Record: Is Genealogy Important?

I’m usually right in the middle of passionately explaining genealogy and how much I love it when I start to notice something… the person to whom I am speaking has suddenly adopted this glazed expression. Their mouth quirks a couple times, and as I slow to a halt and ask, “What?”, they respond with something like this:

“But… what’s the point?”

I try to keep the disappointed look off my face.”What’s the point of genealogy?

“Yeah. Those people are already dead. Don’t you think this obsession is kind of creepy?”

Well, yes. That’s true. By necessity, 99% of your ancestors are dead. And no, I don’t find it creepy. I love history, and historical figures are usually dead. But the last time I was talking to my hairdresser about this, and she looked at me like I was both crazy and really really boring inside my head, I thought about the point of genealogy.

I like to solve mysteries, puzzles, and find the answers to questions. I like to excel at something- but I can’t go back to college to learn how to be a professional cook, bookkeeper, or linguist. But I can excel at genealogy because it doesn’t take a degree or a certification (though those can be had). To excel at genealogy, one has to have patience and perseverance.

A family tree is a record. A valuable record.

I’ve proven and disproven family legends over and over again. Am I descended from Vikings? Were my ancestors royal? Did anybody on my family tree flee persecution? (The answer to all these is yes.)

Was my grandmother’s mother Native American? (The answer to that is… no. But there might be Native American somewhere in my ancestry)

Aren’t you curious at all about the record that is your family tree? I have 1300 names on mine and I’m still curious.

This prompt was taken from The Daily Post: Recordpexels-photo


5 thoughts on “Record: Is Genealogy Important?

  1. I love the genealogical connection to history, seeing what wars my ancestors fought, what languages they spoke, wondering why they moved here. But I also just like forging the links. I’ve had to take a break for awhile (a good thing; I was a bit addicted), but I still want to pursue the study even if I cannot explain why it is important in terms of benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

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