A Fascinating Hobby
Family history is a fascinating hobby. It is like a vast puzzle that is never completely solved. Still, one bit of information leads to another, and it is exhilarating when you find a book or a record on one of the family lines that ties in with your current tree and gives you names, dates, and places for several generations.
Much More than Names and Dates
Family history is not just about putting names and dates on a chart or looking to see if you are related to someone famous and influential. Our ancestors are our great, great … grandparents. They were genuine people who lived interesting lives. They worked and struggled to better the world for their children, their children's children, and us. We are their legacy. We are who we are and we are here because of them.
Our Ancestors Left Footprints in History
While most of the details of their lives have disappeared in the mists of time, most of our ancestors left footprints in history. We know, or can learn, some things about them and what they did, we know some things about the environment in which they lived, and we know what history tells us about their time. Putting these together and opening our imagination helps us envision what it was like to live their lives.
It's About Family
Family history is about family, your family. We live in a very short window of the historical timeline. We know our parents as adults, our grandparents as older people, our children, and our grandchildren as young people. If we are fortunate, we may get a glimpse of the beginning of the life of a great-grandchild or the end of the life of a great-grandparent. That is only a handful of the many generations that have come before us and the many yet to come. Family history is about extending our knowledge of our families to those we never met in person, learning who they were, how they lived, and about the world in which they lived. Learning about our ancestors enriches and broadens our lives. Someday we too will be someone's ancestors.
DNA Adds a New Dimension
The use of DNA analysis is the most dramatic and exciting development in family history research in our lifetimes. Using DNA, your heritage can be discovered, proven or disproved. Combining DNA and family trees, you can identify and establish your relationship to distant cousins you previously didn't know existed. Tiny traces of distant ancestors with different origins can be detected. Sometimes DNA analysis will provide surprising, even shocking, things about you and your family. We are all related in some way. DNA can often show us how.
New to Family History?
Are you new to family history? Are you just curious? Perhaps you would like to find your family, but don't quite know what is involved or how to get started. Attend one of our monthly meetings as a guest at no charge; you will be welcomed. Talk to the club leaders, tell them what your interests are. If you would like to get started but don't know how, ask about attending one of our Getting Started classes, or ask to receive a free copy of our Getting Started in Family History white paper. If you would like to join us on our adventures in family history, you may do so at any club meeting, or download the membership application by clicking on the button below and mail it to the address shown on the form.