Genealogy. Ever heard of it? It’s a really long word that translates roughly to “spending all of your free time finding out about your ancestors so you have some clue where you come from and what your family is like.” So I guess the word isn’t as long as saying all that.
Anyways, I’ve been genealogizing today at the library. Familysearch.org is a church site that’s compiled a ridiculous amount of information – for free – from a bunch of different sources. And if you have ancestry.com, you can post those sources on familysearch. For free. So I can read them. And not have to pay for ancestry.com.
Okay, I’m a mooch. But here’s the point: I’ve been looking up a whole lot of family history today that I didn’t know existed, because I’ve been merging together records that people didn’t know were related. Like when somebody writes that their great-to-the-7th-power-grandfather’s name was Caspar, and somebody else writes it as Kaspar. Familysearch lets you compare the information and decide whether it’s actually the same person – which lets you combine your information with other people’s, and you end up with about 7 generations you’ve never even heard of before because somebody else did the research.
The ultimate mooch. I’m thrilled. (And Swiss – who knew?)
The problem comes when you’re not paying attention to who you’re putting where. I don’t think I’m guilty of this, but after seeing a few mistakes in others’ information, I’m being more careful.
Like my 20th-odd-some-number-of-crazy-old grandpa Claus. His wife was married like a thousand times. And, as it turns out, she was also 200 years older than he was. Also, she was dead when they got married. Unless there’s some paranormal whatsit going on here, methinks somebody made a mistake. Especially since, going through the records, Claus is his own grandfather. I seriously hope that’s a mistake. Because that’s just not right.
So, either I have a time traveler in the family, or I’ve got some serious researching to do. Time to put that history degree to work…