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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Genealogue Exclusive: Man Finds Millionth Relative

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
Internet genealogist Andy Lassiter reached a milestone Friday. For the millionth time, he entered a name into his genealogy software. And he did it all without leaving his Masonville, Iowa, home.

"I didn't think I'd make it," said Lassiter. "I got bogged down around 900,000—but then I found this website that listed Chinese immigrants to San Francisco in the 1800s. That gave me a boost, all right. I kept typing until my fingers cramped up."

Is Lassiter Chinese? No, but he feels he is creating a family tree for the whole world. After all, he says, everyone is related.

"We're all fruit of the same loom. That's why I added all the names in the Des Moines phone book to my genealogy."

The Internet has allowed Lassiter to accomplish this monumental task in record time—just three months.

"There are still some folks who do it the old way," he explained. "They go to cemeteries and courthouses and such, and then brag about it online. I bet those people don't have half the names I've got. Not even half."

What advice does this genealogy master have for those just starting their research?

"Start with what you know. If you know how to download someone else's GEDCOM, do that. And if your genealogy program asks for a source, just leave it blank. It'll just slow you down.

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