Your Guide to Uncovering Your Family History and Learning More About Your Past, Present, and Future
A few years ago, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. With such a big milestone afoot, my mother and three sisters pooled money together and rented a sprawling, beachfront home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Thankfully, our entire family, including 10 grandkids and two fiancés, were able to be a part of it. You can view a picture of the Outer Banks trip from our past OXO blog on celebrating mom here.
No matter how far our family has traveled over the last three decades, we’ve always been close, and I can’t possibly describe the worth that this trip holds in my heart. It’ll always be one of my most precious memories; laughing and sharing with family members from 70 to seven years old; marveling over how we’ve all grown and flourished.
One evening, 20 of us scattered about leather couches and kitchen chairs, reminiscing over old neighbors, family photos, and recollections of friends now passed. My cousin Alex, a family history and genealogy guru since childhood, often carried the conversation.
“Al” has kept her hobby up for decades, and now works in Los Angeles for Ancestry.com. She shared years of her earnest work with our family, uncovering aunts, uncles, and cousins that some of us younger kids never knew about, including wild Italian mobsters, proficient German cooks, and a host of Catholic nuns and priests. I found myself chuckling often – we are a wild bunch, aren’t we? There’s hardly anything more interesting to me than knowing where I came from.
How about you? Do you have the pleasure of knowing who you are – and where you came from? How much of your family history are you and your fellow family members guessing about – and if you’re interested in learning more, how would you go about it?
At OXO Digital Organizing, we enjoy helping families find and share their family stories and no matter whether you have an hour per month, or a ton of time to devote to family history and genealogy – we’ll tell you how genealogy and family history experts recommend you should get started and learn more about yourself and your family! First, let’s discuss exactly what genealogy is.
What Exactly is Genealogy – and is it different than Family History?
The FamilySearch blog tell us that in June of 2013, the terms family history and genealogy were merged together on Wikipedia under “genealogy.” This merge was the result of a two-year discussion over whether the terms are synonyms – or actually have two different meanings.
To put it simply – and make it actionable – genealogy is:
- sharing stories with our kids and grandkids
- a fun hobby and form of entertainment
- an emotional ride that tells us more about ourselves and our families
- a gift to our heirs
How Do I Get Started with Genealogy and Uncovering My Family History?
Today, there are several digital, print, and face-to-face tools that can help you learn more about your family history. For an interesting story, and great overview, we encourage you to watch the recent CBS Sunday Morning piece about searching for your roots.
In our next blog, we’ll discuss the tools and resources that you can use to uncover your family history in detail. From websites to local Central Florida programs, genealogy is easily accessible to you and your family – today. Many of the resources presented in this blog can help you get started as well.
Love face-to-face events that help you learn more about organizing your family and memories? Click here to learn more about the Lake Nona, Florida Leave the Memories, Not the Mess Event on July 23!
Our Leave the Memories Blog can also help you get started.
Have any questions about digital organizing – or perhaps digital estate planning? The OXO Digital Organizing team can help! Contact Us by phone or the OXO website today!