You may have been asked on more than one occasion why you are bothering to spend time and money to gather information on your family lineage. Of course genealogy, family research is a very old practice and was very necessary at one time just for specific families to determine property ownership and royal lineages. Really over the last 150 years has the practice of gathering family information become more of a great hobby and something to share with future generations. One of the best documents I first used when I started on my family lineage was from the research and collection of the family from a relative back in 1881.
So here are some reasons why you should pursue your family history. First, it can draw you closer to your older relatives; a great aunt or distant cousin can share information with you. Next, this knowledge can provide a great sense of yourself, your abilities and skills; such as being musical. It can be amazing which of your ancestors share similar appearances and qualities.
Also you can learn some interesting stories about the lives of one or more ancestors or even if you were related to a celebrity. How many people find it fascinating to learn are a direct or indirect descendant of a famous person?
Put information about ancestors together with major historic events; such as movement west to California in the 1850-1860s, or the American Civil War or the Great Chicago Fire in the late 1800s and there is a wide field of more interesting family stories directly involving an ancestor. Finding when the first of a family branch came to America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, South America or New Zealand came really be fascinating information. Not just when they came, but from where, who came with them and possibility why they left their homeland for a new land. Remember your LIFE was shaped by what your ancestors did. If they had not relocated from Germany to the state of Pennsylvanian and then married someone whose origin was Italy, you would not exist as you know yourself today.
By taking the time to put together your family tree, you can create a true and hopefully picture of your family heritage. Before, maybe only bits and pieces were known or undocumented stories told of the family and its members over the years. One of my biggest discoveries was that my father was actually born in Manchester, England and came to America in 1914. Yet, all in my childhood and adult years, my father stated he was born in Massachusetts and that it was only his parents who were natives of England. Such information was also documented in some of his records, such as Social Security application and military records, but those were based on data he provided. With his birth in 1905 and he coming with his family to America in 1914, he was old enough to realize he was going to a new town and life. I located the solid evidence that he was born in England and the ship manifest with his family first arrived in Massachusetts in April 1914.
Help preserve your maternal family lineage by doing the research. Too many times it tends to be just the father’s lineage that is traced, but you can be the one to dig deeper and learn about your mother’s or grandmother’s side of the family.
These are just a fraction of the positive reasons for doing family history research. It is very worthwhile and can be a very satisfactory achievement for yourself and your family.
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