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Genealogy Essays

Most of these are not hints or methods of work. "Shortcuts" is a warning. "Estimating dates", "Those Elusive Edes" and "Recording Adoptions" have suggestionsand tips. The rest are musings on the general subject of genealogy. All but "Those Elusive Edes" are short - less than a thousand words. I put them in reverse chronological order, for want of a better scheme. Plato said man was that creature which sought order. My wife said I sought it more than most men, after she saw me hanging my shirts in the closet in order of color and material.

Recording Adoptions (01 August 2011)
Adoption is the steel cage death match of Genealogy. I answer the question "How do I draw adopted children in a family tree?" every once in a while on Yahoo! Answers. This one touches on drawing a family tree and how you treat adopted children.

Those Elusive Edes (15 February 2009)
A detailed description of my search for some people named Ede, with nine lessons learned about finding people on the census. If you are a genealogist, you may find some lessons you can use. If you are not, you will probably find it as boring as a cast-by-cast description of an afternoon spent fly-fishing, to someone who isn't interested in fly-fishing.

The Joys of Inveterate Button Pushing (1 December 2004)
Push some unfamiliar buttons in your genealogy program or in your favorite web site. You may find a helpful feature.

Who's Your Daddy? (8 September 2004)
A reflection on the debate between genealogy versus family history.

Suspicion Meters (7 July 2004)
Your genealogy program doesn't have a suspicion meter, but you do.

Estimating Dates (23 June 2002)
A lady on GenForum asked if "circa" was better than "about" when estimating dates. I said neither and suggested a range and a note.

Shortcuts (9 June 2002)
You can collect a lot of ancestors, if little things like accuracy and reasonability don't slow you down.

Count Your Blessings (26 May 2002)
On-line genealogy in 1988 and now.

The Grand Chase (31 March 2002)
A lady asked if all my individuals were connected. They are, more or less.

Family (26 May 2001)
Multiple marriages and step children, which leads to reflections on the meaning of Family.

Hardboiled (21 July 2000)
A minor success written up as a parody of hard-boiled detective stories.

Eben J. Cady (22 February 2000)
Genealogy is history. A tombstone moved me to speculate on a 17-year old soldier who died at Fredricksburg.

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This page updated: June 21, 2014