Most people are curious about their ancestors and, with a huge amount of online genealogy resources and archives available, there’s never been a better time to satisfy that curiosity.
Genealogy is a very personal area of interest and yet it is a hobby that can foster a real community spirit, especially if you tap into the many online resources and forums available.
Genealogy is also very rewarding – there are few pastimes that allow you to not only spend time reading and looking at photographs, but to also try your hand at detective work. It’s hardly surprising that genealogy has become a fast growing hobby among people of all ages.
Uncovering your family history
Digging into your family’s past isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have many heirlooms or old photo albums to help you get started. Luckily, there are hundreds of online resources that can teach you great genealogy tips and guide you through the process of developing your family tree. There’s even a directory of the top hundred to browse.
The BBC is a good place to get started and give yourself an idea of what kind of challenges or discoveries you might come across during your search. The National Archives also offer an excellent jumping off point for anyone who’d like to look into the military and census records of family members.
If you find you enjoy genealogy, you may be interested in joining the Society of Genealogists. Members get access to 1000′s of online records, free library access and a discount on books, lectures and events. On the other hand, if your trail goes cold and you’d like some professional help researching your family, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives might be just the organisation you’re looking for.
Not satisfied with simply learning about important figures of their past online or in books, there are many people who choose to combine their annual holiday with a fact finding mission. Specialist genealogy breaks are geared towards helping you uncover details of your family’s past but lots of other hobbyists are happy to simply travel to a place that has historical significance for their family and see what they find.
Many enthusiasts love turning their holiday into an investigation into the past, as detailed in this interesting article from Omaha magazine, as it gives their break a focus beyond simply having a good time.
More than a hobby
While lots of people take up genealogy as a hobby that let’s them find out more about their own families, there are some who find it wakens a strong yearning to continue. Rather than stop once they’ve uncovered their roots, these searchers find that it’s become more than a hobby and look for ways to help other people uncover their pasts.