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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The 2006 Genealogue Awards

It's time to hand out the Genealogue Awards again. For those of you who have been looking forward to this post all year, I would recommend electric-shock therapy.

2006 was a census year in many countries, and not everyone was forthcoming. Canadian enumerators showed admirable persistence, and one Nigerian census taker even tied the knot to elicit results, but the winner for Most Dedicated Census Taker is Susan Dyck, who had the foresight not to use public transportation.

There was only one entrant for Best Census Avoidance Technique. Graeme Cairns reminded us that cryogenically frozen ancestors may not have been counted by census takers.

In the category of Most Unlikely Couple, we have a tie. I can't decide whether it's more noteworthy to marry a porpoise for love, or a goat for sex.

The award for Most Inappropriate Cemetery Behavior goes to Charles Rose, whose performance exhibited far more enthusiasm than that of the small-bladdered James Scott.

The award for Family Heirloom I'd Least Like to Eat goes to the Soar family's Medieval bread. Close behind was the 50-year-old tin of chicken Les and Beryl Lailey ate on their wedding anniversary. Ty Thomson's 38-year-old ice cream parfaits were disqualified, because I really would like to eat them.

I consider myself a devoted researcher, but I'm not in the same league as the three nominees for Most Extreme Genealogist. Lottie Smalls almost earned herself a restraining order, and Rudyard Edick crawled under a church to find an ancestor's grave. But the winner is Jennie De Bout, who traveled 2,300 miles—mostly on foot—to retrieve a copy of her birth certificate, only to find that the Probate Court didn't have it on file.

The co-winners for Most Unwelcome Discovery are complete opposites. One found that her ancestor cared too little for animals; the other found that her ancestor cared too much.

The Bing Crosby Parenting Award goes to Giuseppe Gallo, whose children must have loved him as much as Mona Vanni's children loved her.

The winner for Most Sensible Grave Arrangement is St. Rose Cemetery, where "The way you drop is the way you flop."

The Worst Epitaph Award goes to Mr. Anderson, Provost of Dundee. Hallelujah, Hallelujee!

Finally, the prize for Best Genealogical Advice is posthumously awarded to Henry H. Crapo, who described genealogy as a "deplorable ... expenditure of vitality." As one who has spent as much time genealogizing as sleeping in the year past, I couldn't agree more.

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