Scientists Discover Virus Responsible for Genea-Skankery

Scientists Discover Virus Responsible for Genea-Skankery

by Kerry Scott on 5 October 2011

Post image for Scientists Discover Virus Responsible for Genea-Skankery

Genealogist-ologist Dr. Pat Smith, who studies genealogists in their natural habitats, has followed up his groundbreaking work on the origins of genea-crap with a new report. In it, Dr. Smith reveals that he has discovered a new virus. This virus is believed to be the cause of the recent explosion of genea-skankery—that is, great-grannies who are subjected to random hookups by their cluefree descendants.

“It’s always been a problem,” says Dr. Smith, “but the rise of the internet has brought an exponential increase in genea-skankery. An astonishing number of online trees contain unlikely scenarios, like woman marrying their own grandsons or giving birth to their own parents. Even grannies with no children at all are often found married to random strangers on these online trees.”

Dr. Smith’s study also involved hiring a snarky blogger with a Ouija board a professional medium in order to understand the impact of genea-skankery on actual dead people. The medium was able to reach a number of victims of genea-skankery.

One woman, Mildred Johnson (1812-1887), was married off to two complete strangers, a nephew, and a grandson in various trees on the internet. She was not happy. “This is whack,” fumed Mildred. “The least these genea-boobs could have done is hook me up with someone hot, like one of those dudes on My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. Hooking me up with my own grandson? That’s just nasty.”  Florence Brown (1849-1926) was equally incensed. “Don’t people think before they put stuff out there? I mean, duh. It’s 2011. You people have invented penicillin and indoor plumbing and the atom bomb and Diet Coke, but you can’t figure out how to make sure you have the right person on your tree? Really? How stupid are you, exactly?”

Dr. Smith’s study showed that the best prevention for genea-skankery was common sense and source citations. “It’s simple,” he says.”People need to say where they got their information, and they need to look at it and see whether it makes sense. Up to 90% of all genea-skankery could be prevented by this sort of basic genea-hygiene.”

Some of the dead grannies themselves aren’t so optimistic. “Yeah, good luck with that,” said Oline Jorgensen (1854-1887). “You’re talking to the same people who keep forwarding those email hoaxes from 1996.  They’re never going to acquire a clue.”

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Wilkinson Rojo October 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

…and now for that same medium to contact all the dead great-grandpas who have been genea-endowed with Revolutionary War service or on the list of signers of the Mayflower Compact…


Kerry Scott October 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm

It’s very possible that Dr. Smith will do another post on the genea-endowed.


Jennifer Holik-Urban October 5, 2011 at 8:42 am

OMG this is hilarious! I just wrote a blog post about something similar I found on recently. The woman’s son was born when she was 4, her grandson born before her and she had records merged from two of my people of the same name. She lived in two places at the same time too. Crazy!

Love love love this post! You gave me a MUCH needed laugh this morning!


Cynthia Shenette October 5, 2011 at 9:06 am

Kerry – You cracked me up (again)! Reminds me of the old saying, “I am my own grandpa.” Thanks for laugh!


Elizabeth P October 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

Kerry – great as usual! Thanks for the laugh, love your posts!


Randy Seaver October 5, 2011 at 9:55 am

Has Dr. Smith named this virus yet? I suggest “ancesteria.” It seems to transmit rapidly. There must be more symptoms than grannies marrying grandsons. Will the drug companies make a vaccine for it?


Kerry Scott October 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm

…and if the drug companies make a vaccine for it, will any Republican presidential candidates mention it in one of their umpteen debates?


Kristin October 5, 2011 at 10:10 am

But how was she a granny if she had no children? Those shaky leaves with their absurd connections really get me down. I no longer go look at trees.


Kay Haden October 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

What a hoot! Made my day. I need to come back and read again everytime I find one of my relatives stuck in a tree where they don’t belong. Another symptom may be getting married at age 4 – to someone who lived in another state.


Jo Graham October 5, 2011 at 10:56 am

Very funny post, Kerry, and the picture is a scream :-)


Jolene October 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

This is hilarious! Definitely going up on the fridge.


Kerry Scott October 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Cool. I don’t think I’ve been up on a fridge since kindergarten.


OnlineGenGuy October 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

Very clever.


Regina October 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

Awesome post! Going to now to attend to some “basic genea-hygiene”. =^)


Susan Tiner October 5, 2011 at 11:52 am

You are so funny! Where on earth did you get that Granny photo?

I like My Daguerreotype Boyfriend so much I’m going to share it on fb right now, with a credit to you of course.


Kerry Scott October 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I found the photo on iStockphoto while looking for something else entirely. This is another one of those situations where I find a picture and it inspires a post. Picking out the photos is one of the best parts of blogging.

I LOVE that site. LOVE.


Connie October 5, 2011 at 11:59 am

Kerry, you made my day with the link for My Daguerreotype Boyfriend.

This post is a riot, too! Although I like to think my great-grandma, who probably never traveled more than 100 miles from the rural Missouri community where she was born in the 1870s and died in the 1940s, is happy knowing she’s currently having adventures in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.


Lisa October 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

ROTFL!! I LOVE this post ….. I’m still laughing. I am going to print this out and keep it close to my computer as I shake my family tree to see what kind of nuts fall off or would that be out??!!

I just hope that I can quit humming ….. “I’m my own Grandpa” soon.

Thanks for the laugh today!


Barb Conner October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

What a hoot! And so very, very true. There are those out there that say my husband’s family is from a grandson of a president – and the grandson never had children!? So how do people not notice things like that? This one is being sent over the e-mail waves to others I know…..maybe they will listen up?


John October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

A celebrity version of this virus is illustrated in Ancestry’s One Family Tree where Lucille Ball appears as the grandmother of her husband Desi.

The ‘likelihood’ of the relationship is given 3 stars out of 5. Or, in other words, it’s supposedly more likely than not, even though Desi was only 6 years younger than his alleged grandmother-wife.


Kerry Scott October 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Oh my goodness.

That is pretty much the perfect example of why we all need to do our own research, and never ever rely on the work of others without carefully examining it ourselves.


Ravenswick October 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hilarious!….but sadly true. I have seen this sort of thing so many times in people’s trees. If only people would step back and look at the data and ask “Is this reasonable?” I see so many people who will have 3 different census records, all different locations for one ancestor for the same year. That said I do have an ancestor listed in the 1920 census twice and one who married her much older uncle (blood uncle-mother’s brother–yuk). But before putting it in my tree I asked “Is it reasonable?” and got more than one source.


Dana October 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Absolutely hilarious! This had me rolling – thank you!


Dee October 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I’m not sure, but I think you may have outdone yourself this time, Kerry.


Anyone else have a hard time keeping up with which of her posts is your favorite…


Brenda October 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm



Joan Miller (Luxegen) October 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm

LOL! Love it! Genea-skankery….fits the photo!


Karen Packard Rhodes October 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Hilarious! Great post!


Judy Webster October 6, 2011 at 12:32 am

Best laugh I’ve had in a long time – and good advice! Thanks for brightening my day.


Frances Ellsworth (@FranEllsworth) October 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

Love it. It really did brighten the morning with a great big smile, but I have to admit gave me a twinge of alarm…did I get that mess cleaned up from downloading a GEDCOM by mistake into my own!


Rondina Muncy October 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

This was wonderful, but I think you just needed an excuse to use that picture. You’re a whiz at finding good ones.


Barb Starmans October 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Fantastic post! There are a few of my ancestors on Ancestry that have been victims of genea-shankery of the worst kind. Those people who suffer from this nasty virus seem to have also lost the ability to communicate with anyone who retains their common sense and offers source citations!


Jade October 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Sweet and funny – I am bookmarking this one :D Now if we could only hear from the g*-grans who are replaced in trees by their husbands’ mothers or by their own daughters-in-law . . . it is really down and dirty to displace folk from their own families!


Ruby Coleman October 10, 2011 at 8:10 am

What a funny post … and yet so true. Trouble is the ones who do it, just don’t care to un-do it and don’t think using common sense and citations applies to them. I love the picture … she made my day.


Jan October 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Great post! Loved the title, but you always keep me cracked up. I teach Marketing in Social Media to college students and have used your titles as what to “DO” as opposed to the “DON’Ts” for open-ability and read-ability! :)


Kerry Scott October 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Wow, thank you!


Lauren October 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Absolutely fantastic!!!! Keep them coming Kerry!! Highlights all those lazy ‘genealogists’ who just click. Might make then think to Research the information they get if they realise how they seem. The more mistakes that get published the worse it will egt, surely.


Ultramum October 15, 2011 at 4:25 am

LOL! Made me laugh …

Just came across one for one of my forbears in a tree that has:

Birth: 1791 …
Death: 1855 …
Residence: 1861 … That would be the cemetery then …


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