Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The Campaign Gathers Momentum

News that a senior UK police chief has called for heroin to be made available free under the National Health Service should hearten all of us who endure the torture of addiction to family history.

It can only be a matter of time before the UK Government listens to the voice of reason, and make genealogy services free on the NHS, too.

How else are we to stop the situation where families break up, as one partner or another spends inordinate amounts of time digging up their lost ancestors, spending the housekeeping money on the fruitless subscription to internet family history sites, or on copy certificates for marriages that took place a century or more ago?

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Feeding the Addiction

What happened to the last three days of my life? Fuelled by copious cups of coffee and handfuls of ProPlus, I was tempted in by's recent offer of three days free access to their Canadian records.

It mattered not that I have few, if any, family emigres to Canada. The supply of free, detailed census data should be made a criminal offence - don't the authorities realise how easy it is to get addicted to this stuff?

Has anyone yet successfully cited in a divorce proceedings? I fear my wife may be the first to do so.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Travails with An Aunt

I finally know that the time has come to hang up my Gedcoms. Today, I found myself wrestling with a work of fiction in which the main protagonist is, at one and the same time, the grandmother and the aunt of the heroine.

Ye gods, I need help.


Monday, 12 February 2007

Red Letter Day

Today, I managed to spend an entire morning not thinking about my family history. I was reminded, during that brief respite, that there is life outside of genealogy. If only I could resist the urge to develop my family tree on a more regular basis, perhaps I could regain that innocence and live my life anew?

The moment passed when the postman arrived, with my latest copy of Your Family Tree Magazine. I know I should have been stronger, but instead I spent the last three hours devouring its conents from cover to cover.


Sunday, 11 February 2007

The Grip Tightens

That worldwide voice of authority, the BBC, has already identified a new and worrying trend amongst some family historians.

Not content with hounding their own kith and kin, it now seems that some are hunting for the dead relatives of total strangers.

If you know anyone involved in this dangerous pursuit, please point them to us. Together, we're stronger.

Ne'er a Day Passes

If ever evidence were needed about the way in which genealogy can so easily overtake your life, you need only take stroll through blogdom. It seems that never a day passes without a new blog appearing outlining someone or other's research into their family tree.

GENanon is growing. Don't be a stranger. You're with friends now.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Another day, another grave

A cold, frosty Wednesday morning might seem the perfect time to pull the duvet up a tad higher, snuggle down and grab a couple of hours extra sleep. For most normal people, this is of course how they might have spent today.

Not me. I found myself trudging through a municipal graveyard, hunting out the unmarked plot of my late father's younger sister, who died from tuberculosis in 1945 at the tender age of 9. I never met her. The family never really even talked about her. Yet such is the hold genealogy has come to have on me that I found myself driven, uncontrollably, to drive 180 miles to track down this small plot of earth.

Next time I get that urge, I'll try to resist. But I know already, it will be futile.

That's why GENanon exists - for people like me. And for the sad kind of people who seem to have flocked to use this travel company.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

The drip, drip, drip affect of genealogy

It starts off one quiet, Friday night. Perhaps there's nothing much to watch on the TV. You've finished that novel you bought from Waterstone's last week.
Hmm ... you think. How would it be if I put my surname into Google and see what it throws up?

Before you know it, you're lost in a maze of family history websites all seemingly dedicated to your own special family. You turn around to check the clock on the wall, and suddently you realise four hours of your life has gone.

THIS IS HOW IT STARTS FOR SO MANY PEOPLE - a familiar tale of the insistent drag that the study of genealogy can have upon your very soul.

I beg you, if you have not yet considered tracing your family tree, then cast that thought aside should it ever infiltrate your mind. We can, of course, help those who are afflicted: but how much better might it be if we could stem the tide of lost wanderers, cut down with one fell swoop the trail of individuals driven to spend their every waking hour huddled over a dim microfiche reader?

If you know anyone who has intimated their desire to find their ancestors, point them in our direction, please.