Genealgia: a disease causing the infected person to experience enjoyable obsessions about family trees and family stories. The sufferers of the disease are not only the people with the disease, but also the people in the near environs. This second category of sufferers are those who flee when the dread term "second cousin once removed" is uttered.
Derivation - from genealogy - the study of lines of descent; and - algia, pain.
There are several stages of the infection.
The first stage is barely noticeable to the observer. The afflicted may be heard to comment that genealogy is a lot of nonsense, it isn't the past that matters - it's what you are here and now.
The next stage is characterized by comments like: "I'll buy a copy of the family history when you get it finished, but don't expect me to make any contribution to the book, I'm too busy." "I think I might get interested when I retire." "You're doing a fine job, keep me posted."
This may progress to an interest in old things and may first manifest itself in collecting antiques, but focuses increasingly on old letters, wills, land titles, and photographs which may be found in the storage areas of the afflicted person's residence.
The infection has taken hold once the individual begins to question, "How many cousins do I have?" "What is the difference between a first cousin and a first cousin once removed?"
Then there will be efforts to learn about family history through questioning elders, collecting photographs, visiting cemeteries and sending out blank family trees to kin far and wide. After this stage comes enrolment in a beginner's class in genealogy, and the acquisition of genealogy software for the computer.
With the commencement of online searches for elusive descent lines, and the acquisition of skills in searching birth, marriage and death data and census records online, the case has become hopeless of cure. Soon after this, a visit to Salt Lake City may occur.
In the final phase of the disease, the afflicted individual goes to the computer before ANY other activity upon arising, and turns off the computer only on the way to bed. Friends and relatives become alienated by the esoteric language now used by the afflicted individual. All hope must be given up that the individual will ever be rid of the infection and rejoin normal society.