Is Family History for You?
Why Explore Family History?
There are a lot of reasons to pursue genealogy and family history. Does one of
these apply to you?
- Curiosityówho are you, really?
- Medical need-to-know.
- Verify family legends.
- Prove a link to a famous person.
- Join a lineage society.
- Explore a connection to an ethnic group.
- Claim an inheritance.
- Preserve the past.
- Write your familyís history.
- Help someone else do family history research.
- Retiredódonít want to be a Wal-Mart greeter; need a hobby.
Whatever your reason(s), itís time to get started!
Who Can Do It?
You can! To get started, you need enough family information to help you begin to
find public and private records about your family members. Access to a computer,
either yours or one at your local library, is almost essential to todayís
genealogists. Yes, itís possible to do research the old-fashioned way, but time
saved by using a computer is better spent on productive research. Internet
access and communication through electronic mail (e-mail) are technological
marvels no one should miss out on.
Nearly all public libraries provide computers for their patrons. Many also offer
classes in how to use computer operating systems. Classes are also available at
adult education centers, community colleges, university out-reach programs, and
senior citizen centers. If you can learn how to do family history research, you
can learn to use a computer.
Is Family History Research Expensive?
That trip to Scotland to look at the family farm wonít be cheap, but genealogy research isnít an expensive hobby for most folks. Even if you buy a computer to do the research, it can be second-hand or hand-me-down. Excellent genealogy
software is no more than $40.00. If you do research at home, thereís a fee, of course, for your Internet Service Provider, but there are bargains in that area, too.
Are There Drawbacks?
That family legend you set out to verify may fall through. You may not be
descended from British royalty. Are you prepared to celebrate your peasant
heritage? Research has a way of punching holes in cherished family myths. If you
arenít prepared for the truth, quit here.
[Get Started] [Is Family History For You?] [Home and Family Sources] [Organizing Your Family Records] [Beginning Your Research] [Federal Census Records] [Courthouse Research] [Military Records] [Ethnic Genealogy] [A Broad View] [Correspondence] [Sharing Your Heritage] [A Genealogist's Toy Box] [Glossary]