March 23, 2009
My dear late husband used to shake his head in puzzlement over my obsession with tracing my ancestry….my roots…..climbing my family tree and finding all the nuts on it. He indulged me years ago, however, by driving several times to Virginia’s Northern Neck area where he aided me with nary a complaint in searching for hours on end through dusty old books in various county clerks’ offices, going to libraries, visiting churches and getting burrs and chigger bites while trudging through weeds and bug infested cemeteries to view and photograph grave markers of dead ancestors! He never seemed very interested in his own ancestry but did help me and enjoyed my discoveries of his family’s records like the census and the ships’ passenger lists. However, when I received his two grandfathers’ applications for Social Security and the death certificates showing one grandpa was born in France and the other grandpa had committed suicide, he wasn’t nearly as shocked or excited about it as I! We’d been married over fifty years, and he’d never told me of the French connection or that his dad’s father had hung himself. Wow! To me that was very interesting and important information. He claimed to have forgotten it if he’d ever known about it.
Today, I received this from a fellow genealogist friend . It’s a pretty fair explanation about what ails the family historian.
When you start to break out with the GENEALOGY POX, you know there is no hope…
WARNING: Genealogy Pox is very contagious to adults who have taken on the adventurous task of compiling their family histories.
SYMPTOMS : Continual complaint from patient as to need for more names, more dates, and places of births/deaths. Patient has a blank expression, and is sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses and spending hours online at genealogy websites. Has compulsion to write letters. Swears at the mailman when he does not leave mail. Frequents strange places, such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate cemetery areas. Makes secret night calls, hides telephone bills from spouse. The patient mumbles to himself and has a strange faraway look in his eyes.
TREATMENT : Medication is useless. Disease is not fatal but grows progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogy websites, magazines or societies and be given a quiet corner/room in the house where he or she can work alone.
REMARKS : The unusual nature of this disease is the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it.