cousins from Ohio
Ole Missus took 'em in.
Well, time thet jug was emptied
That Census man was skunked.
We left him in the wheelbar'l
Likkered up and drunk!
Just for jakes we filled his list
With all of our own kin
But swapped 'em all around the place
It'd make a possum grin!
We listed Grandpap as our son
Brother Seth and me as married
And won't young Lukey have a laugh
When we tell him he's dead and buried!
Cousin Sam's is my firstborned gal
And Mary's now a feller!
We made up several younguns more,
All livin' in the cellar.
When he come to, that pore old guy
Just staggered off fer town
His head all full of nonsense
An' him near fallin down!
Nobody reads them Census things
It's hogwash, simplepure!
But us hillfolk's laughin' fit to bust-
We done FOXED that Revenooer!

Author unknown

Murphy's Laws of Genealogy

1. The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated and at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to be a hanging.

2. When at last after much hard work you have evolved the mystery that you have been working on for two years, your aunt says, "I could have told you that."

3. You search ten years for your grandmother's maiden name to eventually find it on a letter in a box in the attic.

4. You never asked your father about his family when he was alive because you weren't interested in genealogy then.

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

6. Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only on the surnames.

7. Shmuel, son of Avram the immigrant whom your relatives claim as the family progenitor, died on board ship at the age of 10.

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

9. Another genealogist has just insulted the keeper of the vital records you need.

10. The relative who had all the family photographs gave them all to her daughter who has no interest in genealogy and no inclination to share.

11. The only record you find for your great grandfather is that his property was sold at a sheriff's sale of insolvency.

12. The one document that would supply the missing link in your dead end line has been lost due to fire, flood, or war.

13. The town clerk to whom you wrote for the information sends you a long handwritten letter which is totally illegible.

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

15. None of the pictures in your recently deceased grandmother's photo album have names written on them.

16. No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, owned property, was sued or was named in a will.

17. You learn that your great aunt's executor just sold her life's collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer "Somewhere in New York City."

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

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


Author Unknown I would like to know who wrote this so he/she can be given due credit.

I think that we all can identify with at least half of this things!! Old Murphy is always at work.