Genealogy is a fascinating hobby. It is like a huge puzzle which is never completely solved, but one bit of information leads to another, and it becomes especially exciting when you find a book or a record on the web on one of your family lines that ties in with your current records and gives you names, dates, and places for several generations.

Genealogy is not just about putting names and dates on a chart, or looking to see if you are related to someone famous and powerful. Our ancestors are our great, great … grandparents. They were very real people who lived very real lives. They worked and struggled to make better lives for their children, their children's children, and for us. We are their legacy. We are who we are and we are here because of them.

While most of the details of their lives are lost in the mists of time, most of our ancestors left footprints in history. We know, or can learn, some things about them and what they did, we know some things about the environment in which they lived, and we know what history tells us about the times they lived in. Putting these together and opening our imagination helps us envision what their lives were like.

Genealogy is about family. We live in a very short window of the historical time line. We know our parents as adults, our grandparents as old people, our children, and our grandchildren as young people. If we are fortunate we may get a glimpse of the beginning of the life of a great grandchild, or the end of life of a great grandparent. That is only a handful of the many generations that have come before us and the many yet to come. Genealogy is about extending our knowledge of our families to those we never met in person, learning who they were, how they lived and what their world was like. Learning about our ancestors enriches and broadens our lives. Someday we too will be someone's ancestors.



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