Some quotes about genealogy

I wandered the Internet this morning in search of genealogy related quotations. Here are a few I considered worth sharing:

GENEALOGY, n. An account of one’s descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.     Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914), The Devil’s Dictionary

Genealogy is based on the obviously silly idea that there is no such thing as a bastard.      Nicolas Martin, Article c. 1995

Southerners are so devoted to genealogy that we see a family tree under every bush.     Florence King (b. 1936), US. humorist, essayist, social critic.     From her “Uncollected Articles, 1992-1993” _DQ.

“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies.”  Bible quotes

Genealogy is not fatal, but it is a grave disease.

Genealogists never die, they just lose their census!

Whenever there’s a will, you’ll see an heir loom.


Every man serves a useful purpose: A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor.     Laurence J. Peter (1919 – 1988)


Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner.  Douglas Adams (1952 – 2001)

Results from Laura Moncur’s Motivational Quotations:
It is certainly desirable to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.     Plutarch (46 AD – 120 AD), ‘Morals,’ 100 A.D.


We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted… Each of us contains within… this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.     Edward Sellner

Results from Classic Quotes:

Men can know more than their ancestors did if they start with a knowledge of what their ancestors had already learned….That is why a society can be progressive only if it conserves its traditions.     Walter Lippmann (1889 – 1974)

There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.     Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.  G. K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936), Orthodoxy

There is no escape – we pay for the violence of our ancestors.    Frank Herbert (1920 – 1986)
What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: “Why is it so dark in here?”     Terry Pratchett, Pyramids

Results from Rand Lindsly’s Quotations:

Gentility is what is left over from rich ancestors after the money is gone. John Ciardi (1916 – 1986)
Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave. —    ad slogan ‘Pepsi Comes Alive’ as initially translated into Chinese

Results from Poor Man’s College:

Some families can trace their ancestors back three hundred years, but can’t tell you where their children were last night.  Author Unknown

About Libbi

Writer for 30 years. Genealogy a hobby for about 40 years. Yes, I'm in my 50's, I learned about genealogy at my mother's knee!
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2 Responses to Some quotes about genealogy

  1. tajicat says:

    These are great! Thanks for sharing! :)

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