Saturday, October 29, 2011


 (With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe)

Once upon a weeknight dreary, as I Googled, with eyes weary
For a site with information of forgotten ancestral lore
Suddenly I saw with terror I had made a foolish error
Such a simple obvious error that I had not seen before
"Tis just a typo," I muttered "that I did not see before,
Only this and nothing more."

But I could not remember , was it May or in December
When I'd found the  information that my family tree now bore?
Where did I find this aberration? Where oh where was my citation 
I searched and hunted in vexation, as the clock tolled three, then four.
Searching through sites and gedcoms til my eyes were red and sore:
"It's a typo, nothing more!"

And  the sad uncertain clicking of my mouse as I was checking
Thrilled me-filled me with frustration that I knew I 'd felt before,
So my head I started beating on my desk , each time repeating,
Sound advice that I was needing, "Cite your sources first before
You move on to your next reading, do them right, not like before,
And you'll have problems nevermore!"


GrannyPam said...

OMG, you were up too late!

Janet Iles said...

Bill. Your poem is so true. I love how you expressed your thoughts in poetry.

So often, in the excitement of the hunt, we forget to note these important details and then when we are working with the information again we realize our error.

Denise Spurlock said...

Love it, Bill. We all can relate.

GeneaPopPop said...


Anonymous said...

I. Love. This.

And when I cite my sources, even today, I hardly ever note the date I found it.

Except when I retrieve digital images.

Randy Seaver said...

Excellent! You've learned your lesson well.

Marian Burk Wood said...

Thanks for the reminder, Bill. True, true, true!

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Bill, that is awesome! May I submit that -- with proper and complete citation and attribution, of course -- to our genealogy society newsletter?

Bill West said...

Wow, sure Karen!

Greta Koehl said...

Totally brilliant.

kinfolknews said...

A very creative way to teach us all a much needed lesson! Well done, Bill!!

~Regina =^D

Shelley Bishop said...

Great poem, Bill! I can hear it echoing in my head forevermore.

Jennifer said...


Heather Rojo said...

Can you hear us chuckling all the way from Spain? This makes up for missing Halloween this year!

DearMYRTLE said...

Utterly awesome!

GeneaDiva said...

Love your poem! I need to read it daily.

DianaR said...

Brilliant! One more thing I need to pin up on my wall :-)