What Is Genealogy
Why Study Genealogy?
How Far Can You Go?
3rd Party Stories
Cite Your Sources
Why Study Genealogy?
The idea of honoring one's ancestors has been around a long time, since prehistoric times, but throughout history, people have honored their ancestors in many different ways. Remembering them and preserving their life stories is just one way.
Some people join a lineage or patriotic society as a way of remembering their ancestors and carrying on their goals and good works. Most of these societies require that you to prove a specific lineage in order to join, for example that your ancestor was one of the first settlers in a county or state.
History is more than just textbooks. It comes alive when you participate in historical reenactments, share your love of antiques, or travel to historic places. It is an enjoyment of biographies of famous people and a love of historical novels. Genealogy is so much fun that many public school teachers use it to make the past come alive for their students. Even some colleges and universities offer courses in family and oral history.
Genealogists develop a keen interest for history as soon as they learn that it helps them find their ancestors. Understanding the historical context, will help you what types of records were created, where they are kept, and why some of them may be missing. Additionally, the more you know about the history of the times in which your ancestor lived, the better your chances of finding information about that person's life.
Religions around the world also teach an appreciation and reverence for one's ancestors. For example, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called "Mormons") ,trace their family trees as a matter of religious conviction.
There also practical reasons why genealogy can be useful. For example, just a few generations of your ancestors' health histories will reveal if your family tends to have predispositions towards certain types of diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, or cancer. This information can of course be extremely useful to you, your doctor, and your descendants.
Finally, perhaps the main reason why people taking genealogy is that it is an entertaining and satisfying hobby that also gives your brain a good workout. If you are getting on in years, it will definitely help keep your brain active – in fact you may get better and better at genealogy as you get older and more experienced.
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