Suck! Slurp! Suck! Does your genealogy suck?

My home sits on a 1/4-acre lot with 5 large elms. One very gigantic, tall elm literally sucks all the ground water from a 50-foot radius around it. Since early November, we had no moisture. Nada! None! This is not really strange because our county is a desert county and is supposed to get no more than nine inches of rainfall in a good year.

My husband, Alma, chose this area to farm, because the weather was moderate and the water rights for irrigation systems consistent and plentiful. These rights include the ground water.

This humongous elm, however, has been used to 15-20 inches of snow the past few seasons. So it sucked and sucked until even in 5 degree weather, there is no frost in that 50-foot radius.

This week it snowed–over an inch carpeted the lawn. Then Suck! Slurp! Suck! You could almost hear Humongous inhaling the snow, leaving only a very dry, bare circle around the tree.

Does Your Genealogy Suck?  Is it like my Humongous?

Suck, Suck, Slurp, Slurp.  This is an easy rut to get into.  You plow hours and hours of time and effort into your family tree.  You search the internet sites seeking a mention or a clue that might lead you to the right data.  You travel, on every vacation, until your spouse and children cringe when you suggest a trip.  You order books that have no names;  And research services that produce no results.

How long can you afford to let your genealogy suck the life out of you and yours?

Well, I want to propose a solution–

Records created from the every-day life events and associations your ancestors knew.  Now appearing online in increasing numbers. Faster than you and I can keep up!  So let the experts with the resources  do what they do best–gathering these records and posting them where we can retrieve the information easily and inexpensively.

When was the last time you assessed the cost of travel at today’s fuel prices–do the math.  Our gas-guzzling vehicles do not appreciate the total miles we must travel from home to a library of enough size to cover the many places our ancestors lived!  They simply do not care.

One such website is  This site is maintained by Illya D’Addezio who haunts Americana sales sites and flea markets.  He buys and collects business cards, publications and newsletters of business associations, graduation lists, insurance applications and claims, school records, motor vehicle registrations files, funeral cards, war ration books, Civil War salt lists, employment records, and any other kind of “ephemera” as the archivists call it.

Then he scans these items online and indexes them in databases so we can search and discover some choice tidbits about the ancestors we have yet to meet.  Little-known, really cool, details of their every-day lives.

And if we are lucky, these overlooked and thrown-away or sold parts of our background also contain births, deaths, and marriages.  These vital records are supplied by the ancestors themselves as well as recorded by both public and private scribes at or near the time of the events.

Genealogy Today’s databases have grown to many thousands of dates and names.  From church memberships and fraternal organizations and clubs and societies and company archives–

This is a FREE site for index searches and some content.

This is a FEE site for access to the digitized documents themselves.

This is a gateway to Key sites enabling you to see if there are hits elsewhere you also need to check.

And I invite you to break your loosing streak!  There is no need for your genealogy to suck and slurp any longer.  Your favorite genealogist,  Arlene Eakle

PS  Tomorrow–as I promised–a visit to my kitchen, as seen through the lens of my grandson Scott Jackson.

PPS  The Research Retreat and the Christmas Tour are over.  I am home in my own bed and working to get my phone service and FAX machine operative.  In the meantime, email me at

PPSS  Watch for new content on my Home Page.  I have a year-end letter coming to share what I have accomplished in 2007 and what I plan for 2008–some very fun and important things coming down the pike for you.

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