Many years ago my mum started the arduous task of researching not only her family tree but my father's too. There wasn’t any of the online support we enjoy today when she started, so it took many trips to the library, and countless hours studying microfiche records to search for family members. It was a very dull for me as a child and it never seemed like she enjoyed it at the time
Much to my regret, I never asked her why she did it before she passed away. It remains puzzling to me so I looked in to why people do it. Here's what I found - the list was quite a bit longer than I expected!
9 reasons people research their family tree
- Research into a historical event and what family members did within it (for example wartime)
- Continuing or finishing the work of another family member
- To find out what your family members did for a living
- Will-related issues such as a missing beneficiary or distribution of an estate
- An idea they maybe linked to someone famous or important
- They want to trace any hereditary medical conditions
- To prove ownership of land or other assets
- To understand family traditions
For my mother, I am sure it was just intrigue but I will never know for sure. Some of the things she discovered were simply fascinating and I am really glad she took the time and effort to do it. I think it must have become an addiction to her to look further and further back into our family history. I can happily report she went right back to Adam and Eve on one of the trees. I am so proud of her and her determination.
Then again, it’s not always such a noble enterprise; my husband just wanted to prove he was descended from the Vikings!
Want to give it a try?
If you are interested in researching your family tree here are some helpful links to get you started...