A lot of people think about starting a family history project , but they don’t know where to start. There are a lot of places where you can get advice about how to do the research, which websites are the best, and how to lay out your family tree so it makes sense to anyone who wants to see it. But there aren’t a lot of resources for people who just need inspiration.
Inspiration for Starting Your Own Family History Project
This collection of practical advice and personal anecdotes is meant to be the jumping off point for anyone who hopes to become the historian for their family. Whether you are just starting to build a family tree, or if you have the family tree but no details to go with it, you will find some inspiration in these pages.
Genealogists and family historians often join family history societies, where novices can learn from more experienced researchers. Such societies may also index records to make them more accessible, and engage in advocacy and other efforts to preserve public records and cemeteries. Some schools engage students in such projects as a means to reinforce lessons regarding immigration and history. Other benefits include family medical histories with families with serious medical conditions that are hereditary.
The use of the terms “genealogy” and “family history” are often used synonymously, but some offer a slight difference in definition. The Society of Genealogists, while also using the terms interchangeably, describe genealogy as an “Establishment of a Pedigree by extracting evidence, from valid sources, of how one generation is connected to the next” and family history as “A biographical study of a genealogically proven family and of the community and country in which they lived”. Sometimes the term used is based on region, with societies in Europe often using the term “family history”, and those in the United States more often using the term “genealogy”.
Not just anyone can become the family historian. It takes a certain amount of energy, dedication, and passion to collect and share the details of lives that have been mostly forgotten by time. But once you start on the path to writing your own family history, you will see that there is much more to the story than you ever imagined. With a little inspiration and a few pointers in the right direction, you can get your family history project off to a great start. You can be the chosen one to preserve your family history for generations to come.
by Leonard Smith