Is the joke that she’s the worst genealogist in the world AND she’s an idiot?

Cidu Bill on Jan 21st 2013

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Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Vic Lee, comic strips, comics, humor | 23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Is the joke that she’s the worst genealogist in the world AND she’s an idiot?”

  1. skaloop Jan 21st 2013 at 12:01 am 1

    The joke might be that cutting mountain trails for fur-trade routes is not a sort of thing a person who died in 2003 would have spent their whole life doing. The build up has you thinking she’s talking about a distant ancestor long in the past, but really it’s a quirky modern relative.

  2. Stan Jan 21st 2013 at 12:36 am 2

    Perhaps it’s a jab at the reliability of internet genealogy sites, i.e. just as trustworthy as most other sites on the web.

  3. minorannoyance Jan 21st 2013 at 12:57 am 3

    Skaloop has it. Bonus jokes:
    – “My ancestor held an elevated position in the community. They hung him.”
    – “Grandpa was an old Indian fighter. Grandma was an old Indian.”
    – “He’s our cousin twice removed. We changed all the locks so we won’t have to remove him again.”
    – “I got in an argument with my son last night. I proved I came from a better family than he did.”

  4. Proginoskes Jan 21st 2013 at 02:00 am 4

    @ minorannoyance: Or … “Grandpa only fought old Indians.”

  5. guero Jan 21st 2013 at 02:55 am 5

    I think Bill got it, although there is a certain amount of truth in Stan’s comment. The women has researched (”Googled”) the name of a relative, and assumed that all of the returned information is about this one person, presumably because they all share the same name and therefore must be the same person.

  6. Blinky the Wonder Wombat Jan 21st 2013 at 07:10 am 6

    As a amateur genealogist, I can agree with Stan’s assessment. There is a lot of poorly researched information and wishful thinking at on-line genealogy sites. A lot of people are just interested in connecting with someone famous. At times it seems like half the country is descended from Mary Todd Lincoln.

  7. mitch4 Jan 21st 2013 at 07:33 am 7

    The friend’s expression seems to me indeterminate between alarm and a measure of pity. Either would fit with Bill’s summary.

  8. Kilby Jan 21st 2013 at 07:54 am 8

    @ 5&6 - “There is a lot of poorly researched information and wishful thinking at on-line … sites.
    Genealogy has nothing to do with it, online repositories are generally full of dubious, unsubstantiated information. Anyone who trusts anything found on the Internet without looking for some sort of authoritative confirmation is asking for trouble.

  9. ANDREA Jan 21st 2013 at 08:01 am 9

    According to a real estate site, my parents’ house in AZ has as its residents two males and one female, all African-Americans. My parents have owned/lived in that house since it was built over 30 years ago . . . I’m REALLY curious about these other people who are supposedly living there. My Dad’s curious about the, too, as he’s never met them.

    Their neighbor’s house has 12 people in it, according to this same source - male, female, and indeterminate gender. Far as we know, only two people have lived there.

  10. Molly J Jan 21st 2013 at 08:44 am 10

    @Blinky - I find this in my own family, some of whom are interested in their descendants and some in the history of the (very old) houses they have lived in. My husband and I always secretly roll our eyes at each other when the phrase “we think (he/she/it) might have been…” as in “We think there might have been a pub in the downstairs front room at one time.” It is a sure indicator of wishful thinking and a new bit of a tale for the telling.

  11. Kevin A. Jan 21st 2013 at 09:07 am 11

    guero’s thought matches my experience exactly (or occasionally in reverse, where I’ve verified that I’ve found material on a modern relative and then realize that a subsequent article has been about someone in the 1800s.)

  12. Cidu Bill Jan 21st 2013 at 10:46 am 12

    My father had a very unusual first name, as unusual in his native Vienna as it is here — and it’s not as if the world is crowded with Bickels — so you can imagine my surprise to find another person in Vienna with the same first and last name, closer to my age. That’s likely to give genealogists fits down the line.

    (And no, my father did not go back to Vienna on a visit when he was in his 20s!)

    How I found about this guy is weird as well: back in the mid-90s, I decided to register bickel.com, and found out that this man with my father’s name (extra creepy points: my father had died about 25 years earlier) had registered it just hours earlier.

  13. RyanE Jan 21st 2013 at 12:59 pm 13

    Bill, maybe *you* still haven’t invented the time machine that’ll allow you to go back in time to Vienna to become your own grandpa.

    :)

  14. Cidu Bill Jan 21st 2013 at 02:05 pm 14

    RyanE, I’m not sure how that would produce somebody with my father’s name who was born in the 1950s.

  15. Irving Jan 21st 2013 at 03:23 pm 15

    What I don’t understand is why she specified Asian. That doesn’t seem to add anything to the “joke”.

  16. Another BR Jan 21st 2013 at 03:27 pm 16

    I’m surprised you didn’t work The Other Bill Bickel (TOBB) into your tale of bickel.com.

  17. Cidu Bill Jan 21st 2013 at 04:59 pm 17

    Um… because he wasn’t part of the story?

  18. fj Jan 21st 2013 at 05:46 pm 18

    I read it as an extremely sarcastic assessment of the quality of data on genealogy sites. That would be in keeping with the character in question, as well as with my experience with genealogy sites.

  19. Mark in Boston Jan 21st 2013 at 06:11 pm 19

    Makes me think of past-life regression. Everyone who tries it finds out he or she was Charlemagne or Cleopatra in a past life.

  20. mitch4 Jan 21st 2013 at 06:20 pm 20

    Charlemagne? Cleopatra? Naah, I was Nostradamus!

  21. mitch4 Jan 21st 2013 at 06:23 pm 21

    I think the woman on the right is supposed to be partly of East Asian ancestry actually, which would account for introducing that specificity for this fabulated ancestor.

  22. Meryl A Jan 22nd 2013 at 12:58 am 22

    But does the guy with the same name as your dad give people your dad’s email address as his?

  23. Mark in Boston Jan 22nd 2013 at 06:12 pm 23

    @mitch4: That’s right, you WERE Nostradamus. I looked up Century XX Quatrain 4:

    On the web no spider shall weave,
    On pages made of light,
    Where men discuss that which they do not understand,
    I shall be known as mitch4.

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