MURPHY’S LAWS OF FAMILY RESEARCH
- Your great-grandfather’s obituary states that he died, leaving no issue of record
- The town clerk you wrote to in desperation, and finally convinced to give you the information you need, can’t write legibly, and doesn’t have a copying machine.
- That ancient photograph of four relatives, one of whom is your progenitor, carries the names of the other three.
- The keeper of the vital records you need will just have been insulted by another researcher.
- Copies of old newspapers have holes which occur only on maiden names.
- No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, always rented property, was never sued, and was never named in wills.
- You learned that Great Aunt Matilda’s executor just sold her life’s collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer “somewhere in New York City.”
- Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.
- The critical link in your family tree is named “Smith.”
As family historian, do you have friends and family ask you how to get started in family research? This is a hard question to answer in a few minutes. Refer them to the book below to help them get started in this fun hobby. Purchase several – Books make great gifts!