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Genealogy Quotes and Poems
 
  • If you' are lucky enough to be a genealogist, you are lucky enough. Ruth Padilla
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  • Can a first cousin, once removed, return?
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  • Cemetery: (n) A marble orchard not to be taken for granite.
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  • Crazy.... is a relative term in MY family.
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  • Genealogy: It's all relative in the end anyway.
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  • Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people.
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  • I trace my family history so I will know who to blame.
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  • It's hard to be humble with ancestors like mine!
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  • Searching for lost relatives? Win the Lottery!
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  • Every family tree has some sap in it.
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  • FLOOR: (n) The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
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  • Friends come and go, but relatives tend to accumulate.
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  • Genealogists do it in the library.
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  • Genealogists never die, they just loose their roots.
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  • Genealogy: A hay stack full of needles. It's the threads I need.
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  • Genealogy: Collecting dead relatives and sometimes a live cousin!
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  • Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.
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  • I think my family tree is a few branches short of full bloom.
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  • Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.
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  • Research: What I'm doing, when I don't know what I'm doing.
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  • Take nothing but ancestors, leave nothing but records.
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  • Theory of relativity: If you go back far enough, we're all related.
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  • If you want to find a needle in a haystack, you've got to be scientific about it. Otherwise, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
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  • The past is not dead. It isn't even past. --William Faulkner, 1897-1962
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  • So many cultural symbols are turned into cliches, some by people who claim to have an Indian Princess as their great grandmother. Well some ancester of mine was a lady in waiting to some English queen but it didn't improve my housekeeping abilities and I'm still puzzled by that 3rd fork at good resturants.
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  • One never knows when one tiny piece will pull the puzzle together.
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  • When we die we become 'stories' in the minds of other people.
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  • Genealogists Do it in Trees!
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  • My family coat of arms ties at the back....is that normal?
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  • My family tree is a few branches short! All help appreciated
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  • My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
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  • Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
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  • My hobby is genealogy, I raise dust bunnies as pets.
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  • How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE??
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  • I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap..
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  • I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged
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  • I'm searching for myself; Have you seen me ?
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  • If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help...
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  • Isn't genealogy fun? The answer to one problem, leads to two more!
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  • It's 1999... Do you know where your-Great-G...-Grandparents are?
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  • A family reunion is an effective form of birth control
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  • A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots
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  • A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away
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  • After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted
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  • Am I the only person up my tree... sure seems like it
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  • Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples
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  • Ever find an ancestor HANGING from the family tree?
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  • FLOOR: The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
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  • Gene-Allergy: It's a contagious disease, but I love it
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  • Genealogists are time unravelers
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  • Genealogy is like playing hide and seek: They hide... I seek!
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  • Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people
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  • "Crazy" is a relative term in my family
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  • A pack rat is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor
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  • I want to find ALL of them! So far I only have a few thousand
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  • I should have asked them BEFORE they died!
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  • I think my ancestors had several "Bad heir" days
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  • I'm always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNEflower
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  • Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards, as progress
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  • Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality
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  • Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
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  • It's an unusual family that hath neither a lady of the evening nor a thief.
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  • Many a family tree needs pruning
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  • Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears.
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  • Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
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  • I'm not sick, I've just got fading genes
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  • Genealogists live in the past lane
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  • Cousins marrying cousins: Very tangled roots!
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  • Cousins marrying cousins: A non-branching family tree
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  • Alright! Everybody out of the gene pool!
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  • Always willing to share my ignorance....
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  • Documentation...The hardest part of genealogy
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  • Genealogy: Chasing your own tale! *****
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  • Genealogy...will I ever find time to mow the lawn again?
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  • That's the problem with the gene pool: NO Lifeguards
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  • I researched my family tree... and apparently I don't exist!
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  • SO MANY ANCESTORS...........................SO LITTLE TIME!

     

A Modern Mother

A modern mother is explaining to her little girl about pictures in the family photo album. "This is the geneticist with your surrogate mother and here's your sperm donor and your father's clone. This is me holding you when you were just a frozen embryo. The lady with the very troubled look on her face is your aunt, a genealogist."

 
 
Malindy
 
Malindy fell way down deep in love
With a mountain boy she knew.
But it was quite the proper thing
As she was mountain too.
 
She hastened home to tell her Pap
That shortly she would wed
One likely Mr. Rufus Brown,
When Pap looked up and said,
 
No, honeychile, you cain't do that
You'll have to find another.
Don't tell your Ma but Rufus Brown
Is sorta your half-brother.
 
Malindy shed a few tears
and slowly went her way
And soon she met another boy
And hastened home to say,
 
Now, Pap, I'll marry that Smith boy
Who lives on down the street.
He ain't got no bad habits
And he dresses mighty neat.
 
But Pap, he slowly shook his head,
And looked across to Mother
And whispered now, you cain't do that.
That Smith boy's also your half-brother.
 
Then Malindy, she forgot her oath
And blurted out to Mother
Pap says I cain't marry Rufus Brown
Cause he's my half-brother.
 
Then when I loved that Bobby Smith,
Although it sounds like treason,
Pap says I cannot marry him
For just that same old reason.
 
Then Ma says, Honeychile, don't cry.
Put on your weddin' cap
And marry either one you want.
You ain't no kin to Pap!
 
 
 
Genealogy Poem:
I went searching for an ancestor. I cannot find him still.
He moved around from place to place and did not leave a will.
He married where a courthouse burned. He mended all his fences.
He avoided any man who came to take the US census.
 
He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame.
And every 20 years or so, this rascal changed his name.
His parents came from Europe. They could be on some list
of passengers to the USA, but somehow they got missed.
 
And no one else anywhere is searching for this man
So, I play geneasolitaire to find him if I can.
I'm told he's buried in a plot, with tombstone he was blessed
but the weather took engraving and some vandal took the rest.
 
He died before the county clerks decided to keep records,
No family bible has emerged in spite of all my efforts.
To top it off this ancestor, who caused me many groans.
Just to give me one more pain, betrothed a girl named JONES.

Murphy's Law of Genealogy
(Author Unknown)
 
The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated and at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to be a hanging.
 
When at last, after much hard work, you have solved the mystery you have been working on for two years, when your aunt says, "I could have told you that".
 
You grandmother's maiden name that you have searched for over four years was on a letter in a box in the attic all the time.
 
You never asked your father about his family when he was alive because you weren't interested in genealogy then.
 
The last will and testament you need is in the safe on board the Titanic.
 
Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only over the surnames for which you are looking.
 
John, son of Thomas, the immigrant whom your relatives claim as the family progenitor, died on board a ship at age ten.
 
Your great grandfather's newspaper obituary states that he died leaving no issue of record.
 
The keeper of the vital records you need has just been insulted by another genealogist.
 
The relative who had all the family photographs gave them all to her daughter who has no interest in genealogy, and no inclination to share.
 
The only record you find for your great grandfather is that his property was sold at a sheriff's sale for insolvency.
 
The one document that would supply the missing link in your dead-end line has been lost due to fire, flood or war.
 
The town clerk to whom you wrote for the information sends you a long handwritten letter which is totally illegible.
 
The spelling for your European ancestor's name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.
 
None of the pictures in your recently deceased grandmother's photo album have names written on them.
 
No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, owned property, was sued or was named in wills.
 
You learn that your great aunt'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 thirty-seven volume, sixteen thousand page history of your county of origin isn't indexed.
 
You finally find your great grandparent's wedding records and discover that the brides' father was named John Smith.
 
Genealogy is where you confuse the dead and irritate the living,

Elusive Kinsman
 
Alas, my elusive kinsman
You've led me quite a chase
I thought I'd found your courthouse
But the Yankees burned the place.
 
You always kept your bags packed
Although you had no fame, and
Just for the fun of it
Twice you changed your name.
 
You never owed any man, or
At least I found no bills
In spite of eleven offspring
You never left a will.
 
They say our name's from Europe
Came state side on a ship
Either they lost the passenger list
Or granddad gave them the slip.
 
I'm the only one looking
Another searcher I can't find
I pray (maybe that's his fathers name)
As I go out of my mind.
 
They said you had a headstone
In a shady plot
I've been there twenty times, and
Can't even find the lot.
 
You never wrote a letter
Your Bible we can't find
It's probably in some attic
Out of sight and out of mind.
 
You first married a .....Smith
And just to set the tone
The other four were Sarahs
And everyone a Jones.
 
You cost me two fortunes
One of which I did not have
My husband, my house and Fido
God, how I miss that yellow lab.
 
But somewhere you slipped up, Ole Boy,
Somewhere you left a track
And if I don't find you this year
Well...... Next year I'll be back!
 
 
THE ELUSIVE ANCESTOR
 
I went searching for an ancestor. I cannot find him still.
He moved around from place to place and did not leave a will.
He married where a courthouse burned. He mended all his fences.
He avoided any man who came to take the U.S. Census.
 
He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame.
And every 20 years or so, this rascal changed his name.
His parents came from Europe. They should be upon some list
of passengers to U.S.A., but somehow they got missed.
 
And no one else in this world is searching for this man.
So, I play geneasolitaire to find him if I can.
I'm told he's buried in a plot, with tombstone he was blessed;
but the weather took engraving, and some vandals took the rest.
 
He died before the county clerks decided to keep records.
No Family Bible has emerged, in spite of all my efforts.
To top it off this ancestor, who caused me many groans,
Just to give me one more pain, betrothed a girl named JONES.
 
by Merrell Kenworthy
 


You Know You're Taking Genealogy Too Seriously If

In order to put the "final touches" on your genealogical research, you've asked all of your closest relatives to provide DNA samples.

You are the only person to show up at the cemetery research party with a shovel.

You were instrumental in having "non-genealogical use of the genealogy room copy machine" classified as a federal hate crime.

Your house leans slightly toward the side where your genealogical records are stored.

You decided to take a two-week break from genealogy, and the U.S. Postal Office immediately laid off 1,500 employees.

Out of respect for your best friend's unquestioned reputation for honesty and integrity, you are willing to turn off that noisy surveillance camera while she reviews your 57 genealogical research notebooks in your home. The armed security guard, however, will remain.

You plod merrily along "refining" your recently published family history, blissfully unaware that the number of errata pages now far exceeds the number of pages in your original publication.

During an ice storm and power outage, you ignore the pleas of your shivering spouse and place your last quilt around that 1886 photograph of dear Uncle George.

The most recent document in your "Missing Ancestors" file is a 36-page contract between you and Johnson Billboard Advertising Company.

Ed McMahon, several t.v. cameras and an envelope from Publishers Clearing House arrive at your front door on Super Bowl Sunday, and the first thing you say is, "Are you related to the McMahons of Ohio?".

"A Loving Family" and "Financial Security" have moved up to second and third, respectively, on your list of life's goals, but still lag far behind "Owning My Own Microfilm Reader."

A magical genie appears and agrees to grant your any one wish, and you ask that the 1890 census be restored.


On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:

Here lies
Ezekial Aikle
Age 102
The Good
Die Young.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a London, England cemetery:

Ann Mann
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:

Anna Wallace

The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:

Here lies
Johnny Yeast
Pardon me
For not rising.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:

Here lies the body
of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:

Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A widow wrote this epitaph in a Vermont cemetery:

Sacred to the memory of my husband John Barnes who died January 3, 1803
His comely young widow, aged 23, has many qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A lawyer's epitaph in England:

Sir John Strange
Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:

I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Of yours.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880's. He's buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:

Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No More.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a Georgia cemetery:

"I told you I was sick!"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:

Reader if cash thou art

In want of any
Dig 4 feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:

She always said her feet were killing her but nobody believed her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:

On the 22nd of June
- Jonathan Fiddle -
Went out of tune.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont has an epitaph that sounds like something from a Three Stooges movie:

Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

More fun with names with Owen Moore in Battersea, London, England:

Gone away
Owin' more
Than he could pay.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Someone in Winslow, Maine didn't like Mr. Wood:

In Memory of Beza Wood
Departed this life Nov. 2, 1837
Aged 45 yrs.
Here lies one Wood Enclosed in wood
One Wood Within another.
The outer wood Is very good:
We cannot praise The other.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On a grave from the 1880's in Nantucket, Massachusetts:

Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost a consumer tip:

Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp filled with "R.E. Danforth's Non-Explosive Burning Fluid"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:

Born 1903--Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down.
It was.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:

Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dr. Fred Roberts

Brookland, Arkansas: Office upstairs

 

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