Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Top Ten Worst Ways to Begin a Family History

10. "It was October, 1956. Don Larsen had just thrown the first perfect game in World Series history, President Eisenhower was campaigning for a second term, and somewhere in Manhattan my grandfather was impregnating his sister-in-law."

9. "Down in the constricted, fetid bowels of the steamship, Jacob Horowitz waited to be evacuated."

8. "'Call me Ishmael,' our ancestor Ishmael Johnson might have said if asked 'What should we call you?'"

7. "I have few memories of Sperm Donor 4879."

6. "Let me start by saying this book would have been a whole lot better if my goddamn relatives had answered my goddamn questions."

5. "I set out to find my great-great-grandfather armed only with a tattered obituary and a sturdy shovel."

4. "My father, Mr. Smith, was probably between eighteen and forty-eight years of age when he met his future wife, Mary [--?--]."

3. "The remainder of this book is for Plus Edition subscribers only."

2. "The story of our family begins in a tiny village in northern France—or possibly Ecuador."

1. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Several years later, my grandmother was born in Des Moines."

Bill West


A funny funny post on The Genealogue!
Just what I need at the need of a log day!

Welcome back, Chris!


That was great! Definitely one of the better gen blog entries I've read in the past few months. I LOVED #3 followed closely by #7!


Good to see you again, Chris.

You made my day with this one!

Do we get tagged to come up with our own contributions?

Tracing the Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog


Welcome back! You've been missed! A day without Chris Dunham is like a day without sunshine.



Brilliant as usual.
Chris said it right.
Welcome Back.


I may tweak #6 for a presentation at a family party next month.

Good to see you back, Chris.

Andy E. Wold

#6 and #3 are my personal favorites. :)


3. "The remainder of this book is for Plus Edition subscribers only."

ROTFL! He's back all right!

Welcome "home," Chris! You sure were missed.

Becky Wiseman

What everyone else said... Welcome Back!


Thanks to all for your kind comments and emails and for keeping me in your thoughts the past few weeks. I sincerely appreciate your support.

Sally J.

Aw, man! Way to hit one out of the park on your (eagerly anticipated) return. Loved, loved, loved this post. So glad you're back.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski

Glad to see you back!

I loved all of these but #3 was my favorite!

Bill West

That should read "just what I need
at the end of a long day."

The typo should tell you how long a day it had been and how hard I was laughing as I typed!

Moultrie Creek

I didn't know you'd met my family (#6). Welcome back. We really missed you!

Lori Thornton

Great post! Like the others, #3 is a favorite!

Terry Thornton

Chris, I'm a new reader of The Genealogue --- and after this post, I'm completely hooked!

Steve Danko

My neighbors probably thought I'd gone insane when they heard me laughing! There are tears in my eyes! Welcome back!


This is now one of my all time favorite Top Ten Lists.... There is definitely something in YOUR genetic makeup that is unique and wonderful.

Welcome back.


What a great list! I especially like the poor gravedigger armed with his shovel and the obit! What a scream! Come on, how many of us has had that crazy idea pop up in our crazed minds at the times when our backsides are up against that proverbial brick wall! The one that curses his ancestors follows really closely to that sentiment! Thanks for the laugh!


Is it too late to add that I laughed myself silly and forwarded it on to family? Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery!


I read these aloud to my husband without reading them to myself first, and we both enjoyed them a ton! And my husband doesn't even do genealogy!

Very funny indeed.

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