25 Things That Make Genealogy Fun

by Joe Beine

1. In Germany all the women are named Anna Maria and all the men are named Johann. This was done to confuse genealogists.

2. In Mexico all the women are named Maria and all the men are named Juan. This was done to confuse genealogists.

3. In Ireland all the women are named Mary and all the men are named James Patrick O'Connor. This was done for "fun in the pub."

4. In New Mexico the "Kevin Bacon Game" is called the "Juan Baca Game." No one knows who Juan Baca was, but everyone in New Mexico can trace their ancestors to him.

5. In Boston the "Kevin Bacon Game" is called the "James Patrick O'Connor Game."

6. The record that you need is always at the end of the microfilm roll.

7. The records at the beginning of the roll are clear and easy to read with beautiful penmenship. By the time you scroll to the end of the roll where the record you need is located, everything is a blurry mess.

8. You actually know what M237 means. You freak.

9. You get heavily involved in an argument on a genealogy newsgroup about whether it's Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish.

10. All of your ancestors settled in Chicago. Everytime you can't find something about them you curse Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

11. That same cow is probably responsible for the loss of the 1890 census.

12. Damn cow.

13. You wonder why a non-profit religious organization can distribute National Archives microfilm better than the National Archives.

14. Your ancestors did not swim to America.

15. You wish the founding fathers had thought up Social Security so the Social Security Death Index would begin around, oh, 1780 or so.

16. You are not a Cherokee princess.

17. None of your ancestors knew Jesse James.

18. But my Apache princess ancestor knew Billy the Kid.

19. Get over it.

20. After watching the TV show the West Wing one Wednesday night you become convinced that Gloria Estefan is somehow related to Martin Sheen. But you're not quite sure why. C'mon, shouldn't her last name be Sheen? Like Charlie Sheen, right? And that guy in the Breakfast Club.

21. Except for the E-Street Band, no one ever immigrated to New Jersey. I have two words for you: New York.

22. Oh so you're the one who keeps sending all those "Can I get a free lookup in the 1890 census?" posts to the alt.genealogy newsgroup.

23. You want the name of the guy who decided that the pre-1850 censuses would only name one person in each family. And you want his name now.

24. Your head is stuffed will all sorts of really strange facts. Like you know there are 102 counties in Illinois. And you can even name all 102. Get a life, you freak.

25. When someone first tells you their last name you immediately convert it into a Soundex code. This kind of behavior is so not normal.

This was meant in the spirit of fun and not to be taken seriously. Me and my fellow genealogists have lives. Really. They're just a little strange. And it should be noted that many fine people immigrated to New Jersey. Ok, now everyone play the Kevin Bacon Game: Gloria Estefan ___ Martin Sheen ___ Kevin Bacon (fill in the blanks)

©2003 Joe Beine

Related Weblinks...

Your ancestors really did swim to America. Perhaps alongside one of these ships...
Finding Passenger Lists 1820-1940s (arrivals at US Ports)

You've been playing the "Juan Baca Game..."
New Mexico Genealogy Resources
A Baca Family Tree

All of your ancestors are named Anna Maria & Johann. You'll love it here...
German Roots: German Genealogy Resources

Don't know what M237 means? You do now...
National Archives Microfilm Publication M237: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, NY, 1820-1897
and I couldn't help but notice that there is no corresponding series for New Jersey

102 Illinois Counties

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow

The Fate of the 1890 Census

More Fun...

It cost approximately $42.11 to count you in the 2010 census. What?!

The Cost of the US Census

Proof That Rock Stars Are Vampires

...Genealogy Guides...

Census Records | Irish Genealogy | Military Records

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