Dick Eastman’s Newsletter of 7 June 2018 asked the question ‘Why do we study genealogy?
Genealogy is defined as the direct descent of an individual or group from an ancestor.
It is a simpler question than ‘Why do we study family history’.
Family History I believe is to research not only our lines of descent but also the details of our family members, their occupations, the places they lived and the social influences that affected their lives. It is trying to understand what made them do what they did. One question that crops up as you discover more about them is why they survived to create the generations of our family. They endured war, disease, poverty and occupational injuries. Sometimes they were working with the law and sometimes they appeared on the opposite side or merely as witnesses. Every event creating a record of their existence.
So why do we study family history? It is because:-
- It is curiosity.
- It is the search.
- It is the sense of knowing more about the family than other members of it know.
- It is the discovery.
- It is the puzzle as to where to look.
- It is finding sources that add to the search.
- It is the discovering characters that you like and wish you had known.
- It is the discovering characters that you feel you would not have liked, but wish you had known.
- It is the challenge of a ‘brick wall’ and the joy at demolishing it.
- It is the history of the place that the family inhabited.
- It is the history of the country that affected them.
- It is the journeys they undertook and the reason why they traveled.
- It is an addiction.
So why do you study family history?