Deciphering fact from fiction, deductive reasoning, detective work – the game’s afoot!
Do you love solving mysteries?
Then try your hand at genealogy, where the mystery starts with you. Let us explain. Genealogy is the study and tracing of lines of descent. With it, you can:
● open a doorway to your past
● trace your family tree
● discover your heritage
● write your family’s story
● create your medical history
● learn who you are
Whether a curiosity, a hobby or an obsession, people who spend time researching their ancestors travel through time and sometimes across continents to get to the root of their family tree, inspired by memories or traditions, heirlooms, old photographs and journals, the birth or passing of family members, ancestral homes –the list goes on and on. An entire community surrounds ancestral research, and many organizations are here to help you find your way to the truth of your heritage.
Where to Begin the Search
One of the most important ways to start a family history is to connect with your people who are alive right now. Begin by accurately documenting the stories and information your family members can give you first-hand –using audio or video recordings, photos, and writing it all down. Once you have documented your extended living family, you can begin to research your ancestors.
For Motivation, Ask Why
So many reasons motivate people to search for their ancestors. Here are just a few:
1. Validate Family Stories – determine the truth of legends and monsters.
2. Famous People – find out if you are related to someone famous.
3. Historical Event – Gain a better understanding of an ancestor’s involvement in a famous historical event.
4. Trace Medical Conditions – Assess your risk of getting inherited medical conditions.
5. Trace a Family Inheritance – Determine genealogical proof of a family connection for potential heirs.
6. Trace Land Ownership – Settle questions of land ownership by providing proof of descent.
7. Trace a Family Portrait – See why someone bears a strong resemblance to an ancestor in an old family portrait.
8. Find Birth Parents – Or find children given up for adoption.
9. Proof of Paternity – Determine the biological father of a child
10. Religious Tenet – Satisfy the tenets of a religion, i.e., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
11. Religious Tenet – Satisfy the tenets of a religion, i.e., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
12. Historic Studies – Get insight into history through the scholarly study of a famous or royal family.
13. Heritage Societies – Find proof of lineage to qualify for a heritage society.
14. Preserve a Legacy – Learn more about a parent, grandparent or sibling after their death.
15. Preserving Family Traditions – Preserve knowledge of ancestors who contributed to family traditions, like family recipes, craft or trade.
16. Preserve Family Culture – Keep the culture of the old country alive.
17. Resolving Family Trees in Bibles – Validate the names written into an old family bible.
18. Understand Family Letters/Diaries – Gain context around an intimate glimpse into an ancestor’s experiences and feelings.
19. Understand a Namesake – Learn more about the person you were named after.
20. Settle Ownership of an Heirloom – Resolve disputes over the origin of a family heirloom.
21. Reconnect with Family – Find and reconnect with living relatives.
22. Family Legacy – Fulfill a desire to pass on a legacy to future generations.
What Are You Looking for, Exactly?
Researching your family tree exposes you to the world of personal recordkeeping. The information you find in these records is both the fascinating and valuable part of genealogy. For instance, death records can not only provide you authentic dates and places, they can give a clue to any prominent or unusual illnesses that may occur within your family tree. A person’s birth and baptism records will tell you who was present at their birth, which 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. Records often contain the correct spellings of names, birth places and dates – that may differ from your family’s narrative or story on the subject.
In the end, family genealogy provides a way to connect with the past while building a future, giving you a sense of where you came from and creating a sense of pride.
Honor Family Heritage with a Custom Family Tree
A wonderful gift –and conversation piece- for your family at Thanksgiving, family tree custom plaques from PlaqueMaker are as beautiful and unique as your family. Fill the tree with family names and birthdates for each member of your family. You can reserve spaces for future names, too. Personalize the plaque with family name, occasion or special date. Choose from bamboo, solid cherry, marble or granite styles.