Thursday, May 8, 2008

The genealogy pub experience

A funny thing happened on the APG mailing list last night and today - it was like all these serious professional genealogists were giddy - and they probably needed to be after the heavy discussions about the Catholic Church records.

It started when Tom Kemp titled his post "1st genealogy pub in America - 284 years ago today." He meant the first "publication" but you wouldn't know it from the comments:

* Jodee said "The subject line got me excited, thinking there was actually a Genealogy PUB somewhere... :-)"

* Janessa added "I liked the idea of a genealogy pub too, until I got to thinking about the possible pickup lines there ... 'Been to any great cemeteries lately?' "

* Peggy added "So, would the bar be lined with microfilm readers and computers with Internet access? Beer and genealogy I think are very compatible!"

* Rhonda gurgled "I'm not a beer drinker, but I'd have a strawberry margarita with an extra shot of tequelia just to celebrate this day - now've I've got to mark it on my calendar for next year! "

* Richard had a great idea "The only rule for a genealogy pub is that there be no damned loud music That way the genealogists can tell their harrowing experience involved in learning the identity of great-great whatever., (Each person gets a turn, except if someone buys a round, he or she gets to go next."

* Chris said "I was thinking it would need some theme music, though - maybe like the theme from "Cheers". All we would need to do is change the line : 'Where everybody knows your name.' to 'Everybody knows surnames' "

* Drew added the lyrics: "OK, now we have to do the whole lyrics:

"Finding your roots in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your brick walls, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to find a way? Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows surnames, and they're always glad you came.

"You wanna be where you can see, our puzzles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows Surnames.
You wanna go where people know, sources aren't all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows surnames.

***Drew Smith"


* Craig opined "Shucks, I thought if you bought a round you could skip having to tell anyone anything. Then you could just concentrate on the single malt and the pros and cons of proxy baptism."

* Bob asked "More to the point -- is there a genealogical pub in Kansas City that I canvisit next week during the NGS Annual Conference in the States?"

* Melinde said "This has real potential. Anyone else thinking a "Callahan's CrossTimeSaloon" for genealogists?"

* Craig (wearing his kilt) added "Aye, lass but you would be misunderstanding our purpose. As much as we like that single malt Irish whiskey, it be Scots single malt we be after. The the strictly cash policy, well you know how Scots are with cash. And in that is our pain and our joy."

* Helen asked "Ok. Can Norwegians join in? After all, the Irish are just ship-wrecked Norwegians who couldn't find their way home."

Whew. What a wonderful thread ... wasn't that fun? Witty? Educational too. We could use more threads like these sometimes, eh?

I missed out on this frivolity and fun, having a full genealogy day where I was away from my email for about 8 hours yesterday.

Thanks to all of the APGers who contributed...I hope they don't mind me excerpting them here for a coherent story. er, thread.

Of course, I sort of hoped that the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe would morph into something like a genealogy pub - where "you can get any genealogy info you want at Randy's restaurant..."

1 comment:

footnoteMaven said...


I absolutely love this! It has given me a great idea for my local Genealogy and Family History Alumni Association which is floundering.

A Genealogy Pub Night with a Pub Quiz on all things genealogy.

Why didn't we think of this before?