I spent most of my Friday night reading some of the most vile, vindictive, and malicious comments I have ever read on a Genealogy-themed Facebook page in quite a while. I still can’t believe that people can be so mean and hateful to people they have never met in their lifetime. People calling each other names….arguing over who said what and how it had a nasty “tone” to it…and honestly, one of the nicest comments was “Prove it, LIAR”. All these nasty comments were regarding sourcing your genealogy files and exactly how far back someone can really trace their family history.
I’m not the type of person that wants to brag about how far back I’ve traced my family. Who cares if I have found royal blood in my family line? Who cares if I’m related to someone famous? Who cares if I have skeletons in my family closet? It doesn’t make me a good genealogist to have more generations than someone I’ve never met. What’s make me a good genealogist is how accurate my tree is, and how I backup my findings. These petty competitions between people, to the point of verbal bashing, is crazy!
I am very proud to say that I can only go back a few generations on my lines. In fact, I can only go back to my Grandfather on my maternal line. And I’m not ashamed of it. I have clues to who his parents were, but no proof. I have another line that ends with my great grandfather. He was given up at birth and handed over to the municipality in Southern Italy. I have no information on his parents, and probably will never be able to find out anything about them as they were not listed on his birth certificate. And that’s OK with me. I’m proud of my family lines and nobody can change that.
So what’s the fascination with trying to brag a bit about what you have and what you tell others? I find nothing wrong it…as long as you don’t feel like you have to rip someone else apart to make yourself feel good. When you start the verbal bashing it doesn’t make your tree better than anyone else’s…to me it make you a smaller person. You become nothing but a genealogy bully. And nobody likes a bully.
One of these genealogy tirades was, honestly, like watching a tennis match. Back and forth the multiple participants volleyed the comments…I have a line of public officials…my line has a 3 star general…well, my line includes British Royalty…but the best one stated that if “The Great Flood” wouldn’t have happened, she would be able to prove her line back to Adam. Even though you can get the rest of her line from your nearest Bible. WHAT?!?!?! Really?!!?!?!?! Come on people!!!
I love to look at family trees…anyone’s family tree…not just mine. Genealogy is more than a hobby to me. But…COME ON! This argument, as comical as it was, now had my full attention! We’re now blaming “The Great Flood” for destroyed records? I had to go back and re-read the thread just to make sure I wasn’t missing something. What started as a discussion about citing sources and making sure you have proper verification, has now turned into a shouting match online about Noah’s Ark! Some people never cease to amaze me!
Do yourself and everyone that views your tree a favor…make sure you have backup to the claims in your lines. Don’t let it get out of hand by “tracing your ancestors” back to Noah and the Ark and then tossing a Bible at the nay-sayers as proof of the rest of your line, because “The Great Flood” destroyed the rest of your documents. Use your Family Bible to gather information, not as a source of Biblical Writing that proves you’re related to Adam and Eve.
Document your sources….for yourself…for your family…and for future generations! I’m heading back over to Facebook now…I just saw a thread about cleaning headstones and the flames are flying yet again. I think I’m going to pop some popcorn…it just might be a double feature!