Genealogy Wish List
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Genealogy Wish List

A) I want ancestors with names like Rudimentary Montagnard or Melchizenick von Steubenhoffmannschild or Spetznatz Giafortoni, not William Brown or John Hunter or Mary Abbott.

B) I want ancestors who could read and write, had their children baptised in recognised houses of worship, went to school, purchased land, left detailed wills (naming a huge extended family as legatees), had their photographs taken once a year - subsequently putting said pictures in elaborate isinglass frames annotated with calligraphic inscriptions, and carved valuable and informative inscriptions in their headstones.

C) I want relatives who managed to bury their ancestors in established, still-extant (and indexed) cemeteries.

D)  I want family members who wrote memoirs, who enlisted in the military as officers and who served in strategically important (and well-documented) skirmishes.

E) I want relatives who served as councilmen, schoolteachers, county clerks and town historians.

F) I want relatives who "religiously" wrote in the family Bible, journalising every little event and detailing the familial relationship of every visitor.

G)  In the case of immigrant ancestors, I want them to have arrived only in those years wherein passenger lists were indexed by the National Archives, and I want them to have applied for citizenship, and to have done so only in those jurisdictions which have since established indices.

H)  I want relatives who were patriotic and clubby, who joined every patrimonial society they could find, who kept diaries, and listed all their addresses, who had paintings made of their houses, and who dated every piece of paper they touched.

I)  I want ancestors who were wealthy enough to afford, and to keep for generations, the family homestead, and who left all the aforementioned pictures and diaries and journals intact in the library

J) But most of all: I want relatives I can FIND!!!!!

© Barbara A. Brown Ms. Brown's "I Want" article was originally posted in 1994 to the National Genealogical Conference, FIDO bulletin board forum.

Thanks to Sue Scarcella for submitting this on Family History UK
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