One of my great passions is tracing family history. This hobby is often referred to as genealogy.
I don’t honestly care what you call it, but it is sometimes hard to help others understand why you embrace this hobby. Genealogy in its purest form is the tracing your direct (blood) related ancestors. Family history is the tracing of your family including those who marry into the family, step relations and others who become your “family.”
I am not sure where or how I got started. Maybe it was a byproduct of the historic miniseries “Roots”, possibly it was my Great Uncle’s passion that rubbed off on me, or maybe it was just that it was a mystery and I was curious. No matter how I got started, I have worked on my family history off and on for at least 20 years.
All these years later what keeps me going is not finding out who I am related to, but the amazing stories that I find about my family along the way. The women who attended college when it was unheard of. The men who left “civilization” and headed west to the new unsettled lands. The women who raised their family alone during colonial times, after the loss of their spouse. The diseases that devastated families that we never hear of today. These are some of the many stories I have found.
The stories are what keeps me going. I have come to realize what a wonderful, amazingly, resilient family I belong to.