(Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 28
December 2005, Vol. 8, No. 52.)
NEWS FLASH. 1852 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
SOLVE GENEALOGICAL MYSTERIES.
It is New Year's Eve 1852 and Henry HYDENWELL sits at his desk by
candlelight. He dips his quill pen in ink and begins to writes his New
1. No man is truly well-educated unless he
learns to spell his name at least three different ways within the same
document. I resolve to give the appearance of being extremely well-educated in
the coming year.
2. I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same
names that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.
3. My age is no one's business but my own. I hereby resolve to never list the
same age or birth year twice on any document.
4. I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different
church -- either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every
third child will not be baptized at all or will be baptized by an
itinerant minister who keeps no records.
5. I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once
every 10 years -- just before those pesky enumerators come around asking silly
6. I will make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital
records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few years.
7. I resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in record
keeping or in participating in military service.
8. When the tax collector comes to my door, I'll loan him my pen, which has
been dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.
9. I resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry
10. I resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?