- Old newspapers only have holes where the names have been printed.
- You never asked your father about his family when he was alive because you weren't interested in genealogy then.
- The Will that you need is in a safe - aboard the "Titanic".
- The ancient photograph of four relatives, one of whom is your progenitor, has been endorsed with the names of the other three.
- Record Offices invariably celebrate your day off work, by closing for the day.
- No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, always rented property, was never sued, and was never named in Wills.
- Ink only fades if it is used to write in the family bible.
- You have just discovered that your Great Aunt Eliza's executor recently sold her life's collection of family genealogical materials at a car boot sale 'somewhere' in England.
- Yours is the only surname not to be found among the 4000,000,000 records held at the Mormon Archives in Salt Lake City.
- Your great-grandmother's maiden name, for which you have searched for more than ten years, was on a letter in a box in the attic all the time.
- The critical link in your family tree is named "Smith"
- Your Great Grandfather's obituary clearly states that he died leaving no issue.
- The 189 volume, ninety two thousand page history of your country of origin isn't indexed.
- The town clerk to whom you wrote in desperation, and who you finally convinced to release the information that you need, can't write legibly and doesn't have a photocopier.
- The document containing the evidence of the missing link in your family tree will invariably have been lost due to fire, flood or war.
- The relative who had all the family photographs gave them all to her daughter who has no interest in genealogy and no inclination to share.
- The spelling of your European Ancestor's name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.
- Your paternal grandfather says that his middle name comes from the matron of the orphanage on whose doorstep he was found as a baby.
- Paper deteriorates at a rate directly proportional to the value of the data recorded on it.
- Another Genealogist will just have insulted the Archivist who has the records that you want.
- You've just been told that Great Uncle Henry never wrote anything down because he had a memory 'like a filing cabinet' - and that he died last week.
- Grandfather says that his Ancestors came from a town somewhere in Poland - he can't remember the name but he thinks it had some Cs and some Zs in it.
- The cure for the family's inherited hydrophobia was not found until the year 1838.
- Your ancestors have always tried very hard to uphold the more important of the family's traditions - such as going on holiday during census week for example.
- The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated, and at which the platform collapsed under him, turned out to be a hanging.
- When at last, after much hard research work, you have solved the mystery you have been working on for several years, your aunt says, "I could have told you that".
[Various - 1999]