Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 25th CVGS Program Review - "Genealogy Is Fun! Seriously!"

Randy Seaver was the speaker at the January 25th program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society. His topic was “Genealogy Is Fun! Seriously!” The audience of over 40 members and guests came prepared to laugh and enjoy themselves.

From the opening slides with really funny (and strange) names in vital records, to gravestone epitaphs, then several funny obituaries and wills, census records (names and occupations), and finally American and English place names, the audience could hardly believe what they were seeing and hearing. Randy showed some cartoon genealogy funnies, then T-shirt designs (and taking his shirt off to catcalls, revealing his “Genealogy is Like Sex” shirt), and introduced Chris Dunham's genealogy satire site, The Genealogue ( After several Top 10 lists, genealogisms and tag lines, he covered possible genealogy TV show themes, rejected conference topics, and a Genea-Man comic book.

Finally, Randy played the song “I Am My Own Grandpa” and demonstrated the relationships on a pedigree chart, ending in a sing-along for the ending chorus. He finished with reasons why he thinks genealogy is fun – citing on-site research, conferences, geneablogger meetups, genealogy cruises, teaching and working in local societies as fun experiences.

Before the presentation, Randy passed out Genealogy Bingo cards to the participants, and during the talk the attendees crossed off words in the categories of Names, Places, Relationships, Terms and Random words as they were said, or read on the screen. Attendees were encouraged to shout “Bingo” when they completed their first line, but nobody completely filled their card (it was close, Shirley Becker fell one square short – the place was “Salt Lake City.”) Who knew that genealogy could be so much fun?

Randy also had a handout with genealogy humor sites (including poems, tag lines, stories, videos) and a list of recommended free and commercial online genealogy sites to help attendees with their research.

No comments: