Where it all began…

Welcome to my new family history blog! I am so excited to start writing about my research into my own genealogy! I decided to start writing about my experiences in family history research because I have learned a lot from other genealogy bloggers like Young and Savvy Genealogists and Nicole from The Family Locket, as well as several online communities. I wanted a way to give back and share what I am learning about genealogy research in today’s world. I also hope to record fun tidbits to share with my own family, near and far!

How did I become interested in my family history?

My journey into genealogy began when I was ten years old in an independent study class at school. It gave me the opportunity to research a particular topic throughout the semester, and then present my findings with a display and presentation. I chose to research my own family history to create a family tree. I also created a short kids’ how-to guide to genealogy. I had four months to learn what genealogy was, and to find out as much as I could about my family’s past.

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My aunt and my cousins next to my genealogy display. (Before digital cameras, when you didn’t instantly know if someone blinked!) My aunt, a librarian, gave me a copy of “The Keeping Quilt” for Christmas.

 

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My sister and I at my genealogy presentation. Two family quilts are behind us.

I was lucky to be able to interview all four of my grandparents, as well as many other older relatives. Everyone was eager to contribute their memories, old photos and family mementos. For the first time, I saw baby pictures of my grandparents and parents, and learned the stories behind some family heirlooms. My parents drove me to libraries, cemeteries, archives, and genealogy workshops. I was always the youngest genealogist there! My parents had caught the genealogy bug too. By the end of the project, I had created quite an impressive family tree.

For many years after this project, I spent less time actively researching my family tree. It was hard to find anyone else my age interested in genealogy, and I pursued other hobbies and interests. Our family tree generally was left untouched, except for research that my father occasionally did.  However, I was always interested to hear what my dad’s research had uncovered, and I still loved listening to memories that my grandparents shared over Sunday meals. In the past year, I have taken up active research again, and I’m loving it! I have been able to connect with other younger family researchers, and I am no longer shy about sharing my love for my ancestors!

I believe that when we connect with our family’s past, we are better able to understand who we are and where we are going. In a strange way, it has given me a way to remember loved ones that have passed away, and to preserve our stories for future members of our family. I have a lot to learn about today’s genealogy research, so I hope to share what I am learning through this blog! To be honest, I am a bit overwhelmed and very excited by the huge variety of resources that are now available online, which have opened up many new avenues for my research! I want to share personal family stories, and other interesting tidbits that I’ve found. As a librarian-in-training, I also hope to contribute ways that libraries can guide family history research. Thank you for coming with me on this journey into the past!

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When we started out, all of our research was printed out into huge binders, as well as on a basic genealogy software program. Today, most of my research is digital.
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2 thoughts on “Where it all began…

  1. I love the photos from your 10 year old project! Blinks and all! I had a similar experience in 8th grade – we could choose anything for our Cultural Fair project and I chose to do a report about one of my ancestors – Charlemagne. haha. Come to find out now that almost everyone descended from Europeans is related to him! It was a fun and fascinating research project anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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