10 June 2009

Understanding Your Ancestry, Genealogy and Heritage

Do you know the difference between nature, nurture and knowledge?

Who were your ancestors? Are they still with you?

In a scientific sense, your ancestry has a genetic basis. Why is this important to know? How healthy, or otherwise, were your great grandparents?  What have you discovered about the genes in your genealogy?

In a cultural sense, your family history might be similar to that of many other people, yet there may be unique aspects you are yet to uncover. How will you go about discovering the most interesting of your ancestors' personal histories?

Were your family members caught up in the horrors of wars, revolutions, uprisings, epidemics, brutal exploitation, grinding poverty, domestic abuses, workplace abuses, bureaucratic abuses, accidents, natural disasters, violence of any type, or conflicts over money, land or possessions?

Did your family members have mundane lives with nothing dramatic happening at all?

What were the greatest achievements of each of your family members, in your view?

How have the achievements, challenges and disappointments of past generations shaped your life?

How much do you know about the general history and geography of where and how your ancestors lived?

How might you build up a picture of what life was like for your great grandparents, and their parents?

Whatever your family origins might be, I hope that my research experiences and familiarity with genealogical records online, and in various archives, will be useful in your own search.

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I especially appreciate historical insights.