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            April, 2004

      Carol Sanderson, Editor
      Charles Hansen, Technical Advisor


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 The DON'TS OF GENEALOGY
(a tongue-in-cheek approach)
Carol Sanderson
&
Charles Hansen

        It has been brought to our attention that some people would like to hear about some of the DO NOTS in genealogy. When this was first mentioned to me, I thought that it might be too negative but the more I thought about it the more it seemed plausible. So now we will try it.

Do Not talk to your family about their ancestors. They might give you so much information that it would take you back more than one generation.

Do Not believe all the family stories. They are probably all myths anyway. Nothing to learn about them that would be of any interest to you.

Do Not cite your sources. You know them or do you? Therefore nobody else néeds to know.

Do Not listen to your hunches. They never were right so why should your ancestors try to talk to you through them.

Do Not file things in an orderly fashion; it is so much better to hunt every time you go looking for something.

Do Not thank people for their help; that is what they have volunteered for isn't it?

Do Not be polite to people in courthouses, libraries and other places you may be searching; they are getting paid to answer your demands.

Do Not remember about boundaries that can move; they are supposed to stand still so that you don't have to search so hard.

Do Not ever go to any conferences or seminars; you might learn how to break your brick walls.

Do Not concentrate on one or two ancestors; you can easily work on all 16,000 ancestors at one time.

Do Not join the local genealogical society; you don't néed any tips from the other members.

Do Not check any references before you order vital records; you know they have to have the record you are looking for even if it was ten years before they started recording any births or deaths.

Do Not check the LDS catalog to see if they have filmed the birth or death records; you would rather pay the state 4 or 5 times what the LDS charges for copies.

Do Not post queries that ask specific questions; just post that your John Smith lived in _______, and you want to know when he was married and how to contact all his children. Never give his age or birth date as you know that already and other researchers should be able to find him anyway.

Do Not volunteer to help others; you don't have time to look for their John Smiths.

Do Not share your information with others; you worked hard for it so why shouldn't they.

Do Not ever, ever back up your data and keep a copy elsewhere; your computer will last forever. Nothing can happen to it or can it?

Do Not check every census for your family; you already know all about them and the census will not give you any more clues.

Do Not ever move your data to new storage mediums; the 5 1/4 inch floppies you started with will always be readable.

Do Not check sources on new data you find; if it is on the internet, it must be correct.

        Now that the list is complete, you may wish to review previous newsletters to see what to do! We thought this might be a fun way to review and also present something as Do Not things especially since the publishing date of this is also April Fools Day!



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