SLAUGHTER-L ArchivesArchiver > SLAUGHTER > 2000-04 > 0956456765
Subject: [Slaughter] Sunday Afternoon Rocking
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 22:26:05 EDT
"How Genealogy is a Lot Like Fishing" (from the "Sunday Afternoon Rocking"
Note: this is a revision of an old column, and I post it now because...you
guessed it! I am "Gone Fishin'!" -jan
My husand and I are "gone fishin'". Time to renew inner serenity and all
that...nothing quite like a fishing trip to help with that one. That being
the case, I got to thinking just how much fishing is like genealogy. Ah hah!
Saw that look of disbelief cross your face! Well now it IS.
Just you think about it...
First off, fishing has a way of getting in your blood. Sure does. All it
takes is that first big whopper to latch onto your hook (whether you can get
him reeled into the bank or not) and it isn't the FISH that is hooked
anymore, it is YOU!!!! Well now, that is kind of how it is with genealogy,
right? You get that FIRST big break...get your family on one line back to
Methuselah, hit just the right contact...then it just keeps going through
your mind, uh huh, and if I just keep fishin long enough I am going to get
another BIG one!!!! (fact is, you are generally right!). And the nibbles
you get that you DON'T reel in, that don't wind up your folks?? Well they
are just the teasers that keep you going, but there are plenty of KEEPERS
out there too, and you get your share of them.
Then there is that question of bait. Every good fisherman worth his/her
salt knows that generally the best bait is something that seems
NATURAL...fits right in. Well so does a genealogist. Quickest way I know
to get information out of my older relatives is NOT to start firing
questions at them right and left...they clam up, claim they don't know
anything, refuse to remember...nope, quickest way is to use NATURAL
bait...get them started reminiscing about old times and by golly pretty
soon they drop a name I haven't heard before being connected, pretty
soon they are mentioning places, and stories and pretty soon I have a
whole new direction to start searching in...
Line is important too you know. You want some good line strong for its
diameter and real abrasion resistant ...needs to have the ability to almost
untangle itself if possible....Well I reckon that to the family lines in my
files. I want them strong, and documented (abrasion resistant and easy to
untangle). I goof sometimes, but that is how I want them to be..strong so
the line doesn't break.
Get yourself a good trolling motor too...so you can browse those banks
in hard to get to places. My best trolling motor is the lists I am on... I
don't necessarily run into prime fishing every where I go...but I scout out
Then there is that "learning experience"...don't know of a single
fisherman without some good stories to tell...now maybe some of them I
listen to with tongue in cheek and maybe some of them are just plain all in
good fun...but you listen to a fisherman and you are going to get some GREAT
tips...they will tell you what fish are running, when and what to catch them
with, they will tell you what prime spots to check out and how to go about
fishin them. Same with this...listen to the ole timers and by golly you get
some free advice that is mighty good! I never bought a genealogy how-to book
in my life....learned from the sources...folks who have been at this a good
long while (and sometimes some newbies turn up some good new advice too!),
and that is how I learn how to find the "keepers".
And maybe the BEST thing about fishing is that after awhile you know
it is not about catching fish at all....it is about FISHIN! Maybe you come
back with nothing, but you relaxed and enjoyed the great outdoors and came
home feeling good. Genealogy is a lot like that...after awhile you know it
is not so much about getting your FTM chalk full as it is about the family
you meet, the folks you enjoy and get to know that aren't family at all.
Maybe you close down the day with nothing, but you had a few good laughs,
you chatted and relaxed, you recognized the concept of "family" in a greater
scheme of things and you logged off feeling good.
Have a good day yall! And have fun fishing!
(Note: Afternoon Rocking messages are meant to be passed on, meant to be
shared...simply share as written without alterations...and in entirety.
Sunday Afternoon Rocking columns are distributed weekly on the list Sunday
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Timothy C. Hoskins
Free Leonard Peltier !!!!!!!!!!!
Future Lawnmower, Chief Window Washer, All Round Flunky, General Gopher,
STINKER-in-residence of "The Bluffs" Old Genealogists Home,
Best Kept Secret in America
here: Timothy's Tree</A>