Written on June 24, 2016
When someone says the word “genealogist,” usually a clear picture of what that profession would look like, does not exactly pop up in our minds. Aside from the miniature version of detective work your cousin may have done to trace her ancestors using online services, most of us do not get a first-hand look at what a day spent being a genealogist, would look like.
When mainstream family tree search services online market to us, they usually say something along the lines of, “We have a talented team of accredited genealogists, etc. etc…” None of these advertisements, however, seem to explain to us exactly what makes their company reliable. Although a professional could be approved by a board of more senior genealogists, there is actually no official requirements. But like most fields that grow in popularity, as time goes on, those who are new to the study of family trees may find educational courses and expert guidance to be more helpful.
But don’t let this convince you that a career as a genealogist would necessarily be easy. More than a science background, knowledge in history and organized record keeping are a part of the skills that you will need to be successful. Do you take the extra step to learn about your area’s local history and attend conferences regularly? Then taking more steps to becoming a genealogist could be right for you.
How does genealogy tie in with learning about your family tree? It is learning about the people within family units, and observing as well as tracing families’ histories and lineages. And everyday, it seems like more and more individuals take an interest in where someone’s ancestors stories could have been. What kind of things did your great relatives experience before modern medicine? What kind of things would your great great grandmother have shared with you if she was given the chance?
But even those who do not have a personal reason to study genealogy can find it fascinating none the less. Recently, there have even been more beginner-friendly television programs about lineage tracing in America and many other countries. One example of a series is the British-based TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”. The “You” in the title though, does not refer to the viewer. In each episode, a famous celebrity (generally an actor, director, artist, or some kind of creator) is whisked off on an adventure of emotions to find their family trees. While the series has relatively short seasons, the program started all the way back in 2010. And don’t worry, we won’t spoil any of the episodes for you.
If you don’t have a subscription to TLC, no worries! PBS also has a show titled “Genealogy Roadshow“– check it out here. And remember in order to support public broadcasting when you can.
Written on June 23, 2016
Aside from relatives being a part of the family tree, birthdate is often included. But to a lot of people, that date on the calendar is seen as something special to look forward to. And what is there not to like about birth dates– it means you came into this world and got to grace it with your presence.
As children, we have either had a birthday party or at least attended a classmate’s celebration. There were lots snacks or finger foods at those parties, and if you were one of the lucky ones you got to stuff your face with both cake and ice cream simultaneously. Well, at least that was my favorite part.
But sometimes amidst presents, flair, and party hosts one can forget what is the most important part of this day. We can get lost amongst our familial or work obligations and spend all of our focus on being a good host instead of pausing and appreciating another year of life and the small, but thoughtful ways those close to us show love and care. But most of all you can take the day to love yourself– think about the things you can do to enjoy and appreciate the current moment.
Written on June 21, 2016
When you go to a doctor’s office, one of the forms you always have to fill out during the check-in process, is a family history sheet. Sure, most of us might not know every condition that a past family member has had (or even their ages,) but at least we can list off at least a few relatives with ease. We are privileged in a lot of ways, and often take for granted that this part of a regular physician visit is not an obstacle in our day. However, for a lot of adopted individuals, even figuring out one’s real name can prove to be nearly impossible.
Too many of us probably have not thought about the struggles of our potential Conrads, Earys, Lears, or Nails who could be adoptees. It is no secret that improvements could always be made to social services regarding children especially, but in record keeping and check-ups on foster and adoptive families post-service. Often, even if adopted individuals have the desire to search for blood relatives as an adult, they are often denied this information or records have been lost. In order to make our most comprehensive family tree, we need to bring all aspects of records into light– even if it can be uncomfortable. We hope this less popular topic and perspective in genealogy interested you.