Genealogy is more than just tracing your family tree, it is about discovering your heritage, creating a story about your family, and possibly even creating a medical history. Discovering your family is a learning experience as well as a hobby. It will take you through time and across continents.
Where To Begin
Most people that research their families often start with the parents or grandparents and begin to move backwards through time. They often forget that one of the most important things in a family history is to document and connect with the people that are alive right now. You should start by documenting your family members that are alive right now. The way to begin is to receive accurate information from the people that can give you the information first-hand. Once you have documented your extended family that is alive right now, you can begin to research your ancestors. You will be surprised how easy this will become when you have a basic knowledge of your current family members and their stories.
Records – Records – Records
Your family genealogy will expose you to many different types of personal records. What you will find in these records may amaze you. For example, death records will provide you with a clue to any prominent illnesses that may occur within your family tree. Older death records also often have very unusual causes of death, giving you interesting information for family stories. Birth and baptism records will tell you a lot about a person, including people that were present at their birth. These clues can help you find obscure people in your family tree that may not appear in any other records. Land records and Wills often contain vital information about who your family members associated with when they were alive. Not surprising, many of these transactions will take place with in-laws that you will then be able to easily trace. Records like these also often contain correct information about spellings of names and birth places and dates. Many family stories will tell one version of a story, only to find out the truth when you find the actual records.
In The End
Genealogy is a very important task for any family. It provides a way to connect with the past while building a future. It gives people a sense of where they came from, while also creating a sense of pride.