Casefile Clues

27 June 2007

"Genealogy is Bunk" is Bunk

Yes, the phrase "is Bunk" appears twice in the title to this post.

I was going to write a long response on my blog to the Richard Conniff article in the Smithsonian magazine titled "Genealogy is Bunk."

I decided not to waste my time. Conniff focuses (like much of the American media) on the rich and famous and their "connections." The misuse of genealogy in the past somehow proves it is "bunk." Of course, genealogy is the only study or pursuit to have been miused and abused in the past. Other disciplines are above such behavior and beyond reproach. Yeah, right--get me the bucket.

There are certainly genealogists whose research is questionable, focusing only on how many names they have and how many famous people to whom they relate. Genealogy is not alone to have these individuals in their midst. There are lawyers only chase ambulances and doctors who write fraudulent prescriptions. Let's be done with it and say the practice of law and medicine are bunk as well.

Serious genealogists are not concerned about extending pedigrees thousands of years. They are more concerned with the more recent past. Frankly I have NO interest in what a DNA study tells me about my ancestry 5,000 years ago. I'm more interested in much more modern times. Times when there are records and sources to provide us a glimpse into our relatives' lives.

I realize the attitude of the Conniff article irritates some genealogists. I'm not certain it irritates me or not.

Conniff was apparently irritated his teenaged daughter was spending time on a genealogy site. Get real. All parents of teenagers would be blessed to have such a problem--whether the parent gave one whit about genealogy or not.