Scientists Say January is the Worst Month for Genea-Injuries

hand in front of blue sky, injured finger, concept insurance

World famous genealogist-ologist Dr. Pat Smith has come out with a new warning for family history researchers for 2017: Watch your fingers.

Dr. Smith, whose previous work includes the discovery of the genea-skankery virus, the origins of piles of genea-crap, and the depths of Ancestry’s genea-suckitude, has now completed a new study on how family historians are most likely to experience season-ending injuries. Spoiler alert: It’s your index finger.

“Now that spit-gathering season is over, the real danger is here,” says Dr. Smith. “Many genealogist spent the holiday season collecting vials of saliva and chasing after relatives with swabs. Now that the spit is in, they’re clicking refresh on all of those DNA websites, waiting for results. Even those who haven’t tested anyone for years are watching their cousin match lists, hoping the holiday sales brought in new cousins. This can lead to serious issues for your mouse-clicking finger, which can seize up and leave you weirdly pointing at everyone. Friends and relatives can be alarmed by all of the pointing, especially after you just chased them with a swab. This leads to you becoming The Weird One in the family, and being the subject of future family stories. You’re probably already The Weird One, since you hang out in cemeteries and have a stack of death certificates on your dining room table…but still.”

Fortunately, Dr. Smith says there are some ways you can keep your DNA-test-checking finger in fighting form:

  • Consider doing some finger yoga. This is an inexpensive, easy fix, and you can Instagram it and look cool to your kids/grandkids. Young people love that sort of thing.
  • Use a browser plugin to obsessively check your DNA results page for updates. A number of DNA-obsessed genealogists swear by Check4Change, which is a Firefox plugin that will play David Bowie’s Changes when the website you specify has new content. Dr. Smith is totally not making this up.
  • Read a book. Made out of paper. Turn the pages with one of your other nine fingers. Resist the temptation to try to swipe the pages like you’re on your iPad because your brain is already kind of ruined and you can no longer remember how to operate books.
  • Give your finger an alternate workout by finally digitizing that giant pile of papers you’ve collected over the years. You’ll discover stuff you forgot you had, make it all much easier to access, and protect your documents from fire/flood/whatever else is going to come at us in 2017. (Clue: There’s a really good presentation coming on this topic at the Family Tree University Virtual Conference, and you can rest your fingers while you watch this and 14 other cool video lectures.)

Dr. Smith says future projects include a study on whether mental telepathy works in willing relatives to take a DNA test.


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