Genealogy is the study of your “family tree”, looking back through documents, records, and archives in order to piece together the history of your family. Although genealogy has been a long-established practice, in the past twenty years, it has blossomed into a popular hobby for millions of people; fuelled by shows such as ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and online websites that help to ensure the process is as simple and straightforward as possible.
If the recent surge in genealogy’s popularity has piqued your interest, it’s well worth taking the time to find out more about why tracing your family tree can be the perfect hobby…
#1 – You can dedicate as much, or as little, time to genealogy as you wish
Many of the more common hobbies require a significant time commitment; for example, if you decide to take an art class or attend a fitness club, you’ll have to find time in your schedule to attend each meeting – which can be challenging for busy parents. Genealogy, however, is very as-and-when-you-can. There’s no time pressure at all; the records will always be there, so you can just fit genealogy in around your existing schedule as suits you and your lifestyle.
#2 – Genealogy can uncover “lost” family members
While genealogy is the study of your family’s past, it can also unveil exciting developments in the present too. For example, countless families who have traced their family tree have discovered “lost” relatives – distant family who are alive and well, potentially spread across the globe, and who may be researching your shared family tree at the exact same time. You will then have the opportunity to contact these lost family members, potentially expanding your family and leading to incredible experiences in the future.
#3 – You can uncover “family names”
For hundreds of years, naming trends tended to run in families – that’s how the UK found itself with eight King Henry’s in a relatively short period – but the practice died out around the 20th century. However, by looking into your family tree, you’ll be able to discover the old family names that your ancestors used, generation after generation. Many people who find family names then seek to incorporate these names when naming their own children, especially as middle names – a charming way of uniting your very modern family with the very distant past.
#4 – You can build your own “branch”
One of the criticisms of genealogy is that it is a fairly static hobby; the past is set in stone, and you will inevitably find that on occasion, you run up against a dead end. However, one aspect of genealogy that is often overlooked is the ability to deepen the understanding of your “branch” of the family tree, utilizing a number of services that can assist you in passing memories and moments on to future generations in order to build a dynamic family tree that focuses on the past, but also incorporates the present, while laying foundations for the future.
If you do decide to give genealogy a try, then you should find that you’ll discover an exciting, enthralling new hobby that you, your children, and your children’s children can enjoy.
**This is a collaborative post**