18 July 2009

Community, Commonality and Family History

Do you sometimes feel as if you have little in common with the people around you? In what circumstances are you more likely to feel that way?

These are important questions for everyone to think about, but the desire for community and commonality might be why so many people are interested in tracing their family histories today. The modern world of constant change and the ever increasing specialisation of knowledge can fragment our identities and take us further and further away in cultural terms from our origins.

Here is a wikipedia article about genealogy

Here is a wikipedia article about a sense of community

Do you search for people who might be related to you through a common ancestor? Do you search for people who may have known a family member you never had the chance to know well?

Perhaps you are more interested in filling in the gaps in your family tree because it is a pleasurable form of personal detective work. Many people do that even without being particularly interested in or concerned about the living connections between the descendants of particular ancestors.

Are you interested in your family history mainly to know how you ended up being who you are and where you are? Do the accidents of fate intrigue you?

This blog is about many aspects of family history, some of which you may not have considered exploring before. It especially explores community and commonality in the lives of ancestors.

Do you know much about the communities in which your great grandparents lived?

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I especially appreciate historical insights.