Genealogy: A Favorite Pastime for Many

Nov 26th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Genealogy is a favorite pastime for many, particularly those who now have the time to seek, sort out and link together the discovered treasures of one’s ancestral background.

The very first consideration is to be prepared for lots of work, be scholastically patient, and take your time. This story has been a long time coming. It has paths and detours that lead to the most unlikely places.

Pursuing your story will open doors to travel, to research cemeteries, libraries, meet persons, connected by the long strand of DNA, whose family name is no where similar to your own.

Of course, the second most important consideration is in knowing where to start. The obvious trove of information available is the Internet. Eventually you will get to the Salt Lake City site, where you will begin to plumb the catacombs of American genealogical data.

Second, hook up with other members of your family who may also be on the search, so that you may share research. Along the way you will quickly identify individuals who are on the trail you are exploring. Walk together, share questions and insights and finds.

Third, keep in mind your own goals. Are you in this strictly for entertainment and the exercise? Are you planning to do some kind of treatise on your family? Will you put together a document to share with members of your immediate family, thus giving them an appreciation of their own heritage?

Fourth, are you prepared to stick with it? Or is there someone in your mix to whom you can pass along the task, if/when it becomes too much for you to continue? The value of this exercise can be not alone in the information found, but in the joy of including others in the search.

Fifth, keep your materials in a safe place. Use a fire proof safe. Let others know where to find the collected materials.

Sixth, when you have laid out your plan, determined your boundaries, and initiated your research be sure to use a legible means for preserving your finds. There is nothing worse than trying to sort out short hand notes, scribbled in haste. Remember what you are doing is creating a super highway for those who come after you to travel. Smooth out the bumps, reduce the curves, erect signposts. You are on your way, but others may complete the journey.



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