Have you been helped by a genealogy angel? I consider myself fortunate to have been.
This semi-divine messenger, and one of Maine’s not-so-hidden treasures, is Christopher Dunham.
I have been writing a series of articles about interesting WOMEN OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. While researching the genealogy of clairvoyant, Leonora E. Simonds Piper, I hit a brick wall of sorts… If you have been researching a family tree for any length of time, you know what I mean. This brick wall can be an actual lack of documentation, but it can also be the result of mental fatigue and missing the obvious (the answer is right in front of you, and you don’t see it).
Out of the blue, Chris posted a reply to my story, providing me with census information that I mentioned I could not locate, plus marriage information. His response helped me to continue my research.
Who is this guy? I thought…
Apparently he is a master blogger and first class genealogist. He maintains at least five blogs, which he updates on a daily basis. Christopher’s self-proclaimed blogger biography states he is: “The descendant of a surprisingly large number of ancestors. Turn-ons: transcribing, cemetery-hopping, and girls with big GEDCOMs. Turn-offs: stingy town clerks, open graves, and girls who don’t give sources.”
Funny guy.. actually more than that. He is downright hilarious.
I’ll admit it. I’ve never subscribed to a “Joke of the Day” email list. I am not even mildly amused by what the average Joe thinks is thigh-slapping material. I am a genuine old-fashioned New Englander who prefers a more subtle humor. You don’t catch me laughing out loud very often. If I chuckle quietly, consider that an extreme compliment to the source of the humor.
Some of Chris’ various blog posts, make me laugh so hard that tears come to my eyes.
You wouldn’t think that genealogy could be that funny. Serious family history researchers are predictably just that — serious. They spend too much time in dusty, dark, or creepy places. When was the last time a librarian made you chuckle, or you met a “delightfully charming” cemetery caretaker?
Just be careful. Some of Chris’s posts, especially on ‘The Genealogue,’ are completely authentic, and others aren’t. Before you start freaking out about the content of a story, you might want to make sure it is true first 😀 Yep, he’s the King of Genealogical Parody.
Apparently Chris never sleeps… there is just no way that he could fit in nappy time with the prolific articles he produces on all FIVE of his blogs. I highly suspect he lurks on other blogs too. He routinely helps family tree researchers. I found numerous helpful replies he posted on genealogy message boards (mostly focusing on Maine, Maine families, and the Dunham surname).
It appears that Chris wishes to remain somewhat anonymous. His blog photograph is interesting.. and at one point I began to suspect that he is an alien. No, not that kind of alien–his birth certificate probably says he is a natural born Maniac. But if you zoom in, and carefully examine his blog photo (which is really a close-up of the palm of his hand) you will see that he has no fingerprints or palm lines… a bit odd, don’t you think?
I also learned, that in addition to being a master blogger, and genealogical angel, he is the author of a book called “The Genealogist’s Glossary,” a humorous dictionary, and that he is a descendant of Moses Dunham of Hartford, Maine.
What better way to thank your genealogy angel, than to pick on him a bit. Chris, again, thank you!