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Bermuda Triangles

March 17, 2016

Most of us have heard about the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic where ships and planes are supposed to go missing for unexplained reasons.

It turns out that there’s not really any good evidence such an area exists. At the same time, most of us have felt that there are Bermuda Triangles in genealogy, areas we just can’t get good records from.

Sadly, such areas do exist. Not every nation or smaller government body kept good records, and some of those that did have since lost them in fires, floods, wars, etc.

Other areas have records, but they’re very hard to get at because of poor organization, language barriers, or high cost.

It being St. Paddy’s Day, it’s probably the time to mention that Ireland is not an easy place to do research. Often it’s North Americans and Antipodeans trying to trace their Irish roots, but for the most part they don’t even have a county of origin to go by.

Irish records were not kept regularly until well into the 19th century, and even then, many were lost in 1922 in the  Battle of Dublin.

So, perhaps instead of referring to black holes or brick walls or Bermuda Triangles, we should really complain, “Damn it if I haven’t hit a shamrock while following this line!”


March 17, 2016

How “compleat” is your genealogy?

None of us knows —or can know—everything about our family past, but this blog is dedicated to going that extra mile in family research, whether that means overseas archives, DNA testing, or something else.

This is no easy thing in the Internet age, when misinformation spreads at the speed of light (or is that darkness?).

So I’ve used the 18th-century spelling of “compleat,” a reminder of a time when people were probably just as wrong about things, but at least took the time to research them.