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Oh, the pain of that lie!

There’s a “funny” meme going around on social media.

You know the one.

The one that says: “The biggest lie I tell myself is, I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

For some people, that might actually be funny.

For genealogists and — sigh — The Legal Genealogist included — that’s not funny at all.

Here’s just a snippet of advice from somebody who is painfully working her way past that.

No, we won’t remember it. We do need to write it down.

2022 snippet 4

Case in point: the entry in my Ancestry family tree for my third great grandmother Metta (Huthoff) Sievers, born in Arsten, Bremen, Germany on 31 July 18191 and … sigh — my tree said — died before 3 March 1876.2

So… how do I know she died before 3 March 1876?

I mean, seriously, that’s a very specific date. I must have had a very specific reason for thinking so!

So… what do you think the chances are that I can remember what the reason was?

Yeah. Right.

It took me 20 minutes this morning to figure out that it was from her entry in the index for the burial records of Bremen, on the website of the Bremen Family History and Genealogical Society, Die Maus.3

Do as I say.

Not as I did.4

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Snippet: write it down,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 24 Jan 2022).


  1. Standesamt (Registrar), Bremen-Arsten, Zivilstandsregister Geburtsregister 1819 Nr. 22-b; FHL microfilm 953059.
  2. No, of course, there’s no source citation. Do you think I’d be writing this if there had been one???
  3. “Die Leichenbücher der Stadtgemeinde Bremen von 1875-1975” (Funerary Records 1875-1975); database, entry for “Sievers, Metta,” Die MAUS Bremen: Gesellschaft für Familienforschung (Die Maus – Family History and Genealogical Society) ( : accessed 24 Jan 2022).
  4. Well, I did add the note this morning. So I’m not totally hopeless here.
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