09 April 2008

Inventing relatives for fun and profit

What would I do without Chris Dunham of The Genealogue? When I'm overwhelmed with work, a visit to his blog is always a relief.

He's at it again, with his newest post and links. Thanks, Chris, for this one.

How to Invent a Relative

Genealogical research can be really, really hard, but I've found a way to make it easy and fun. The trick is to create your relatives from scratch.

Give him a name — To avoid suspicion, don't use silly made-up names like "Kiefer" or "Barack."

Grab a picture of somebody else and make it look old — "Hey, my great-grandfather looked like Jack Nicholson!"

Borrow some good anecdotes — "Remember the time he shared a hot tub with Kissinger?"

Write fake news items about him — A couple of wedding announcements, an article on his DUI arrest and an obituary will put flesh on his artificial bones.

Give him a proper burial — You don't want this guy showing up at reunions, so make sure he's good and dead!

Each "suggestion" is linked to a story, but you'll have to go to his blog for the complete picture.

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