Tracing Your Genealogy

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Tracing Your Genealogy

Building your family tree can be a fun and rewarding activity. Here are some tips to help you get started:

A family


  • There are many web sites and software packages out there that can help you trace your family history without having to deal with Grandma.
  • If you are of European descent, don't be surprised to find that your ancestors were a bunch of bored, repressed, self-loathing people with blockish physiques.
  • To spruce up your family tree, add gold stars next to the names of all the cousins you've nailed.
  • If you trace your family back six generations, you should arrive at the great-great-great-great grandfather of Kevin Bacon.
  • Keep in mind that entire branches of your family tree can be taken out with a simple Magic Marker.
  • Searching your roots for a famous ancestor is a great way to validate your miserable existence as a legal secretary.
  • Avoid this common mistake made by many first-time genealogists: Search for people with the same last name, not first.
  • If you are white, just tell people you're from the Medici line of Italy. If black, say the Mandinka tribe. Asians, the Han-Tzu dynasty of Guangdong Province. Who's gonna call you on it?
  • Mormons are experts at helping people trace family trees, but they'll probably want you to contribute to theirs.
  • Note to women: In this society, it is unimportant to know anything about your lineage on your mother's side. Just skip it altogether.
  • Before building your tree, ask yourself if you really want to know about the potato-eating filth that makes up your heritage.
  • Go to your oldest living relative and ask him or her about your lineage. Work your way down to the second, third, and fourth oldest until you get to someone who makes some sense.
  • If you are African-American, be advised that your research may take you to the mansion of a fat, ugly white man in Vicksburg who is less than happy to see you.
  • Hey, you know who could help you, is the town historical society. They could help you find the location of the original veterans' cemetery before the county was incorporated. You should go there right now. I'll stay here and tell you how the Raiders game turned out.