(and it’s GeneAlogy, not GeneOlogy which is how I’ve been spelling it.)
Last night I attended a “Genealogy 101” or “Genealogy for Dummies” or “Where the Heck do I Start???” seminar at my local library. The session was taught by the president of our local genealogical society and it was EXACTLY what I needed. She started off by differentiating “Genealogy” from “Family History”. They are of course interconnected but Genealogy is records, dates and names (boring). Family history is “the narrative of the events in your ancestors’ lives, it denotes the telling of your family’s story. Family history is genealogy come alive.” I thought that was a really interesting point of view.
She covered all the steps of getting started, organizing, using pedigree charts and family group sheets and, my favourite part of the night, she reviewed a bunch of forms that are helpful to use such as timelines, research and correspondence logs. It was a wonderful session and I can’t wait to start doing my research in earnest.
I have decided that I will be using PAF (personal ancestral file) for software, at least to start and I’m excited to start tracking all of the information I have gathered to date.
So, back to the theme of this post. I am thankful for genealogy. Not just because I get to use charts and forms and organization (which I admit, has my geeky self really excited) but because I will (hopefully) get to know my ancestors and MY personal history. I know a little about each of the people on the charts but I’m looking forward to finding out more, to making history, come alive on a personal level, and to connecting with other family members and unrelated people who have the same interest. I’m hooked and I have hardly begun!