Tracing your family history can be both an interesting and fascinating hobby. Genealogy Day is a day that will inspire you to learn who your ancestors were, and also 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 isn’t a great idea that a date has been set aside for our ancestors. In this post I will explain what is Genealogy Day and what you can do on this special day.
Genealogy Day – Second Saturday in March
A Little About My Family History Journey!
I have always been interested in my ancestry. This has come from the stories that my father has passed down to me. These stories had been passed 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 the sharing of information. I shared with my cousins what I had researched and they shared with me what they had discovered.
The stories though was the 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 were not only able to help church goers 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 dating 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 it 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 That You Can Celebrate Genealogy Day:
1. Start With Yourself – 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 could have birth certificates, or wills, or even family heirlooms. Anything connected with your family’s past can tell a story.
2. Interview Relatives – Conducting interviews with family and friends as I have mentioned before 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.
4. Purchase Genealogy Software – As with any hobby or activity you will need to make some expenses. And that is no different to 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 be used to create charts, reports, books and more.
5. Join A Local Family History Society – There is so much that you can learn from a family history society. They can give your practical guides and tips, and also show you where you can start looking. They will 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 not only have genealogy books that you can borrow but also history books about your ancestors homeland. From these books you can learn about what the area was like for your ancestors.
7. Subscribe To A Genealogy Search Website – There are literally 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 definitely a good chance that you will discover something about your ancestors. Please be prepared to pay to access these sites. FamilySearch.org is a free option that you can try first.
8. Discover Your Genealogy Through Your DNA – This is a new type of research that family historians have discovered and are using to trace their family tree. There are a few companies out there giving 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 really don’t know what you will discover.
10. Visit Your Ancestors Home – Visiting both where your ancestor lived and worked can really bring you closer to history. And it may even give you a deeper appreciation for them and how you came to be. You could even visit the cemetery where they are 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.
Learning about my family history has been such an enjoyable journey from 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 in 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 with what you will discover. Trust me I’m a genealogist.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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