Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why I Research Genealogy

I am often asked “Why do you do genealogy?” Sometimes I get the odd comment like, “My aunt used to do that genealogy stuff. She would bore us to tears talking about all those great greats!”

It appears I have become one of those “aunts”. While I am sure I have never seen any tears of boredom in the eyes of my family with the tales of our ancestors, I have seen the occasional glazed look come across their faces. I like to think they are just pondering the latest tidbit of information I have offered up.

Back to the question: Why do I do genealogy? Well….lots of reasons. Here are my top three reasons:

Genealogy is like a puzzle. I have always liked putting together puzzles and solving the many mystery books I have read over the years. Genealogy is like the puzzle that comes in a box without the actual picture on it. There is no indication of size or number of pieces involved. Genealogy is the ultimate puzzle.

Genealogy brings family closer. I am not just trying to sound like a Hallmark card. It really does bring people closer together. Early in my genealogical pursuits, I spent time with my aunt (my grandfather’s sister). She shared many stories with me about people I had only heard of in passing as I grew up. She showed me the land where our family lived and farmed and the churches where they worshipped. She introduced me to new relatives. All the while she told me stories, and I learned to know her. I learned to appreciate the children she and her siblings were and the adults they became. We continue to share a wonderful relationship.

Genealogy lets me meet new “cousins”. Each new cousin I have met, leads to me to another. I can share our family history, but they add the color to the our family’s story.

Why do you do genealogy?


  1. I saw a tee shirt one time - "I trace my family tree so I'll know who to blame" ;-)

    I'm "that aunt" as well. I've just always been interested in family history - I think it was seeing old pictures that first got me started.

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