Years ago, on my Rootdig blog a list of things that relatives do that seem to make research more difficult. That list is reproduced here.
These are a little tongue-in-cheek. Well, at least some of them. It’s also not meant to be complete either and is based upon personal frustrations. Your frustrations may be different.
Genealogy would be easier if:
- Brothers would not marry women who shared the same first and last name before marriage.
- Expand previous rule to state that anyone cannot marry someone with the same first name as the spouse of a sibling.
- Individuals marrying more than once could not have a second spouse with the same first name as their previous spouse.
- All name changes were required to be recorded with a local court.
- Women would not marry men whose last name was the same as their last name before marriage. This does not apply in locations where women keep their maiden name through their entire life as their name is not changing.
- Census takers were paid based upon neatness.
- Illegible handwriting was sufficient to defrock a member of the clergy.
- Use of initials in place of first names was not allowed. Ever.
- No one was allowed to have the same first name as their cousin if it was because their fathers were brothers.
- First names of any two individual children of a couple were not allowed to start with the same two letters. This would prevent couples from naming separate children Lucinda and Lucena. This is confusing.
- States that have towns with the same names as counties within that state must locate those towns within those counties.
- The phrase “permission of parent” was banned from marriage records, licenses, etc. Parents must be named.
- Random people were not allowed to witness documents.