Getting hooked on genealogy may have some, shall we say, quirky side effects. Whether you’ve dabbled in genealogy as a hobby or dedicated much of your life to family history research, you might have found yourself engaging in some behavior that others may struggle to understand!
See if you find yourself in the 12 signs below:
1. You spend a lot of time talking and thinking about dead people
You remember your ancestors’ birthdays better than your living relatives’ birthdays. At family reunions everyone avoids you because they know you’re either going to start asking a lot of questions (some of them awkward) or rattling off information about some distant, deceased relative.
2. You have looked up from your family history research only to realize that it’s 4 A.M.
You started at 6 P.M. You were just going to look up one thing. You told your spouse you’d be right there — just another few minutes, you promised. Okay, maybe it was a bit more than a few minutes. Couldn’t have been more than an hour, right? Maybe two?
You looked around. The house was silent and dark. All your family members had given up and gone to bed ages ago. You shrugged and got back to work, and when the sun came up, your spouse found you exactly as they left you. They just shook their head, sighed, and made some coffee.
3. You have done ridiculous things to get the perfect photo of a tombstone
You’ve climbed over gates and cemetery walls. You’ve ruined your best shirt while lying in the mud, trying to obtain just the right angle. There was no one else around to watch except maybe some cows. They were definitely judging you. The tombstone in question wasn’t even for a person you knew.
There are as many tombstones as there are people in the photos on your phone.
4. You have found a family connection with a random stranger
You struck up a conversation with someone on the train. You asked for their grandparents’ names — as one does. Within 10 minutes you discovered that you are 14th cousins 4 times removed and you invited them to your next family reunion.
Alternatively, you learned about a famous person with a familiar surname and spent hours researching to discover if you’re related… or finding a way to make them related to you.
5. Hanging out in cemeteries is your idea of a good time
When you’re planning a trip somewhere, you plot your itinerary according to the locations of cemeteries and archives. When you tell your spouse you’re heading to the cemetery they say, “Have fun!” and you thank them, because that is a totally normal thing to say to you. Cemeteries are your go-to spot for picnics and even romantic dates. (If your date agrees, they’re a keeper!)
6. The obituaries are your favorite section of the paper
You really enjoy reading the obituaries in your local paper. It irks you when they’re too sparse on detail. Why couldn’t they have given just a few more morsels of precious information? You feel bad for the future genealogist who will be so excited to find this obituary only to be disappointed by its meager contents.
7. Your home is a museum
You have boxes piled in your attic, basement, and/or spare room stuffed with birth, death, and marriage certificates. There are albums and shoeboxes full of newspaper clippings and old photos. Your favorite home decor? Framed black and white photos of your ancestors (or colorized and enhanced versions thanks to the MyHeritage photo tools!), and random odds and ends you inherited from long-gone relatives. The centerpiece of every room is a family heirloom. You have a large file cabinet in your office. It doesn’t contain any bills.
8. You see lifecycle events as opportunities to update your family tree
When someone gets married or has a baby in your family, your first thought is “Gotta add them to the tree!” Your first move after coming home from a funeral in your family is to add the death date and burial information to your family tree. You see family gatherings as the perfect opportunity to gather more information to add to your tree, and may have been known to pull unsuspecting elder relatives into quiet rooms to interrogate them about their childhoods.
9. You get really excited about census releases. Like, really excited
The release of the 1950 U.S. census was the highlight of your year. You spent hours preparing and writing down names and addresses to look up in the records once they were released. (Or, you saved yourself a lot of time and let the Census Helper do the work.) You rescheduled any appointments or meetings set for April 1, 2022, and when the clock struck midnight, you were at your computer, repeatedly refreshing the NARA website on your browser.
10. You compulsively buy old photos from thrift stores and flea markets
You can’t help yourself. These are photos of somebody’s ancestors! You can’t let them languish there, unloved and collecting dust!
11. You know where all the bodies are buried
Of your family members, that is.
Because you’ve documented all their burial records.
This is a lot less sinister than it sounds.
12. Your morning routine includes checking MyHeritage
Because who knows when an interesting new match or message from a long-lost cousin in a different time zone might pop up? Yes, MyHeritage does send you a weekly digest of your new matches and all, but you don’t have the patience to wait for that!
What’s that? You don’t have a MyHeritage account yet? Well, that clearly needs to be rectified. Sign up now and take your research to the next level with access to 18.7 billion historical records from all over the world, advanced matching technologies, state-of-the-art photo improvement features, and much more.
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Source: My Heritage