I was at a meeting presenting about FamilySearch Family Tree and the person introducing me and taking care of the "business" of the meeting commented on how family history had advanced so far that we didn't have to be genealogists anymore. That type of statement seems to be getting a lot of milage lately. Just think about what would happen if this statement were true:
No more research.
No more trying to read incomprehensible handwriting
No more squinting at rolls and rolls of microfilm
No more comparing contradictory documents
No more tired eyes and tired backs from reading documents in awkward places
No more tramping through the weeds and brambles to look at old gravemarkers
No more brick walls
No more truculent document curators
No more library or court house visits
No more searching in vain online
No more time spent trying to explain Evidence Explained
No more questions from new researchers at the FamilySearch Libraries
No more pedigree charts and family group records
I guess the list could go on indefinitely. I can't imagine what such a world would look like. A world without pain or sorrow of any kind. A virtual utopia where all of your ancestors line up and identify themselves on some huge all-knowing family tree. A place were genealogists were never invented because everyone just knew their ancestors by memory and they were all 100% accurate in their memories. I am so happy we have finally reached this pinacle of civilization so we can cast off the genealogical shackles of our past and move on to greater and more satisfying activities like filling the names in on an endlessly extending pedigree that goes back to the primeval ooze.
Wait a minute. What on earth are these people saying? No more need to be a genealogist? I guess the whole idea of seeking out your ancestors is out of vogue. It is much easier just to go online and copy down some stuff from one of the millions of family trees and claim it as your own "ancestry" and leave it at that. Why pay good money that could go for movies or candy to those greedy online subscription database people? Who needs any of that if there is no need for anyone to be a genealogist anymore?
Well there goes another 35 years of my life down the drain. I guess I was just born 35 years too early. Just think how useless all that time I spent in the Family History Library has turned out to be. If I had been born today, I could have been spared all those months and years I spent entering in thousands of names, dates, sources, and other historical information. I guess I also wasted my time digitizing over 100,000 documents and photos that are now utterly useless because there will be no genealogists to research and record, evaluate and extract all the information from all those records. Oh, well think of all the shuffleboard games I missed!