By Traci Pollard
Genealogy research for some is establishing
names, dates, places and origins of distant family members by gathering
information as to whom they were, where they lived, who they married, and how
many children they had. While all this information is important, there is so much
more to know about the family member. I realized that this was not just a
person who has lived and died, but a key genetic part of who I am today. I want
to know all about that person, who was he or she? Were they a kind person, with
good values? Did they believe in God? Did they love their family members? Are
there any genetic diseases in my family tree? Often times research records will
indicate and answer all of these questions.
When I research a family
member, I put so much more into my research. I am re-creating the character and
life history of the person who I am researching. Using the historical
information that I gathered, I can combine it all to tell their personal story
of love, trials, tribulations, personal interests, profession, socio-economic
status, land ownership, family relations, religion, political status and so
much more. There is so much data out there on the Internet today!
Begin your family
research with you writing down your historical information that you know,
proceeding on to the next generation (your parents). While gathering and
writing down information, you are systematically moving up the ancestral tree
one generation at a time.
It is so important if
given the opportunity to sit with an older member of your family and gather
information from them. I remember sitting with my grandmother and asking her
many questions about her family members and upbringing. I remember taking
tedious notes, not knowing much about the people she spoke so highly in love
about. It was years later after she passed away, that I pulled all that
information she gave me and researched her family. I met through research so
many distant cousins, children of the sibling she spoke about, the problem came
with the excitement of wanting to pick up the telephone to share all the
information with her, and she was no longer there.
remember to take good notes, source where you find the information, and stay
organized. You will find so many fascinating facts about your family, it will
be very easy to wander off in your research to another trail or surname, but if
you do that, you will find out that you have information scattered all over the
place, making it difficult for someone else to pick up where you left off.
What a beautiful gift of
knowledge you share with your loved ones, their past. We all give our children
roots and wings, and family history is often such a blessing and beautiful gift
to do that.
Traci Pollard is the wife of a retired military officer and mother to five children. Traci is an Author, an Elementary school teacher as well as a Women’s Ministry leader. She an Avid Genealogy Researcher, having researched back over fourteen generations on both my maternal and paternal sides. Traci enjoys writing, blogging, reading and traveling. Connect with Traci at her blog; http://tracipollard.org