MURPHY'S LAWS OF
FAMILY HISTORY



The keeper of the vital records you need will just have been insulted by another genealogist.


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Your great-grandfather's obituary states that he died, leaving no issue of record.


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The town clerk you wrote to in desperation, and finally convinced to give you the information you need, can't write legibly, and doesn't have a copying machine.


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That ancient photograph of four relatives, one of whom is your progenitor, carries the names of the other three.


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Copies of old newspapers have holes which occur only on maiden names.


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No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, always rented property, was never sued, and was never named in wills.


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You learned that Great Aunt Matilda's executor just sold her life's collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer "somewhere in New York City."


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Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.


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The critical link in your family tree is named "Smith."




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