Ten, Eleven, Twelve Commandments of Genealogy

As I was packing my bags, getting ready for the Queensland Expo next week, I picked up my all-time fav genealogy book “The Zen of Genealogy” and wondered if I’d have another read of it on the flight up. In short the answer was yes … so it’s going in the suitcase.

After a flick through it again, I rediscovered the list of Ten, Eleven, make that Twelve Commandments of Genealogy liste, and decided I wanted to share them with you. I have not copied the descriptive paragraphs that each of these have under them, but rather if you want more, you should grab yourself a copy of the book.

1. Thou shalt start with thyself and worketh thy way backwards.

2. Thou shalt never leap back a couple of generations just because it sound-eth like fun.

3. Thou shalt take a class, yea verily, and thus shalt thou learn from experts.

4. Join-eth thine local genealogical society, go-eth to meetings and ask-eth questions of the nice people there.

5. Thou shalt keep a research log.

6. Thou shalt cite thy sources or blush in everlasting chagrin.

7. Thou shalt not accept any information uncritically just because you find it in books or on the Internet.

8. Thou shalt regard all family legends with the same skepticism as in the Seventh Commandment.

9. Thou shalt respect the privacy of all living persons, and publish nothing concerning others without their permission.

10. Thou shalt treat research facilities, materials and tools with care, knowing that thousands of future researchers will need to use these very same facilities, materials and tools after you, and one them might be me.

11. Thou shalt bookmark the following web site www.cyndislist.com

12. Be nice to thine ancestors and they’ll be nice to thee.

So there you have it, the Ten, Eleven, Twelve Commandments of Genealogy. I’m sure all of you know and abide by them already, but it is always good to be reminded of them.

And if you do grab yourself a copy of this book, trust me you’ll love it. It is written in such a wonderfully humorous, down-to-earth style, but does have a very true meaning behind what’s said.

2 Responses to “Ten, Eleven, Twelve Commandments of Genealogy”

  1. Sharon says:

    Any tips on a research log would be appreciated. I don’t keep one but it would be very handy to stop duplicated research.

  2. Celia Lewis says:

    Wonderful and oh-so-appropriate! Would you mind if I incorporate these into my classes on Introductory Genealogy (beginners all) -? With proper references, of course!

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