The world of genealogy lost a good friend last week when Roy Stockdill passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. He was a professional genealogist, writer, researcher, and lecturer in England. He ran a one-name study of the surname STOCKDALE, STOCKDILL and other variants. Before his retirement, Roy was a journalist at a number of Fleet Street newspapers and elsewhere, including: the TODAY NEWSPAPER, News of the World, the Sunday Citizen, the West Herts Post, the Coventry Evening Telegraph, the Leicestershire Live, and at the Halifax Courier.
Roy also was well-known for his many humorous articles, many of which dealt with genealogy. Here is one example that he allowed me to publish in this newsletter some years ago. I can no longer ask him for permission to publish it one more time, but I don’t think he would mind.
First, my introduction to the article, written in August, 2000:
A person who apparently is a newcomer to genealogy research posted a message this week on a British mailing list challenging why anyone would spend time looking for genealogy information in books and in dusty old records offices. Roy Stockdill responded with what I think will become a classic answer. Roy kindly has given permission for it to be republished here:
Find All Your Ancestors Online!
Welcome to my super-fast instant ancestry programme! I am proud to announce the launch of an exciting new service for wannabe family historians who find research the old-fashioned way rather boring. You, too, can have a family tree back to Adam and Eve ENTIRELY from the Internet!!! Here is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be repeated offer…..
SEND me 10,000 dollars, your date of birth, your chest and inside leg measurements, the location of the pub where your granny met your granddad and the name of that milkman with the hairy nose that your Auntie Maude had the wild affair with – and I guarantee I will have your family tree at least back to Nebuchadnezzar the Daft of Outer Mongolia in the 3rd century BC before you can say “IGI” !!!