Want to do your Family History but don’t know where to start? Find out Why I Love Family History and how you can too with this Family History Series!
When most people think of the words “Family History” or “Genealogy”, they probably think of Grandmas and Grandpas and huge Pedigree Charts. That’s what I used to think of too.
Family History Past
I remember when I was a kid and my Grandma would come to visit. My Mom and Grandma would spread out their Pedigree Charts and tape them all together. There would be sections of the house that were off limits so they could work on tracing their family tree back farther than they had the year before. My Mom and Grandma would go to the Family History Library and come home so excited about the information that they had found.
Family History Present
Fast forward to this day and age, you can have access to all of this information from the comfort of your own home! You no longer have to have rolls and rolls of paper taped together or put together confusingly in a book. All of that information can be easily stored on a Family Tree online.
Family History is easier today than it has ever been before. I love feeling connected to the people that have passed on before me. I love solving the puzzle and finding the missing links on my Family Tree. If you have ever been interested even in a small way, you will be able to discover just how simple and rewarding Family History can be for you!
Why I Love Family History
There are so many reasons I love to do Family History. I feel accomplished because I learned a skill that took quite a bit of time to learn. There is a feeling you can’t quite describe as you know you are connecting to your past. Even though these are people I have never met, I owe much of where I am in life to how they lived their lives, decisions they made, and how they raised their families. I love reading these stories. People of all generations and situations are doing their Family History and I love feeling connected to a large cause that spans the earth.
I have taken Family History classes 3 different times. Each time I felt that I was no closer to being able to find more information to add to my Family Tree. I had a really good knowledge of WHY we do Family History. I had a Pedigree Chart that was completely filled out to the 4th generation, but that was it.
6 years ago I was asked to teach our Ward (church congregation) how to index archived records to make them more easily searchable and accessible. I learned the process of looking at the documents and typing the appropriate information in the given fields, and then taught our Ward in small groups of 3 week classes. It was fun to learn a new skill and to set goals and accomplish them. I loved feeling like I was part of something bigger than myself and my own little mommy world.
Family Search Indexing is what started to fuel the fire of Family History for me. Once I saw what kinds of information I could see on these records, I was hooked! I wanted to see what additional stories I could find about my own family! Death Records were my favorite to index. I was able to see what kind of an occupation the deceased and their spouse had, and although morbid, I found it interesting to see how they died. Diseases we don’t hear of these days, fires, pre-term babies, etc.
I have recently been called to teach a Family History class in my current Ward. Over the course of a 4 week class, individuals will come and learn how to find people to add to their own Family History. Pedigree Charts are covered in their entirety within the first 15 minutes of the first class! My old finishing point, is their starting point!
Why a Whole Series on Family History?
I thought that I would break up this class that I have prepared into little mini lessons on the blog. I found myself completely lost when faced with the challenge of teaching a class. There are so many variables involved in Family History! The principles are the same, but the intricate details vary quite a bit.
There wasn’t really a curriculum to follow. Maybe this is because the information is changing rapidly. FamilySearch.org is updated and improved regularly which I love, but does make it confusing to make a set program to teach. With all the time I put into this class, I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. Hopefully there will be even one person that reads this that is teaching a class and looking for just the perfect 4 week outline. Or maybe an individual has been searching for an easy step-by-step way to learn how to do their own Family History.
So, I hope you are as excited as I am! I will be posting these little mini lessons on Fridays until I have posted all that I know. It will give you something to look forward to, and something new to do as a family to keep the Sabbath Day holy!
How did you learn to do Family History?