If you love tracing your family history then there’s a special day that I need to tell you about. And that is Genealogy Day. But what’s so special about this day I hear you ask.
Well, it is a day that can inspire you to learn who your ancestors were. Or maybe learn more about them, such as what they did for a living and where they once lived.
You may also discover stories along the way as well!
So, with that in mind, it’s a great idea that a date has been set aside for our ancestors and the pursuit of discovering who they were.
Genealogy Day – Second Saturday in March
A Little About My Family History Journey!
My ancestry interests me a lot. This inspiration has come from the stories that my father has passed down to me. These stories have gone through the generations on both his father and mother’s side.
As I have a deep appreciation for history I wanted to preserve their memories. If it were not for our ancestors’ decisions then we would not be here today.
So I set about dictating these stories and then writing them up in a book. Along the way, I discovered Family Tree Maker which I used to enter key details about my ancestors.
With this program, I was then able to add charts to my stories to show readers the relationship between my ancestors and me.
I also looked at other records that I found on Ancestry, as well as newspaper archives. I was able to gather even more information from an unlikely source…
Connecting With Relatives!
Through social media, I was able to connect with distant cousins who were also researching our family history.
And so I was able to learn a lot from them. I collected both names and dates, as well as stories.
Sure I could have found out these details on my own. But it would have taken both time and money.
I learned not only about my ancestors but also about the sharing of information. I shared with my cousins what I had researched and they shared with me what they had discovered.
Genealogy is all about sharing!
The stories though were valuable information from all of this as they were not recorded. Key details such as names and dates, yes, but not stories.
Gathering information from relatives online was a great advantage for me whilst I researched my family history. But also interviewing older relatives and friends who knew my family.
Conducting interviews saved me both time and money as the information was right there. I just needed to communicate.
The Origins of Genealogy Day
This special day for both the genealogist and family historian was created quite recently. It was created by Christ Church in Limerick, Ireland, (which is a United Presbyterian and Methodist Church for anyone who wants to know).
This special day was chosen to help celebrate the church’s 200th anniversary.
The church gave us Genealogy Day!
The church was not only able to help churchgoers trace their family history journey but also the wider community as well.
They provided people with family history records within the church’s parish and also neighboring ones.
The Religious Society of Friends In Ireland (Quakers) and the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) were also invited to attend.
People in attendance could then check records such as marriage and baptism records that date back as early as the 1800s.
They could look at both the Limerick Presbyterian Registers and Limerick Methodist Registers to find out about their ancestors.
This was such a great day for the church that they decided to continue the event for the following two years.
It has not only helped family historians with their research but has also inspired many people to learn about their ancestry.
How To Celebrate Genealogy Day
There are many ways that you can celebrate this special day. If you are new to genealogy then why not make a start on Genealogy Day?
Take that family history journey!
If you decide to take that first step I am positive that you will be hungry for more and more information as you continue to build and build your family tree.
I could list many different activities that you could do. But I will keep it short and give you my top 10 ways for you to become part of this day and discover your ancestry.
10 Ways To Celebrate Genealogy Day
The first step to discovering your family history is by starting with yourself. What do you know and what information do you have around your house that you could use?
You may have birth certificates, or wills, or even family heirlooms. Anything that is connected with your family’s past can tell a story.
Conducting interviews with family and friends is a great way to gather information. It can save you both time and money.
They may have even made a start on tracing your family tree so why not ask and see how you can further their research.
3. Get Family Involved
Even younger members of the family can help with your new hobby. After all, youngsters do have an inquisitive mind, but they may need some tempting.
Just make it fun for them and so it will be fun for the whole family.
As with any hobby or activity, you will need to purchase products and services. And that is no different from genealogy. Purchasing a genealogy software program is vital for you.
You can use it to not only store information that you have found out about your ancestors, but it can use it to create charts, reports, books, and more.
There is so much that you can learn from a family history society. They can give you practical guides and tips, and also show you where you can start looking.
They have local knowledge so they will be able to point you in the right direction. Who knows you may even find someone within the society who has started tracing your family tree, (although a slim chance mind you, but still possible).
6. Join A Library
Similar to a family history society is the local library in the area. They will most surely have genealogy books that you can borrow, and also history books about your ancestors’ homeland.
From these books, you can learn about what the area was like for your ancestors.
There are millions of records on websites such as Ancestry, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage to name but a few.
As there are so many records available to you there is a good chance that you can discover something about your ancestors.
These are subscription sites, so you will have to pay to access their content. FamilySearch.org is a free option that you can try first.
This is a newish type of research that family historians are using to trace their family tree.
There are a few companies that offer varying types of testing to suit your needs.
9. Check Historic Newspaper Archives
I have found many articles concerning my ancestors. The joy of this is that you can easily do this online and you don’t know what you will discover.
10. Visit Your Ancestors Home
Visiting both where your ancestor lived and worked can bring you closer to history. And it may help you to get a deeper appreciation for them and how you came to be.
You can even visit the cemetery where they were buried. Doing so can give you even more information for your files as you discover birth and death dates, as well as maybe other bits of information.
My Final Thoughts
Learning about my family history has been such an enjoyable journey for me. I have not only learned about who they were but also where they came from and what they did for a living.
I have also discovered stories about them along the way by connecting with distant cousins.
It is such an exhilarating hobby!
While you are researching your ancestry you can think that you are the family detective who is piecing together details from the past and trying to make sense of it all.
I won’t lie but sometimes it can be a struggle, especially when you have a mountain of notes, records, and information in front of you. But at that moment you must remember why you are doing it.
You are doing it because you genuinely want to know about your family history. But also there is the goal that you want what you have discovered to be passed down through the generations.
Either through your children’s children or that of your siblings’ descendants. That is the case for me.
So take up the family history journey and see where it will take you! You will be surprised by what you will discover. Trust me I’m a genealogist.
Why not head on over to the Gould Genealogy website where you can discover what 13 things that you can do on Genealogy Day.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this article explaining what is Genealogy Day and what you can do on this special day. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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