1852 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
TO SOLVE GENEALOGICAL MYSTERIES
It is New Year’s Eve 1852 and Henry Hydenwel
sits at his desk by candlelight.
He dips his quill in ink and begins to write
his New Year’s resolutions.
No man is truly well-educated unless he learns to spell his name at
least three different ways within the same document. I resolve to give
the appearance of being extremely well-educated in the coming year.
I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same names
that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.
My age is no one’s business but my own. I hereby resolve to never list
the same age or birth year twice on any document.
I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different
church—either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third
child will not be baptized at all or will be baptized by an itinerant
minister who keeps no records.
I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once
every ten years—just before those pesky enumerators come around asking
make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital
records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few
resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in
record keeping or in participating in military service.
the tax collector comes to my door, I’ll loan him my pen, which has been
dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.
resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry another
resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?
‘Trees & Twigs’ by
American/Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society / ASHHS Newsletter – Volume 19
– No. 1 Page 11