27 December 2014

Family History Delvings and Unexpected Destinations

If you have been celebrating Christmas, you may have been interacting with family members in one way or another.  Those interactions may have involved some family history delvings and unexpected destinations.

There are so many experienced genealogists in the world today, whether their families are aware of the fact or not.  Sometimes we may want to be quiet about our research, in case it causes some embarrassment!

If you are just beginning to find out some interesting facts about your ancestors, and you have had difficulty working own how to take the next step on the exciting journey ahead of you, then you may wish to find someone who will take you to the first interesting destination of 2015.

A site called Mad About Genealogy could be where you need to start if you are one of the thousands of perplexed beginners.  There are plenty of other blogs and websites for beginners, too, though the one just mentioned is one I recently discovered and thought I would merely share a link to it for the benefit of new investigators.

Of course, you do not need to be mad to learn about your family history.  In fact, it is likely to be far more useful and interesting to the rest of your family if you have some sense!

The problem with family history research is that it tends to become addictive, hence its propensity to cause a gentle form of madness in many people.  It has even been known to become an obsession quite often, too.

If you do not want your family history to drive you crazy, then delve into it methodically, if that is at all possible.  I know that my own method sometimes has more madness in it than method when I am following clues and chasing leads.

Knowing how far we want to go with our research, and the areas we are likely to find too dangerous or difficult to tackle without additional support, can keep our minds focused on the joys of discovery rather than the pitfalls. 

I often consider my own family history explorations to be like being on a mystery tour.  Perhaps you are finding the same.  It is unlikely anyone today or tomorrow will really ever know the destinations anyone's family history journey may reach, or whether a researcher is at the end of the journey or the beginning, or how long a person will travel down a particular genealogical road.

A few of my own blog posts on beginning family history - with or without a touch of madness or additional assistance - can be found through the following delvings and destinations:

The age of reflecting on age

My heritage, your heritage, our heritage

Tidying up

Shadows of inheritance

Just starting out with family history research

Genealogical biographies

Collecting recollections

Genealogy for absolute beginners

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I especially appreciate historical insights.