Entry: gene maven
Description: Jealously guarding other people's secrets for umpteen generations, the gene maven looks like you or I. It is only when they get talking that you marvel at their vicelike grip on the facts. Which Alexander? they enquire, when you refer to your eighteenth-century relatives. You check your notes to see that the happy wedding they chatted on, did indeed happen 150 years ago. They toss out stories of returning Crimean War soldiers while fishing out last week's postcard from a branch last seen emigrating at the time of the Titanic.