11 January 2013

The Price of Fame

Why waste money looking up your family tree?
Just go into politics and your opponent will do it for you.
- Mark Twain
Whether it's a photographer invading your vacation or the fact that thousands of people know your birth date and other personal details, the price of fame is privacy. Become famous and you won't have any.
In every presidential election year genealogists scramble to be the first to discover something new and interesting about the candidates family histories. This was the first presidential election since I started working on my family tree. I was disappointed that Ancestry.com or another genealogy based company didn't use this opportunity to post each candidate's ancestral information as examples of well sourced trees.
Why not use it as a chance to inform people about what goes into a documented tree? How much were they able to find online? How much was done over the phone or by mail? How much traveling was involved? Are there still discrepancies? Why were the details of one record chosen over another? The questions are endless.
Instead, we got was this.
Below the jump is profile information for a living United States President. I was unable to figure out where, or even if, his profile connects to the main tree.

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

 George Walker President Bush
 B: 6 Jul 1946, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
 D: So'on, Horqin Youyiqianqi, New Mongol (Inner Mongolia), China
 Father: George Herbert Walker 41st President Bush
 B: Private, Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA
 D: 1 Oct 2007, Kennebunkport, York, Maine, USA
 Mother: Barbara President's Bush Wife Pierce
 B: Private, Rye, Westchester, New York, USA
 D: Kennebunkport, York, Maine, USA
 M: Private
 Spouse: Laura Lane President's Bush Wife Welch
 B: Private, Midland, Midland, Texas, United States
 D: Not, Graz-Umgebung, Styria, Austria
 M: 15 Nov 1977, Midland, Midland, Texas, United States
 Barbara Pierce Bush
 B: 25 Nov 1981, Dallas, Dallas, Texas, United States
 D: A, Fyn, Denmark
 Jenna Welch Bush
 B: 25 Nov 1981, Dallas, Collin, Texas, United States
 D: A, Fyn, Denmark
 Child with Unknown Spouse
 Barbara Pierce Bush
 B: 25 Nov 1981, Dallas, Texas, United States
 D: Not, Graz-Umgebung, Styria, Austria

Maybe this tree owner is psychic. Should someone tell the Bush family what places they may want to stay away from?
More than likely this person either wants everyone to see what a wonderful job they've done "researching" or they want people to see that they're related to the Bush family. Of course there are no sources and the information above is the only information on those profiles. If they are related it would take a lot more time than I'm willing to spend to figure out the relationship.
Bush Senior is in a wheelchair now but I must say, he's looking pretty good for someone who expired over five years ago. Actually he did have some health issues last month but all of the above people are definitely alive. Though I'm fairly certain daughter Barbara is not living two lives.
Is anyone else completely puzzled by the random details that are "private"?

Thanks to Janet for the heads up about this profile ;-)

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  1. LOL. Wow. Maybe they put daughter Barbara in and then couldn't figure out how to link the mother... But the death dates??

  2. Pretty sure So'on was an attempt at saying ol' W would die "soon", and "Not" is an attempt at saying "not dead". LOL!