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* Genealogy, Ancestry, heritage - what does it all mean? 

So I have this blog highlighting what I call "genealogy marvels" to inspire and share the rewards of genealogical and historical research. In order to for you to truely appreciate my pursuits I want to breakdown what genealogy is all about. To start, what is genealogy?

Genealogy 1. an account of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or from older forms   2. regular descent of a person, family, or group of organisms from a progenitor or older form : pedigree 3. the study of family pedigrees 4. an account of the origin and historical development of something

Ancestry 1. line of descent : lineage; especially : honorable, noble, or aristocratic descent 2. persons initiating or comprising a line of descent : ancestors

Heritage 1. property that descends to an heir 2 a.  something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor : legacy, inheritance b : tradition 3. something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth :birthright
(As defined in Merriam-Webster)


If you google any of those keywords you will most likely find countless archives, programs, directories, and advertisements just waiting to help start your search. There are sites with thousands of records and free family tree builders, but most lead you in many different directions and aren't goal oriented ((not to mention the impending $$'s)). Without a vested interest or goal most of us will probably have it as a hobby of the month or new years resolution. Many people haven't been motivated to start/continue digging or preserving their family history, even as advances in technology make information so accesible. A fresh perspective of genealogical research is needed.

Below I've shared an interesting video outlining one professional's systemic view of genealogical research. I think it gives a good overview of what comprehensive research entails, BUT there are ways of researching/preserving your family history without feeling like you're writing a research paper.

Before I go any further with what I think, I want to hear from you. What do you think of when you hear the term "genealogy"? What steps have you taken to record the past? Do you feel that genealogy is just a "hobby"? Are you the famliy historian? What obstacles have you faced getting other family members involved in your search? Interested in genealogy but don't know where or how to start?


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    * Genealogy, Ancestry, heritage - what does it all mean? - Genealogy and Historical Pursuits - Genealogy & History with a modern twist!
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Reader Comments (3)

How fun. I loved this explanation and the graphic. If I only I had a few more hours in the day! Thanks for sharing.

Feb 10, 2011 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Brandt

How fun. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the video and graphics.

Feb 10, 2011 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Brandt

The best definitions of genealogy I've ever read were written by the inimtable Tamura Jones.
Grab a cup of Joe before reading this. You're in a for a treat: What is Genealogy and What is Genealogy 2.

Feb 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJean Borwood

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