Why Researching Your Family's Genealogy is Important
If you’ve ever been to a doctor, you’ve probably had to answer questions or fill out forms describing your family’s medical history. But what if you’re not so sure about that history? Don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone.
A study has shown that one-third of Americans can’t even name all four of their grandparents, let alone identify any ancestors further back. Knowing your family’s history is important for various reasons, but you may not be so sure on how to research genealogy or why you really should. Keep on reading for the answers to both those questions and more!
One of the most practical reasons to start researching genealogy is to learn your family’s medical history. Many diseases are based on genetics, so understanding what your family is prone to can help identify risk factors and put prevention measures in place.
This is especially important if you don’t have direct connections with your immediate family members, as this is generally brought down from the family through word of mouth.
When you’re considering how to start genealogy research, one great way is to get your family involved. You can include parents, siblings, cousins, grandchildren, and grandparents to gather around and discover something shared by everyone.
This can inspire intergenerational storytelling and bond a family through uncovering their ancestors. It could also lead to reconnecting with long-lost relatives, which means adding even more members to your family.
Sense of Purpose
When older people retire from working busy, long days, they may become sad or lonely, not knowing what to fill their days with. Learning how to do genealogy research can be a great activity to spark their mind with past stories and histories they would have never known otherwise.
Almost all family histories will hold interesting facets of information and intriguing mysteries to be explored for many days to come. It’s all very personal to the person doing the research, making this activity perfect for finding a sense of purpose.
How to Research Genealogy
If you’re curious about how to research genealogy in order to get you started, there are a few general steps you can follow. First, consider writing down everything you already know, preferably using family tree templates.
This can help organize your search, and you can continue adding to it as you discover new information. It’s also a great way to make something tangible and visible describing your genealogy.
Then, decide precisely what you want to learn and review what is missing from what you have already written down. This could be focusing on specific individuals or families. Make sure to focus on one thing at a time when beginning your research.
Then, identify your sources and begin your research. Talk to near and distant relatives, browse through newspapers and church logs, and use online sources to learn all you can. Then analyze your data, and don’t forget to write it all down!
Your Family's History Is Important
Now that you know how to research genealogy and why it’s so important, you can begin your journey. Learning your family’s history can bring value to your life and your current family, and it can bring everyone together towards a common goal.
Discovering your past can even lead you to make new decisions in your future. If you found this article helpful, check out more of our articles today!