24 May 2010

Peeling the layers: Onion genealogy

Peeling an onion can make you cry.

This Onion, however, brings tears of laughter.

Back in 2002 - long before many geneablogs existed - the satire site seemed to forecast some of today's genealogy problems.

Dick Eastman's newsletter pointed to this old Onion article, so I went to take a look. I'm glad I did. Thanks, Dick.

I used to read The Onion frequently, but life has just gotten too busy. This post offered some interesting tips to working on one's family history.

Here are some:

-- Avoid this common mistake made by many first-time genealogists: Search for people with the same last name, not first. [Tracing the Tribe might also add that if you are creating an index, it be done by surname, not given name. It seems obvious, doesn't it? But we've seen a foreign cemetery index done by first name. Oy.]

-- Note to women: In this society, it is unimportant to know anything about your lineage on your mother's side. Just skip it altogether. [NOT! There are many genealogists who would like a piece of the article's author.]

-- Go to your oldest living relative and ask him or her about your lineage. Work your way down to the second, third, and fourth oldest until you get to someone who makes some sense. [and make sure to audio and video record each of these people, of course.]

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