Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Did You Start Genealogy Research?

It's a loaded question, isn't it? I was over at GenealogyWise.com earlier, setting up a page and that was one of the questions. Why indeed? I had to sit back and think about it. My research started so many years ago I'm not sure I truly remember the exact reason, other than it was interesting.

In general I find people interesting. I like to people watch too. Before having children I was a full-time elementary school teacher, and I loved the challenge of trying to figure out what made each student tick. What was their mode of learning? Why were they behaving a certain way?

It's the same with ancestors. I had a recent blog series on Rachel Luttrell and her Widow's Pension Woes. In it she was described as being in her early-mid 40's and of frail constitution. Well, if I had been taking care of an ill husband for many years, had 7 babies (3 of which died), and was a widowed mother trying to eek out an income in the 1880's I would probably appear frail too. Perspective, mind-set, the psychology of our ancestors. It's fascinating! I also think most of our ancestors would be thrilled we took an interest in them. Certainly the living are, so why not the deceased?

So my answer; I love genealogy. It's fun, it's fascinating, and it's a way of making a connection on a bigger scale than the secular life we live in.

Why did you start genealogy research?


  1. I remember exactly how I became addicted 30 years ago. It was in anticipation of having to write a paper in (college) freshman English. The land on which my maternal gr-grandparents founded a thriving dairy in the 1880s was now part of the university I'd be attending. As it turned out I didn't have to write the paper. As an older non-trad student, I was light years ahead of my 17- and 18-yr-old ENG101 classmates and at the instructor's urging, quizzed out. By then, though, I was hooked on genealogy! ;D