Well, one way to see if you might be interested is by joining Ancestry.com. Use their two-week free trial. A monthly subscription would be about $20 for a U.S. Records only membership, $35 for a World Records membership. Here you will be able to view various public records, things like census records and birth certificates.
As you try it for two weeks the results could be that your ancestors are not just names but rather fit into your own life story. You can match your ancestors to certain periods of time in history such as the Great Depression of the 1930s, Prohibition of the 1920s, Civil War in 1860s, wagon trains of settlers to the far west in 1870s-1890s, or the assassination of president John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Another eye opener is seeing those ancestors that survived especially with the high numbers of children who died at very early ages. They died of simple childhood illnesses that have been since been eradicated by vaccines.
Also, you can find missing gaps of the family stories by locating distant cousins or branches of your family you never knew existed. They could photos, journals, and documents not found anywhere else.
Learn the family health history which is really your own health history. Death certificates and obituaries listings for what relatives died of can prove to be very important information for your doctor. Let the doctor know of any heart disease, strokes, diabetes, etc. your ancestors had.
A really fun aspect is finding any notable, famous, heroes, or celebrities in the family tree. Don’t be disappointed if none are discovered, rather realize all your ancestors were successful in their own way. If they had a farm that provided food for a community or a shop or business that supplied goods and services – that is notable for sure.
Photos: McCallum family of Dunfermline, circa April 1901 and Benjamin F Westerfield and his wife Julia Ann in 1870s.
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