Why Study Genealogy?

You have never met your ancestors, but without them you would not be here. They’re your ancestors; those long-forgotten people whose lives were so different, yet so similar, to yours today.

Why study these people who are long gone and buried? Well, think about it. If just one of the thousands of your direct ancestors didn’t exist, you wouldn’t either. If your great-great-great-grandmother and great-great-great-grandfather, had never met, you and your significant other would have never met, because, well you would not be alive.

Besides honoring the significance of your ancestors, studying your family’s genealogy can just be plain fascinating.

There are so many things you learn, how, why you or your parents grew up in one position or another may. For example, if one of your ancestors was a Hessian soldier used by the British to fight the American colonists, you might find some relatives living in Pennsylvania, which had a large population of German-Americans, many of them Hessian soldiers who deserted the British and later fought for the Americans. Many of their descendants later moved to Ohio.

You can also learn why certain first names pop up in your family tree or even your family’s original surname before it was Americanized. Many names were not simply officials pronounce immigration, his last name in documents that were treated as immigrants changed.

Finding your true surname can also be a clue as to your ancestors’ occupations, as many surnames were taken according to the person’s livelihood, such as Tanner, Baker, etc.

Information on the genealogy of the family can also help the medical conditions that can be transmitted genetically known. Did your ancestors have heart conditions? Were they prone to cancer? Was there a large incidence of auto-immune disorders in your distant past? How can you learn about medical conditions of those long past?

Sometimes stories are passed through generations, but, in the absence of that, you can research death notices in old papers, which often times detailed the cause of death. Knowing the cause of death of your ancestors can help in decisions about your health today.  If there is a preponderance of certain cancers in your family’s past, you might want to be more mindful of your eating or smoking habits.

Perhaps this knowledge would help you participate in genetic testing.

How do you get started in genealogy research? Luckily there are numerous avenues on which to begin. If your community has a genealogy library or club, you can start by joining a group or visit their offices.

Often times genealogy associations have numerous research materials to aid in your search.You can visit their library, as well as attend the yearly “Genealogy Jamboree” sponsored by them.

In fact, if you are on your favorite search engines and put in “Genealogy Jamboree”   you will find other genealogy Jamborees across the country.  The Jamborees are great, because you can discover different genealogy groups in your area, as well as purchase the latest genealogy publications and software.

The Internet is also a place for genealogy enthusiasts can add a wealth of information, both by access to research materials, or by connecting with distant relatives through genealogy forum.

Ancestry DNA is also a tool which can help the budding genealogist. DNA  family tree or genetic genealogy is the discovery of the origins of your ancestors. DNA testing, which is dealing with a cotton swab inside of your cheek. With these tests you can discover what part of Africa from which your ancestors originated; what Irish clan your ancestors belonged to; or if you have any Native American ancestry.

Not only will you be able to discover things about your ancestors, but you may find you can discover more about yourself as well.

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