Sunday, August 09, 2009

This is a test of your local Broadcast System!

Funny what genealogists will pay attention to?

Most folks when presented with the "warning on their TV screen of a test of their local broadcast networks", simply sit there until the message is over and never get up and check to see that they have a working radio, batteries or bottled water to get through a crisis. Emergency? I think not. Most don't get it, do they?

Last night Randy Seaver posted his Saturday night fun for genealogists asking us to look at your 16 2nd great grandparents and figure out "where they came from". I didn't know how to make a list of them using RootsMagic (this is a new software program for me) so I leapt off the couch, put down my iPod (with Twitter on it) and went up to my desktop computer to follow his directions. Worked great, by the way, thanks Randy, love learning new tech tricks.

I printed it out and responded as a comment to his blog not bothering to post the list of names of the "Sweet Sixteen". So they were English, Scotch and French. How nice, I thought, I know all of their names. But, then, it has cost me a lot of money to find that out. Probably spent my emergency money, didn't I?

Feeling like a genealogist, I posted a status update to my Facebook page "goading people on" with the comment that what have people been doing all this time that they don't know all of the names of their "Sweet Sixteen"! It didn't take long for people to post their naming problems. I think this is great. It shows that everyone has trouble with knowing the names of their 2nd great grandparents. Dead people are such fun.

It marks you as a genealogist to actually care that you have recorded (some, all, part, possible first, last, middle) names of that generation. Just ask your Muggle friends (oh, sorry non-magic-non-genealogy folk) to name even their grandparents names. They simply don't know. I try it at every party I go to! What annoys people most is that I remember the "muggles" I have already asked so I don't ask them again. They didn't see the emergency in finding out, would they?

Really, folks, I am just trying to find someone to talk to at parties as I don't imbibe "adult beverages" anymore. (Thanks, cousin Thomas for defining that for me.)

Genealogy is fun no matter what day of the week it is!


Thomas MacEntee said...

Your cousin Thomas here - he of the "adult beverage"

Thanks for your post. I for one love these SNGF challenges that Randy comes up! I've put together a listing of the latests posts over at GeneaBloggers: Do You Know Your 16 Greats?

I also think SNGF shows the power of community among online genealogists and how technology helps to bring us together and exchange information. Sort of like going to a party where everyone has an answer to your question, "Do you know who your 16 great-great grandparents were?"

Wendy said...

I know where all 16 of mine came from AND I have the vital records to prove it! Expensive? Yup. Fun? Youbetcha!

Most people are amazed when any of us rattle off the names of great-great grandparents. They're like, "How do you know that?"

My response: "A lot of hard work!"

September McCarthy said...

Thanks, Midge! I enjoyed your post! If we're ever at the same party, this non-muggle would be happy to have another non-muggle to talk .

As for me, I would know all 16 if it was possible. It's likely that I've spent more than the emergency fund on determining that one of my great-grandfathers was illegitimate, and we have little hope of ever learning who his real father was. His father of record (and who he claimed as father throughout his life) died in San Diego, CA 18 months before great-grandpa's birth in Falmouth, MA. So sometimes there is no way to know all 16, and are left with a perpetuate, though slim hope of someday finding that one letter or diary that mentions the "scandal."

Midge Frazel said...

I am pleased to see to see my post made Randy Seaver's "best of the week" list this week. It is not possible to find out all the answers but perhaps posting to the Web will help you in ways never before imagined.

In the next generation, I have a wife named Maria. No maiden name. It's not at the cemetery either but they let me photograph the entire ledger pages for her married name. Hey, it's a start!