Genealogy is the favorite hobby of many people. They enjoy putting together their family tree and writing down family stories for their descendants to enjoy. Sometimes, a person who does a little bit of genealogy research decides not to add to their family tree. That decision might seem unacceptable to those who love genealogy.
Eric Quitugua wrote about using FamilySearch to find out a little information about his parents. To do this, he visited the Twin Falls Family History Center, which is run by volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He learned that his parents got married on the same day that the Challenger Space Shuttle launched its first mission. FamilySearch had information about the date of his parent’s divorce, and where it happened. He was also able to learn about the date his father and first stepmother got married, and what town they got married in.
This small amount of information is often enough to get a person “hooked” on genealogy. There is always more to learn about one’s ancestors! Eric, however, was not interested in continuing to work on researching his family tree. He did not want to put a family tree together, and he also did not feel the need to start a family and have children anytime soon.
His decisions might make some genealogists shudder, especially if they are mormon. Genealogy is more than a hobby for people who are mormon. Part of their religious beliefs include getting to know their ancestors via genealogy research. There are many religions that strongly encourage their followers to get married (to someone else who shares that religion) and to have children. The act of getting married is often connected to a religious ceremony.
It may be difficult for genealogists to accept that a person who has just gotten started doing genealogy research can so easily walk away from it. It can be hard to imagine that someone simply has no interest in learning about an ancestor’s daily life, discovering an ancestor’s “maiden name”, or counting up the number of cousins they actually have.
Part of why the decision to not peruse genealogy, after having tried it, bothers some genealogists has to do with their own reasons for doing genealogy. Is your primary motive to leave something for future descendants to review, learn from, and add to?
If so, it may be disappointing and distressing to realize that there is a chance that your descendants will not be interested in all the genealogy research you have worked on. It also can be frightening, for genealogists and non-genealogists alike, to consider the idea of their family line ending because the youngest generation grew up and decided against having children.
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