Monday, September 13, 2010

Not Just a Hobby, a Passion!

An Antebellum era (pre-civil war) family Bible...

Image via Wikipedia

Genealogy has quickly gone from a simple weekend hobby, to a dedicated passion.  How did this happen?  It’s pretty simple, yet difficult to explain.  After finding my first few set of records, I realized I was learning far more than the basic history of my ancestors.  However vague those records were, they told me things about those who have gone before me.  Things I never would have imagined I would learn. 

Most people who know me, know all to well that I love a good story, and am always searching for the next one.  Little did I know but very quickly realized, that I could find that story of a life time, right there within my own history.  They aren’t  my stories but I can feel a link to them, and that is what makes those tales so special.  They are the stories of my ancestors, the people that… if they had not existed, I would not exist, for I came from them.  However far down the line that may be, matters not. 

With each new record I find, I learn another little piece of their story.  Each birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage, and death leads to other questions and very often, a few answers.  Each census, tax, occupational, or immigration record tells even more.  When you can take all of these in the context of the era they occurred and research a little farther, perhaps outside the actual family, you learn to a greater extent, what made these people tick.   This is one reason I have taken to collecting so many regional history texts and memoirs of specific eras.   I can combine these with the actual records of my ancestors and get just a glimpse of their life, what it must have been like. 

The details are what make the story and genealogy is all about finding the details.  When you can find enough details and learn a little more about that particular era and region, you have the makings of a first class story.  The trick comes when you try to put that story together in a format that others can understand and enjoy.  After all isn't that a big part of genealogy, to preserve the ancestral history for future generations.  I hope to be able to tell my ancestors story, in a way that will be entertaining and fun for those future generations.  Perhaps even to pass on just a little bit of my newest passion.

What brought this little tirade on?  A simple book review!  Go check it out and perhaps even enter the contest to win a free copy of Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist.  You can see this little review over at GenaBloggers, by clicking on the link “A simple book review” above or just by visiting GeneaBloggers.

Quote of the Day:
”Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.”
--General Omar Nelson Bradley


kkipp said...

Collecting historical/regional books eh? Aha! Now I know what to get you for Christmas for a few years!



Eric S. said...

LOL, they are pretty interesting. I have about 30 of them on Nebraska. I've also taken to reading as many memoirs as I can get my hands on.

kkipp said...

Good grief . . . how anyone could find Nebraska interesting enough to write 30 books on is beyond me!!

Just kidding, but I have to admit the old farmstead outside of Elsie was my least favorite occasional family visit (though I did always like Uncle Warren and Aunt Minnie).

It was the flatness of the place, and the chiggers, and the pokey weed seeds, and the super-fine bone-dry dust that was not fun for a high mountain kid.