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Murphy's Law

 


- Anything that could have burned, did.

- The census taker with the clear handwriting and good ink never enumerated your ancestors.

- If you find a well documented, illustrious ancestor, you've probably made a mistake.

- Your folks hated government and never filled out forms.

- The book you need is never indexed, or, if indexed, doesn't include people.

- Your families never had attics, much less Bibles or boxes of photos in them.

- All real library discoveries are made five minutes before closing, when the copier is broken.

- The correctly shelved books and correctly filed forms are never the ones you need.

- The person sitting next to you at the research centre is finding ancestors every five minutes ...and telling you.

- The email address that bounces is the one from a person who listed your exact names. If you find a working address, you aren't related.

- Your microfilm reader is the one that squeaks, has to be turned backwards, and doesn't quite focus.

- Your cemeteries have no caretaker or records archive.

- Alternate spellings and arcane names were your folks' favourite pastimes.

- Or, your folks only knew three names, and used them over and over in every collateral line.

- Your sister neglects to mention that the data she gave you, which you have researched, and sent to other researchers, was just a guess with no foundation, and she guessed because she "didn't like leaving that line blank."

- Your mother neglects to mention that, "Oh, yes, we knew they changed their name."

- Blank genealogy forms never have quite the categories or space you need.

- All software packages look good, but immediately have a problem with *your* special case.

- Discussions about how to compute cousinship are never resolved.

- And finally, it's infinitely easy to get sidetracked doing genealogy (grin).

~Author Unknown

Contributed by Donna Randell

Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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