This Halloween, ol' Myrt here has been looking at things in a different light, in as much as she has 2 grandchildren to care for each day -- aged 12 weeks and 5 years. (OK that was a pretty good run-on sentence, wasn't it?!)
Scary things to these little ones are as innocent as a spider in the corner of the kitchen, or bedtime without prayers and a night light.
SCARY THINGS FOR GENEALOGISTS might include:
1. Finally receiving a copy of an out-of-print book on an obscure surname on your family tree, only to discover the author neglected to cite sources for events in each ancestor's life.
2. The loss of courthouse records due to fire or flood.
3. Finding that long lost ancestor only to discover he/she had led a notorious life of crime.
4. The elimination of free RootsWeb genealogy mailing lists for communicating with other researchers about surnames, localities and special interest groups.
5. A trip to the parish office in you ancestor's homeland reveals the page for his christening entry was literally torn out of the book. (sad but true)
6. A visit to the cemetery where the tombstones have been moved to the perimeter to facilitate lawn mowing.
7. Reading the federal census, page by page, only to discover ink blots obscuring the names of your ancestor's parents.
8. During a visit to the National Archives, you discover your ancestor's Civil War pension folder only holds a single file jacket.
9. Your ancestor's pre-Andrew Jackson federal land grant certificate has had the president's signature cut out of the document.
10. Your computer experiences a complete hard-drive failure without a backup of your genealogical database, digital ancestral photos and scanned images of important documents.
NOT TO WORRY some of these scary scenarios only add to the mysterious intrigue of determining alternative record collections. Item #3 only requires an attitude adjustment, since genealogists love searching for ancestors, and should learn to keep an open mind when it comes to judging their lifestyles.
But more importantly, if you want to sleep well without a night light, remember to BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!
Happy family tree climbing!
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