Genealogy is a wonderful hobby, especially if you have a love of history. If you have ever wondered what your ancestors were like – who they were, where they came from – you are a prime candidate for a genealogy search. Have you ever looked at your family or around your neighborhood and wondered how everyone got where they are? Why did they move here? What relationship do they have to my family? These are the kinds of questions that you answer when you trace your lineage with genealogy.
Genealogy is also very rewarding if you like to travel. There is nothing like researching a city where your family has roots and then visiting it. You learn this place from the inside out – how it relates to you and the lives of those you love.
Your local library is a great place to start looking for information. There are neighborhood groups you can join that love to do genealogy research and would like nothing better than to share their research strategies with you. You can use microfilm of old newspapers, birth records, marriage licenses, death certificates, deeds and other official papers you might find at the courthouse. You can also get information from old baptismal records and other church documents. Old letters are wonderful for tracing your lineage if you are fortunate enough to find them.
When you are tracing your family genealogy, compare information with others in the family; you may be surprised to find you're not the only one in the family with curiosity. Together, you will have a wealth of information to begin your search.
Family genealogy searches like ancestry.com will allow you to user their sites for a fee. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world and a font of information for genealogy researchers. Going there is great, but if you cannot get there, searching online is possible, as well.
Keeping all of this data organized can get a little difficult after a while, so if possible, start with some genealogy software. This software puts the genealogy research into categories: Who are these people? What is their relationship to you? What traits do you have in common? The software will also catch duplications.
Genealogy software will save you time and allow you to receive and share your information with others.
Scrapbooking is another great way to organize genealogical information, especially photographs, newspaper articles and official documents.