Genealogy

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Genealogy, to which I've devoted considerable energy over the years, is a field filled with as much mythology as any other. People routinely claim any number of things that either aren't that unusual or else are simply impossible. For instance, when considering one's English ancestry, it's well to remember that there are literally only two or three families that can identify their forbearers prior to the Norman conquest. The source material simply doesn't exist. One exception is the royal family and appendages thereto, but when trudging through the Dark Ages the mists of time can be overpowering here as well.

Since facts rarely discourage good stories people want to tell, these toplofty tales of bygone relatives will doubtless continue.

There were once two elderly ladies who met socially and were quickly immersed in the subject of their respective ancestry. The first was a dedicated genealogist and proceeded to recite her pedigree at ponderous length. When the mist became too great even for her to overcome, she summarized by saying,

"Of course, my family can be traced all the way back to Alexander the Great."

Turning to her silent companion, she then inquired,

"My dear, how far back does your ancestry go?"

"I don't know," the second lady snapped, "All the records were lost in the Flood ..."

---------------A Final thought ...

"I donít know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."

- Abraham Lincoln (1809Ė65), U.S. president. From: Gross, Lincolnís Own Stories