As individuals, we are often searching for who we are, what makes us ‘us’. A large part of that is where we are from. In a time when we move so frequently, spreading out across countries and even continents, it can be hard to determine where we actually originate. This is where genealogy comes in.
Genealogy is also known as family history, and it is literally that, studying the history of a family. We do this through tracing lineages and heritage, all in search of your family’s story.
There are so many tools available to a budding genealogist that it can be overwhelming. Not only are there a large number of programs and websites out there to help you research and build your tree, but there are huge amounts of records for you to wade through. Sometimes records are free, while others cost. These costs can range from a few dollars per record, to hundreds of dollars for subscriptions to databases.
Basically, it can be a nightmare to even know where to begin. And that’s where I come in. Together, we can start building your family tree. You may even come to realise that you know more than you thought you did. Starting with you, your parents and even your grandparents, you already have a three-generation tree! From there we can work backwards, stepping further and further back in time, until we’re searching for your great-great-great-great-grandmother. My own mother and I have been researching our family tree for several years now and we’re back to 12 generations down one branch!
Sometimes, you’ll come across someone in your tree who you find interesting, or mysterious, or just someone you feel connected to. When this happens, you could then spend a bit of time researching them, learning about their life, and discovering their story. Every time this happens, you are able to put more leaves and colour into your family tree, bringing it to life and putting more detail into the story that makes you ‘you’.
Genealogy is exciting and there are so many other things I can say about it (a journey, family bonding, new family, seeing history through an ancestor’s eyes …) but that would turn this more into a novel than an information page, and either have you sitting here reading for the next however many hours instead of contacting me and actually getting started on your family tree, or closing the browser and missing out on what could possibly be one of the most interesting and rewarding journeys of your life.
At the end of this process, you will be provided with your very own online family tree which you can then go back to and add to, using some of the skills you may learn along the way. If you already have a tree, then hopefully, you will have a more fleshed out tree with a few more people, and stories, as well as a few tips on how to carry it forward. You will be given any and all of the information that I find, and that I am allowed to pass on to you (sometimes, albeit rarely, information is protected, or under copyright, so I would not be able to, but I will show you where to get it should you ever want it). You may also be eligible for a report which is a written, story like, version of your family tree. The report generally contains close ups of sections of the tree which may interest you the most, and a few write ups of particular figures in your family’s past.*
Please contact me if you are interested and we shall see what stories we can find.
*Please note that there are no guarantees in genealogy. Sometimes, for whatever reason, the records just simply do not exist anymore, or the country in which they are held does not release them.**
**Please also note that I DO NOT search for living relatives. These records are generally sealed anyway.