Friday, November 5, 2010

Perils of Changing E-mail IDs

Considering changing your e-mail provider? Do so at your own peril. That involves changing your e-mail ID, and that’s at cross purposes with genealogy on the Web.

Every time I get frustrated with my internet provider I’m tempted to teach it a lesson and find a new one. But after stewing a bit I come to the realization that venting my spleen in such a fashion would cut me off from innumerable genealogists “out there” who might try to answer one of my numerous queries.

Surely I’m not the only cybergenealogizer who has received e-mail from a query that has sat for ten years or more on a Web server. It has happened to me several times. Just now I’m sorting through McKenzie genealogy with a new-found cousin (she found me from an ancient query) in McMinnville, Ore., and we both have information the other hasn’t.

16-Year-Old Corpse Hosts BBQ

Last month I was the guest of honor at a BBQ hosted by my 91-year-old cousin, Glenna, in Placentia, CA. It was my sad duty to tell her that she died in 1994 and is moldering in a grave in Michigan. I soothed the message by telling her she is the best-looking cadaver I've ever seen.


Shortly before driving from Washington down to Placentia to genealogize with Glenna, I was on where I discovered a pedigree chart that informed me of Glenna's demise.

No one does very much genealogy without making a mistake here and there, and I've certainly made a few; but this one was a doozy. The person who posted it said he will resurrect Glenna. I hope he already has because Glenna is a vibrant and delightful old gal. Hope she won't mind me saying that. At 91 she is an arbiter in the Mormon Church's extraction program. Volunteers extract government documents, such as censuses. Each record is extracted twice, by different extractors. A computer compares each extraction. If there is any, even minor, discrepancy, the records are forwarded to arbiters who decide which, if either, was accurate.

Hope you enjoy this jovial reminder that genealogy is like walking on ice. We must have evidence to support our conclusions, and just like ice on a lake or pond, they need to be strong enough to bear the weight of our conclusions.